UK eVTOL manufacturer Vertical Aerospace has announced the opening of the Vertical Energy Centre (VEC), believed to be the UK’s most advanced aerospace battery facility, based in Bristol, one of the only dedicated aerospace battery facilities in the UK.
“It is home to Vertical’s current 50-strong battery team – drawn from the likes of McLaren, the European Space Agency, Jaguar Land Rover, Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Dyson – who are developing proprietary battery technology that is enabling greater power to weight ratios for eVTOL flight,” according to a press release. “These frontier technologies are expected to transform what has been possible with battery technology to date. Vertical announced last year its strategic partnership with Molicel, which combines Vertical’s proprietary battery pack design with Molicel’s cell technology.
“Operational ramp-up of Vertical’s battery manufacturing machinery has begun by assembling the first in-house developed prototype battery modules in the facility. Vertical’s battery systems have undergone a wide range of testing, including temperature, conducted emissions, vibration, thermal durability and characterisation, propagation and drop testing at the VEC.
“Vertical has previously had significant progress with battery tests, having carried out crash and thermal runaway testing under European Union Aviation Safety Agency and the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority supervision….Vertical has developed significant intellectual property around battery design including cell packaging, cooling and electronic battery management systems to deliver high-power, high-performance battery packs capable of powering eVTOL aircraft. Vertical is aiming for entry into service with a 220Wh/kg battery system. This will enable Vertical’s VX4 to conduct back-to-back missions, with fast-charging cycles in-between, and minimised impact on the packs’ cycle life.
“This announcement follows the recent news that Vertical secured UKP 14 milliom in funding from the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) through a joint initiative with the UK government, to further progress the development of its battery technology. The project, in partnership with University College London (UCL), will increase the core capability of Vertical’s battery system, improve recycling efficiency, and increase the scope of its use in additional markets.”
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