Pilot plant for the production of lithium-ion batteries

The production of lithium-ion batteries must be made more sustainable. The construction and commissioning of a pilot plant for battery production offers research and industry an ideal platform for innovations and developments in the field of battery technology.

Factsheet

  • Lead department School of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Institute Intelligente industrielle Systeme (I3S)
  • Research unit I3S / Prozessoptimierung in der Fertigung
  • Funding organisation Innosuisse
    Swiss Competence Center for Energy Research SCCER
  • Duration (planned) 01.01.2015 - 31.12.2020
  • Project management Prof. Dr. Axel Fuerst
  • Head of project Adrian Glarner
  • Project staff Simon Müller
    Butrint Selmonaj
    Simon Walther
  • Keywords lithium-ion battery, process optimisation, pilot plant, battery production, laser cutting, remote cutting

Background

Lithium-ion batteries have become an indispensable part of everyday life. We use them day in, day out in cars, smartphones, hearing aids and many other devices. The problem is, the mining of raw materials for batteries and the production process are often associated with significant environmental impact.

Goals

The goal is to make the production of lithium-ion batteries eco-friendlier, more efficient, more durable and more economical. A pilot plant for battery production at the Burgdorf site will help to achieve this goal.

It will be made available to research and industry as a basis for experiments, whether for the construction of test cells or to test innovative manufacturing processes. The system is also designed to offer maximum flexibility in terms of the choice of materials, the inclusion and switching-out of individual components and the range of potential battery cell sizes – from credit-card format up to 150x300mm.

Procedure

The first step was to define the requirements for the pilot plant in consultation with the research partners. Next, the modules for the plant were constructed and then put into operation. The resulting know-how permitted individual components to be optimised. The pilot plant has been, and will continue to be, subject to ongoing development – often in cooperation with students.

Solution

The battery production pilot plant in Burgdorf is expected to be ready for operation from February 2021 as a platform for innovations and developments in the field of battery technology. The following services are available for the construction of pouch cells:

  • Construction of test cells including reference cells for comparison.
    • Testing of anodes, cathodes, separators or electrolyte
    • Installation of additional electronics, e.g. for condition monitoring
    • Very small batches possible
    • Workpieces from credit-card size up to 150x300mm possible
    • No restrictions in terms of shape
    • Logging of various parameters during production for better evaluation of the results
  • Cutting experiments with state-of-the-art laser technology
  • Easy integration of new components for trials or optimisations