Competence Cluster Battery Utilization Concepts (BattUtilization)

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Mark Junker

Battery Modelling, Analytics and Lifetime Prediction

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+49 241 80 90162

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  Graphic boat, car, drone and plane in front of light blue circle with battery on it

Now that all projects have received their funding decisions, the joint work in the Battery Utilization Concepts Cluster (BattNutzung) is beginning. The cluster is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with around 20 million euros and a total of 29 project partners in 13 projects, each scheduled to run for 3 years. The focus is on research into new battery concepts and applications.

With the further spread of renewable energies and electromobility, powerful and reliable energy storage systems are becoming increasingly important. With the increasing market penetration of the lithium-ion battery and the resulting rise in the supply of battery cells, the need for cell concepts tailored to the specific requirements of selected applications is also growing. This includes, for example, proprietary cell concepts for automotive applications, flying objects or stationary storage. In addition, the increasing use of lithium-ion batteries in the automotive sector in combination with increasing life expectancies of the cells ensures enormous quantities of cells with the potential of a second use after the use in the vehicle. All these topics are to be addressed within the framework of the competence cluster Battery Utilization Concepts (BattUtilization) newly created by the BMBF.

The Battery Utilization Concepts cluster is led by the cluster coordinators Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dirk Uwe Sauer (Institute for Power Electronics and Electrical Drives ISEA, RWTH Aachen University) as spokesperson and with a focus on the topic area "Aging and Lifetime Prognosis", Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Jossen (Chair for Electrical Energy Storage Technology EES, Technical University of Munich) with a focus on the topic area "Safety and Performance", and Prof. Dr. rer. nat. habil. Axel Müller-Groeling (Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology ISIT, Itzehoe) with a focus on the topic area "Battery System Evaluation".

The focus of the cluster is on research into methods for the comprehensive evaluation of new materials and cells after production and in operation. In doing so, the realization and scaling possibilities of these materials and cells in various application areas (including automotive, flying objects, rail vehicles, indoor logistics, agriculture and construction, stationary applications e.g. for PV home storage, grid storage, UPS systems or charging stations for electromobility) as well as the achievable market volumes and business cases in these application areas will be evaluated. In this context, possible 2nd-use applications, i.e. further use in other applications, are also taken into account and comprehensive life cycle assessments are carried out, including an estimate of the availability of raw materials. By means of all these newly developed methods, the development focus is to be directed to the application requirements already in the early phases of the development pipelines for new cells and cell materials within the framework of the BMBF umbrella concept "Research Factory Battery". Highlights from the projects include new methods for monitoring battery safety during operation, methods for predicting the service life of new battery cells after just a few weeks, or methods for further accelerating the rapid charging of batteries in vehicles without risk to service life.

Together with the competence cluster greenBatt, which lays the foundations for the sustainable recycling of batteries and raw materials as well as the closing of material cycles in the battery life cycle, the BattNutzung cluster forms the cross-sectional initiative "Battery Life Cycle". This strives for a holistic view of second use and recycling concepts, which is to be enabled by networking the two clusters and a cross-cluster exchange. The networking of the two clusters is supported in particular by the accompanying project greenBattUse.

The cluster kickoff event was attended by around 150 researchers, the BMBF and the project management organization Jülich, as well as 17 representatives from industry. These representatives of industry form the joint management circle of the cross-sectional initiative and ensure close cooperation between research and industry in the joint cluster work. Thus, many starting points for intensive cooperation between the projects and with industrial companies were already identified at the cluster kickoff.

After the individual projects have already started in the last weeks and months, the joint cluster work can now also pick up speed with the joint cluster kickoff of the cross-sectional initiative.

The Battery Utilization Concepts cluster is part of the four new research clusters created by the BMBF as part of total funding of 100 million euros. Other new clusters are Intelligent Battery Cell Production (InZePro), Recycling & Green Battery (greenBatt) and Analytics & Quality Assurance (AQua), which complement the competence clusters for battery materials (ExcellBattMat), solid-state batteries (FestBatt) and battery cell production (ProZell) already existing in the umbrella concept "Research Factory Battery" as well as the modules of the research production line at ZSW Ulm (FPL) and the Research Manufacturing Battery Cell Münster (FFB). The aim is to make Germany a competitive location for the production and use of (lithium-based) batteries.

 

Duration

01st September 2020 – 28th February 2024