Johnson Controls and Lawrence Technological University go Beyond the Battery

Johnson Controls is partnering with Lawrence Technological University (LTU) to test and develop advanced battery systems in vehicles aimed at helping automakers meet increasing fuel economy and emissions standards.

The  supplier of automotive batteries and one of the nation’s top engineering schools unveiled the Johnson Controls Vehicle Engineering Systems Lab, including a dynamometer, during a ceremony on May 8.

A dynamometer is used to test vehicles in different controlled driving environments and accelerates understanding of how best to manage battery energy and power transfer in the vehicle.

“The work we are doing with LTU is important because we can develop, optimize and validate battery systems inside the complete vehicle environment to meet our customers’ future needs,” said MaryAnn Wright, vice president of engineering and product development for Johnson Controls Power Solutions. “Johnson Controls is constantly investing in its applied research and development capabilities to stay ahead of the evolving needs of the auto industry and to remain a global leader in the battery business.”

Johnson Controls, a global multi-industrial company, will use the lab to test its recently announced 12-volt Lithium-ion battery in its prototype Advanced Start-Stop vehicle. The technology can improve fuel economy and emissions by up to 8  percent. The company’s 48-volt Micro Hybrid system, which gets up to 15 percent fuel economy, is also part of the research and development with LTU.

The partnership, which began in 2014, also focuses on developing the next generation of engineers by involving them in the research projects and teaming them with LTU faculty and Johnson Controls technical experts. “These partnerships provide a strong talent pipeline for scientists and engineers interested in careers that will shape the way we drive our vehicles and use natural resources,” Wright said.

“The partnership with Johnson Controls is part of a broader effort by Lawrence Tech to respond proactively with innovative academic research programs to the needs of our corporate partners and students,” said Virinder Moudgil, president of Lawrence Technological University. “We are helping these corporate partners develop market-based solutions while providing students with real-world experiences and skills.”