Research factory to boost Li-ion battery performance, efficiency and cost effectiveness

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According to Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), limited performance and efficiency, as well as cost issues, have hindered the large scale take up of lithium ion batteries in electric vehicles and stationary storage devices. Looking to address the issues, KIT has set up a factory to research small series production of lithium ion cells.

Stationary storage devices and fast charging vehicle batteries require low cost and efficient lithium ion cells, says the institute. To achieve these goals, the research factory is developing new production methods. "We have left the path of conventional manufacture to develop completely new production and integration methods for lithium-ion cells," said Professor Jurgen Fleischer. "Eventually, this novel research infrastructure will enable us to evaluate and automate immature production processes and make them suitable for industrial use." The 1500m2 research factory is applying advanced drying, coating and calendering techniques for electrode materials, as well as new assembly methods for cells. Working with M+W Group, KIT has built a new dry-room concept for manufacture of high quality cells in a room where the dew point is almost -80°C. KIT says that, through test runs, promising production methods will be identified and offered on a licensing basis.