30 kiloWatt-hour Nissan Leaf battery pack manufacturing details

Along with details on the 2016 Nissan Leaf, Nissan published a video showing us details of the battery pack factory in Smyrna Tennessee.   This video happens to show construction of the new 30 kiloWatt-hour battery pack, which we know simply because of the shape of each module.  And it happens to show us some interesting details about the Leaf battery pack innards.

The video is at the bottom.  I’ve made a few screen captures to walk through what is shown.

The Nissan Leaf pack is not a regular rectangular shape, and it never has been.  Some modules are laid horizontally, probably so they’ll sit under the seating area.  Another group of modules are laid vertically, probably to fit behind the rear seats.

The new modules for the 30 kWh pack is packaged as 8 cells, in a 2P 4S arrangement.  (2 in parallel, 4 in series)

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Battery cells traversing the machinery. Each cell is a pouch, with two tabs for the positive and negative connections.

Battery cells traversing the machinery. Each cell is a pouch, with two tabs for the positive and negative connections.

It looks like the machinery is checking battery cell voltage – which would be a necessary step to weed out bad cells.

Battery cells are taken along a conveyor, with visual checks performed

Battery cells are taken along a conveyor, with visual checks performed

Visual check being performed.

Visual check being performed.

Battery module on the assembly line. Where the previous modules (for the 24 kWh packs) had single-height modules, this is a double-height module.

Battery module on the assembly line. Where the previous modules (for the 24 kWh packs) had single-height modules, this is a double-height module.

For comparison, this is the old Leaf battery module which goes into the 24 kWh packs.

For comparison, this is the old Leaf battery module which goes into the 24 kWh packs.

Battery modules undergoing visual inspection

Battery modules undergoing visual inspection

Another view of the module inspection process. It's clear from the video the modules are held aloft by suction force, so the workers can inspect on all sides and the bottom.

Another view of the module inspection process. It’s clear from the video the modules are held aloft by suction force, so the workers can inspect on all sides and the bottom.

Closeup of battery module during inspection process.

Closeup of battery module during inspection process.

Close-up look at the module during the inspection process.

Close-up look at the module during the inspection process.

Another angle to look closely at the battery modules. You'll also notice a magic marker in his hand, that in the video is used to make marks that probably indicate the visual inspection was performed.

Another angle to look closely at the battery modules. You’ll also notice a magic marker in his hand, that in the video is used to make marks that probably indicate the visual inspection was performed.

A rack of modules getting ready to go into a completed battery pack.

A rack of modules getting ready to go into a completed battery pack.

Busbar being readied to attach to the group of modules.

Busbar being readied to attach to the group of modules.

Bolting the busbar to the modules.

Bolting the busbar to the modules.

Close-up of bolting down the busbar to the modules.

Close-up of bolting down the busbar to the modules.

Assembling the battery pack. Lowering the group of modules into the pack, and preparing to wire everything together.

Assembling the battery pack. Lowering the group of modules into the pack, and preparing to wire everything together.

Bolting down the battery module assembly into the pack.

Bolting down the battery module assembly into the pack.

Close-up of the battery pack assembly.

Close-up of the battery pack assembly.

Finished battery pack on a trolley going to who-knows-where. The video shows that this trolley is robotic, and is probably following the orange lines painted on the floor.

Finished battery pack on a trolley going to who-knows-where. The video shows that this trolley is robotic, and is probably following the orange lines painted on the floor.

 

 

 

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

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