Montana Tech teams up with Ford Motor Company


Montana Tech teams up with Ford Motor Company

BUTTE, Mont. - Montana Tech is teaming up with Ford Motor Company to help develop a battery test system. An electrical engineering professor has done similar work for the Idaho National Lab, and now he's teaching Tech students the process through a contract with Ford.

"Ford has a new-generation battery tester and what we're doing is we're determining the quality of the measurements that this thing can do," said Montana Tech Professor John Morrison.

The new battery tester Ford's developing takes measurements like voltage, currant, time and temperature of a vehicle battery.

Ford sends data from the battery tests over to Montana Tech. Morrison and his team of grad students then look at if the battery test system is making any errors.

"Looking at what different areas could cause uncertainty and then looking at different kind of testing you can do to try to quantify what that uncertainty is," said Morrison.

The calculations made at Tech show if the new battery tester is performing the way it should.

"The more accurate you can test the batteries in the lab, the more accurately you can predict how they can perform in the field," said visiting instructor and researcher Josh Wold.

Morrison said this research will help Ford back up battery warranties on their electric vehicles.

"They'll have a certain level of confidence that 'Gee, if we build this car with this battery system, it will meet what they say it's going to meet' and that's why you're doing the testing," said Morrison.

It's a win-win situation for the company and for Montana Tech.

"They're a big name in the United States. It's a great opportunity to get involved with research and then in the future this can possibly open up some new opportunities for more research," said Wold.

Montana Tech received more than $100,000 to help Ford in developing the battery test system. Morrison said the project will continue for the next couple years.

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