University battery testing facility helps secure Honda motor championship victory

A racing car battery designed and manufactured by Zytek Automotive and the University of South Wales has contributed to a major series victory for Honda. Engineers at the University provided specialist testing facilities, knowledge and input into the design of the bespoke hybrid battery system for automotive supplier Zytek and its customer Honda for the Super GT Championship.

The historic win, secured at the championship’s final race in Japan, is believed to be the first racing series victory for a battery hybrid race car outside Formula 1.

The bespoke lightweight battery system was designed with support from the University’s Centre for Automotive and Power System Engineering (CAPSE).

The collaboration was facilitated through a Knowledge Transfer Centre at the university, funded by the Welsh Government’s Academic Expertise for Business (A4B) programme. Funding of around £1.4million from the A4B programme over five years has facilitated three Knowledge Transfer Centres at the university, to promote and develop new technology and specialist services and encourage engagement between industry and academia.

Commenting Jonathan Williams, CAPSE Director, said that: A great deal of collaborative work went into the research, design and testing associated with this high-power, lightweight battery pack and this historic victory is testament to the team’s commitment to collaborations with leading businesses.

Neil Heslington MD, Zytek, said: “The Centre for Automotive and Power System Engineering (CAPSE) has an established track record in advanced technology so was an obvious choice of partner with which to embark on the battery testing aspect of this KERS project for Honda.

“The track performance of the battery component was impressive, offering an advantage which contributed to the vehicle’s success in the SGT 300 race series based in Japan. We look forward to continuing the relationship and working on further innovations in the future.”

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