Wednesday, October 22, 2014

World’s fastest production of battery electrodes – scinexx | Knowledge Magazine

New World Record: Scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the rate of production of electrode foils tripled batchwise coating – up to 100 meters per minute. It makes possible a flexible die method, the desired pattern with great precision generated even at high speeds. Thanks to the patent-pending new technology can produce up to 300 percent more electrode foils. . This allows to manufacture lithium-ion batteries much cheaper

Lithium-ion batteries are important for the energy transition – whether it renewable for the storage of electricity from fluctuating sources or comes to the operation of electric vehicles. However, the high cost of batteries still pose an obstacle.

Three times faster than before

One working group to Wilhelm Schabel and Philip Sharp from the research area “Thin Film Technology” (TFT) at the Institute for Thermal Process Engineering at KIT succeeded after three years of research, to increase the speed of the intermittent production of electrode foils, which are the actual energy storage to 100 meters per minute. Prior art was previously between 25 and 35 meters per minute.

The KIT scientists developed under the project “Competence E” a completely new coating technology that can not only produce continuous coatings, but also patterns with high precision. Meanwhile, the invention is patent pending.

In the production of an electrode film, a slurry of active material, carbon black, binders, solvents and additives on a substrate film of copper (for the anode) or aluminum (for the cathode) applied. The coating may be continuous, but interrupted better for subsequent process steps, that is carried out intermittently. “With intermittent coating, it is important that the start and stop edges are clean even at high frequencies,” explains Schabel. “We achieve this with our method through a membrane in the commissioned work, that is in the nozzle, fast and controlled reciprocated.”

With no moving parts

This method dispenses with additional moving parts, thereby enabling the high frequencies of up to 1,000 per minute for the electrode patterns at the same time high precision coating. Allow special settings of the membrane, to adjust the flow properties of the paste in the process later. The Association of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) has given in a statement issued this year “roadmap battery production means” a coating speed of 100 meters per minute as a target by the year 2030 – this goal, KIT scientists have already achieved.

With the new technology up to 300 percent more electrode films can be produced in almost constant investment costs. How can the manufacturing costs of lithium-ion batteries further reduce considerably. The KIT scientists have successfully produced by a procedure similar electrodes for electric vehicles in pilot scale. The leader of the project “Competence E” at KIT, Dr. Andreas crediting, says: “In combination with the also developed at KIT and patent-pending technology for helix-wound lithium-ion batteries, the new coating method offers the possibility of to achieve cost leadership. “


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