5 minutes with Mr. Pickering, Jaguar Land Rover
Automotive IQ intervied Mr. Pickering, Technical Specialist - Power Supply Systems at Jaguar Land Rover, and discussed the IS0 21780 time schedule for this standard and main benefits of having such a standard be for 48V technology and their users and suppliers.
Mr. Pickering, your role at JLR is Technical Specialist - Power Supply Systems. What does this entail? What are your main responsibilities?
Because my specialism resides at the system level, then my main responsibilities are to define the performance and functional standards required for JLR vehicle low voltage electrical power supply systems and to ensure that the power supply systems are specified and developed in such a manner as to ensure those standards are met. This requires assessing future vehicle electrical energy requirements and ensuring that the power system components and controls will combine to ensure those requirements are supported. If new or updated systems are required then I am expected to lead the activities necessary to define and implement them. I must also keep up to date with industry and international standards relevant to power supply systems, hence my involvement with the ISO 21780 working group, which I am very pleased to be able to support.
You are a member of the ISO 21780 standard working group. What are the main goals of this standard?
I believe that the main goal is to help facilitate the progressive introduction of nominal 48V systems into road vehicles. This standard will do that by providing a set of definitions and tests which can be used to confirm that a component is suitable and robust for application as part of a 48V system, at whatever level of function that the supplier or end user wish to qualify the component at. This is important because, without such a common point of reference, then it will be more expensive and potentially unaffordable to introduce the necessary systems onto road vehicles with any degree in confidence in their performance and reliability. This can only be a benefit to all involved from the supplier’s right through to the customers.
What is the time schedule for this standard, when is it coming out? What would, in your opinion, be the main benefits of having such a standard be for 48V technology and their users and suppliers?
The format and content of the standard is now pretty much fixed with fine tuning and revisions ongoing following the comments received after the first draft was released for international comment earlier this year. There are two more working group face to face meetings scheduled to occur in November 2018 and March 2019. After that, I understand the final draft is planned for September 2019 with publication in September 2020. This may seem a long time to wait but it must follow the strict guidelines and procedure laid down by ISO which do take time. However, the positive side of this is that, as the group members are learning all of the time from their ongoing experience with implementing 48V systems, then the standard will be as up to date and relevant as possible when it is officially released.
Apart from your work with the standard, what are the main remaining challenges to make 48V a standard technology? Is it the battery or rather in the areas such as power electronics or wire harness?
I think that the wiring harness remains one of the major challenges to overcome. There remains uncertainty regarding the capability to produce a road vehicle wiring harness for expanded 48V systems which will be both reliable and robust enough to overcome the concerns regarding the additional hazards which come with using a voltage level which can extend to 60V. This aspect must be overcome if the 48V supply can be confidently expected to expand beyond its present, frankly quite limited, scope on road vehicles. Additionally, I think that to allow both expansion and a chance of meeting the expectations for 48V systems, the energy supply and storage components will need to be significantly more powerful than most are at this point in time, which may be a challenge to affordably achieve.
What will be the role of 48V beyond the mild hybrid realm and will this technology still be relevant when most cars will be fully electric?
Even in a long term future where most cars will be fully electric, I personally do not foresee any huge expansion in HV supplied components and equipment on them but there is still potential to increase the vehicle electrical consumer demand which may be difficult to provide solely by using a 12V supply. Therefore, a higher voltage, still remaining within the safe, low voltage, definition may still be necessary in order to maximise whole vehicle efficiency. However, I think that it will take a long time to get to a situation where most cars are fully electric and so there will continue to be a demand for, at the very least, P/T and Chassis systems which require high power and so a higher voltage than 12V in order to meet their functional requirements for, say, PHEV applications.
If you were to have one major technological improvement right now (assuming anything would be possible) to advance 48V, what would it be and why?
From a systems perspective, then it would be great to have a 48V system which does not rely upon having a 12V battery to function and so suffer from an in-built single point failure mode. If this system could also have built protection functions to ensure robust and safe electrical system operation that would be ideal. The reason for this is so that 48V systems may then be used to support the implementation of automated vehicles in addition to also being used to supply all high power consumers upon road vehicles and so help to improve whole vehicle efficiency.