QUANTiNO concept with low-voltage flow battery has 620-mile range, 124 mph top speed

Liechtenstein-based nanoFlowcell AG has taken a different approach to battery design. Its vehicles use a flow battery system which works like a combination of a battery and a fuel cell, using liquid electrolytes kept in two tanks and pumped through the cell. At the heart of the system is a membrane that separates two differing chemistries. A controlled exchange of charges releases energy for the electric powertrain.

The company claims that a large increase in the number of charge carriers in the electrolyte fluid significantly increases its performance compared to conventional redox flow-cells, which radically increases the concentration of energy compared to conventional, terrestrial flow cell systems, like those used in domestic residences.

The system functions as long as sufficient electrolytic fluid is present in the tanks. Once the reserve is used up, the contents of both tanks must to be replaced. The refueling process is no more complicated than filling up a gasoline powered vehicle, according to nanoFlowcell AG.

nanoFlowcell QUANTiNO copy

The company will be presenting two concept EVs at the upcoming Geneva Auto Salon: the QUANT F, a further development of 2014’s QUANT E; and the QUANTiNO, a low-voltage (48 V) vehicle that boasts a range of more than 1,000 km (621 miles) and a top speed is 200 km/h (124 mph).

nanoFLOWCELL QUANT F
nanoFLOWCELL QUANT F

To date, low-voltage drives have mostly been used in vehicles with very low power outputs (<5 kW), such as golf carts and e-scooters. However, according to the company, low-voltage systems offer various advantages over the high-voltage systems used in most current EVs.

“To our knowledge, a low-voltage drive system has never been deployed before in a larger passenger car,” said Chief Technical Officer Nunzio La Vecchia. “The required drive output always restricted the spectrum of useful applications for a low-voltage system. This is all changing now with the nanoFlowcell. Very high currents are required for the levels of drive output typically needed by vehicles. This necessitates exceptionally large cable cross-sections and increased transmission losses with high-voltage systems. With the nanoFlowcell, we have been able to solve this problem. Here we generate very high currents at a very low rated voltage.”

“Low-voltage systems are an ideal match for the nanoFlowcell,” continued La Vecchia. “They enable us to generate levels of drive power that previously appeared impossible. With a rated voltage of only 48 V we achieve four times 25 kW, corresponding to around 136 hp, through a combination of nanoFlowcell, buffer system and electric motors. This set-up provides us with a top speed of over 200 kilometres an hour in all-electric mode and a range of over 1,000 kilometres.”

“The QUANTiNO is an electric vehicle for everyone. Affordable and featuring an extravagant, unique design. It is not just a concept vehicle – it will become reality in the course of this year. We will be driving the QUANTiNO in 2015. And we aim to attain approval for road use very quickly.”

The QUANTiNO carries two 175-liter tanks of ionic liquid. The refueling process involves refilling two tanks, each with a different fluid.

 

Source: nanoFlowcell

  • timerbeltkiller

    Price of fluid?
    Any costly maintenance involved?

  • Art Murphy

    What type/quantity of fluid? Readily available?

  • Ad van der Meer

    I don’t get it, but I must admit I am no chemistry buff.

    There are 2 tanks of ionic fluids. These two fluids interact in the flow cell to create electricity. I assume that at that point these fluids have lost those “ionic” proporties. If they are returned to the tanks they originate from, the quality of the mix becomes less with every mile driven. If they are used up, the car is 350 liters (kg?) heavier when fueled up compared to when the tanks are empty. If the used up liquids have to be stored seperately, it requires 350 (or 2 times 175) liters of spent fuel tanks and changes the weight balance of the car. All three scenarios seem unwanted to me.

    Second, were do you put 350 liters of tanks in safe enough so it does not get punctured too easily or such that it doesn’t eat up cargo space like batteries do in converted gas cars? I understand this is their version of an “affordable” car, so I don’t expect it to be enormous.

    Assuming refueling is only pumping 350 liters of ionic fluids and not also removing 350 liters of “unionic” (sorry for this unscientific description) fluids, that’s about 7 times as much as a modern diesel car. Still faster that fast charging or even Tesla Supercharging, but significantly slower than refueling an ICE car or a Tesla battery swap (if they can pull that off commercially).

    I am sure there is a good explanation, but I can’t think of it. Of course that doesn’t say much. (I’ll beat you all to it! 😉 )

    • Alexis Boom

      Sorry to necropost but this is what happens:
      Instead of having a gel and some metal plates, and push the elections from the gel to the plates when charging and then pull them from the gel into the plates when discharging – this is a traditional battery.

      Instead you have two liquids, one rich in spare electrons and one missing many electrons. You feed them both into a cell where clever membranes separate the liquids, the low charge fluid attracts the elections from the high charge fluid but the membrane catches those electrons to generate electromagnetic force to push around a circuit and thusly power an electric motor.

      So they’ve turned the charging issue sideways, instead of keeping the system sealed and charging and discharging electrons across plates you make the system open and load with ionic fluid for electrons.

  • Brian

    OK the battery can handle high current, but you still need larger, heavier wires to carry it.

    25kw at 48V = 520A. So you need 1000 MCM wire (For reference it would be 1″ dia. if solid)
    25kw at 480V = 52A. So you need 6 AWG wire (For reference it would be 0.162″ dia. if solid)

    Even if you put the battery close to the motor, the motor is made up of lots of wire. The motor(s) will be very heavy.

    Larger current gives larger fields too. They’ll need some good shielding between the wires and someone’s pacemaker.

  • Олег Лян

    I am very dissapointed in these guys

  • Peter

    Suggest include videos or links to them (YouTube).

  • Peter

    Can include a bedroom or explanation of the refilling process? And how this charged liquid is electriced / used ? Does it use batteries or which tool? Thanks in advance.