THE PROFILE 2017/18

Energy/E-mobility/Battery research

Fotos: AIT/ Johannes Zinner

The AIT research team wants to be among the leading players worldwide.

ENERGY

SOURCES

OF TOMORROW

Battery research occupies a central position at AIT. The scientists pursue an integrated research and development approach – from material optimization and processing to industrial cell prototyping and system design to battery testing in accredited laboratories.

OUR SERVICES

-Model-assisted battery material development and -optimisation

-Industry-oriented electrode engineering and cell production

-Comprehensive physicochemical and electrochemical characterisation (in- and ex- situ methods)

-Post-mortem analysis

-Accredited electrical, environmental and safety tests on cell, module and system level

-SOX (State of Health, State of Charge etc.) determination

-Simulations in 1 and 3D at cell and system level including ageing

-Cell selection and benchmarking based on extensive battery databases

-Consultancy in all battery-related questions


OUR ANALYTICAL METHODS

-Determination of the size of surfaces by means of gas adsorption (BET measurement)

-Determination of particle size distributions

(PS measurement)

-Crystal Structure Analysis (XRD Measurement)

-Scanning electron microscope analyses (SEM measurements incl. EDX)

-X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF measurement)

-Thermal analysis (TG-DTA measurement, calorimetry)

-Gas Chromatography, Mass Spectrometry

(GC/MS Measurement)

-Infrared spectroscopy

-Water determination in organic solvents

(KF value determination)


PROJECTS

ECAIMAN

In the H2020 research project eCAIMAN which is co- ordinated by the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, European competences are combined in order to de- velop an excellent lithium-ion battery for production in Europe.


SIMPORE

In order to be able to rapidly and efficiently improve modern electrode materials in terms of performance and energy efficiency, the use of the new multi-scale modelling method is tested at a microporous level in the SimPore project in collaboration with the project partner VIRTUAL VEHICLE Research Center.

OUR APPROACH

From material production and analysis to screenings and choice of the optimal battery cell which is supported by simulations through to com- prehensive validation – with the new laboratory, the AIT offers its cus- tomers everything from a single source. In addition, early diagnosis of battery ageing can be performed. Post mortem analyses are also part of the service portfolio.


Ex- and in-situ methods or tools can also be used to estimate the sec- ond life of cells. The AIT thus acts as a true one-stop shop for automo- tive suppliers, battery manufacturers, material developers or cell man- ufacturers. With material and process development, the AIT is the only institute in Austria able to process the entire research chain from mate- rial to cell design through to the system level. With this know-how, AIT wants to become one of the leading international players in the field. The focus is on the improvement of lithium-ion technology, for example by new electrode materials. But the generation of battery technologies after that is also being worked on – even though the lithium-ion battery will still be the preferred medium over the next 10–15 years. Safety, cost and service life are the central quality criteria of a battery, supple- mented by energy density – the essential measure for the achievable range of an electric vehicle – as well as power density, upon which ac- celeration, driving speed and charging times depend. Lithium-ion bat- teries score points with a high energy density and a long service life and still offer a lot of potential despite their level of maturity.


ALTERNATIVE STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES

However, research is not only carried out on the next generation of 5V lithium storage technology, but also on alternatives to the lithium-ion battery. These include, among others, the lithium-air and magnesium- ion batteries. With these promising research activities, the AIT creates important preconditions for industry which allow an assessment as early as possible in the development process of whether the materials used are suitable for high-voltage cells of the future. The battery mate- rial laboratory guarantees the latest comprehensive research in- frastructure from a single source. Increasing service life, efficiency and capacity of batteries – all this is being examined and optimized by AIT scientists. The international AIT network for battery research extends from the German Research Centers (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Fraunhofer Institutes) to co-operations in the UK all the way through to Korean and Chinese university and research partners.


CELL PRODUCTION IN THE DRY ROOM

With its laboratory infrastructure, the AIT supports the entry into the electric era and drives the evolution from the conventional vehicle via various hybrid technologies through to the pure e-mobile. In addition, the AIT is working to expand the research infrastructure with a modern, automated research production line with its own dry room. This enables industry-oriented prototyping for the production of stacked pouch cells – a major cost factor for the industry partners. Particular attention is paid to the optimization of each step of the production process.


SPECIALIZED BATTERY TEST LABORATORY

Larger cells (approx. 1 to 100 Ah) and battery systems are examined in detail here. The focus is on electrical, thermal safety and durability tests. These can be combined and thus enable a comprehensive validation.