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Posted: Jul 08, 2014
Efficient, durable and affordable: On the road to the super battery
(Nanowerk News) By 2020 one million electric cars will be underway on German streets. This is the goal of the "German Government Program for Electromobility". At the same time, the German federal government hopes renewable energy cover 60 percent of total energy consumption by 2050. However, these goals cannot be achieved without efficient storage. Lithium-ion batteries are a promising storage technology that is already being deployed in electric vehicles. But there is no mass production yet in Germany for the requisite battery cells.
Research production line for battery cells at the Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial Management.
20 production processes on 200 square meters
The Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial Management (iwb) at TUM has now taken a research production line for battery cells into operation – a first in Germany. 20 different production processes are set up on 200 square meters of laboratory space. The researchers have at their disposal two drying chambers and a clean room, among others. Prof. Gunther Reinhart explains, "We now have the possibility of producing battery cells in large numbers and investigating how the production process affects the performance and lifetime of the cells."
Close collaboration with industry
The scientists are already working on optimizing the processes. The electrode materials, for example, are not punched out as usual, but rather cut to shape with a laser. "The process is fast, free of wear and flexible in format," explains Prof. Michael F. Zäh. "Initial cell tests with this material are very promising."
The project is being done in close collaboration with industry partners that hope to implement the acquired insight in their products. The intention is to test the battery cells in electric cars in the future, for example.
Battery research at TUM
Four projects are currently participating in the iwb research production line for battery cells: DeLIZ, ProLIZ, ExZellTUM und EEBatt.
Over 15 departments and institutions are doing research into battery cells at the TU München. The research includes the complete process chain from cell chemistry to fabrication.