Spain’s Foundation for Transport and Energy Research and Development, Cidaut, plays a key role in the country’s research into electric vehicle (EV) technology. Part of this research involves crash-testing EVs to understand the risks involved and the safety measures that must be put in place to ensure electric and hybrid cars are safe for the public to drive.
But these tests come with their own risks. Notably, a compromised EV battery can catch fire or explode, putting the research team itself in danger every time a crash is simulated. Having previously worked with Emtez to develop specialist EV battery quarantine solutions, Cidaut turned to us once again, this time to develop a secure container in which an unstable EV battery can be safely transported post-test to a treatment plant for processing and recycling.
Fire risk on the road
Cidaut’s research is central to the development of EV cars with a low, controlled risk of catching fire. But transporting these batteries, after they have been involved in a test accident and without the required safety measures in place, puts risk right back on the road.
A thermal incident in a moving vehicle significantly increases the risks associated with an event of this kind. It not only puts Cidaut’s assets at risk but also the health and safety of the people transporting the batteries as well as anyone else on the roads at the time.
Storage solutions were required, similar in nature to those it had developed with us for on-site quarantining purposes yet tailored to suit batteries in a critical condition requiring off-site transportation. Together with Cidaut’s team, we sat down to discuss the specific risks involved and what Cidaut needed from a solution to reduce that risk and improve safety.
We determined that any solution selected would need to be highly efficient to control the thermal escalation as early as possible before it compromised the vehicle transporting the battery and any other road users in the vicinity. An innovative system that immersed the battery in a cooling liquid in the first moments of a thermal incident provided the answer.
Unlocking powerful product design
A close working relationship with Cidaut was central to the development of this product. Due to the public environment in which the final solution would be used, it was vital that it met the required safety levels set out by Cidaut as well as those set out in road safety standards.
Cidaut’s team, themselves experts in EV technology, worked with us to design and test the container as it was developed. This enabled us to adjust the product design in line with Cidaut’s feedback and the results of our tests to meet their needs in a precise way. Once the container had been delivered, we visited Cidaut’s site to complete the process. This included steps like the electrical installation, the interior cover, and a winch; activity that could not be carried out on-site at our factory. This ensured the quality of the final product.
Keeping Cidaut safe, wherever its research takes it
Cidaut has now worked with us on a number of EV battery solutions. They selected us for the technical capabilities of our engineers but also our expertise in the field of EV batteries. We are the only manufacturers on the market capable of designing and developing bespoke EV battery solutions capable of meeting the challenging requirements set out by an institution like the Foundation for Transport and Energy Research and Development.
The transport container is now a patented system thanks to the set of new, efficient solutions it offers and its easy handling by any transport company moving these battery types.
With this solution in hand, Cidaut can guarantee the safety of the accident vehicle and, at the same time, the safe transportation of the damaged battery to its destination for treatment.
Its investment in this area reinforces Cidaut’s reputation as an EV technology pioneer but also as a protector of its people and the general public, wherever its research takes it.
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