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Affordable Battery Storage for the Energy-Turnaround

Affordable Battery Storage for the Energy-Turnaround

New Alliance for the Lithium-Ion Battery Facility of the Future

The experts agree on one thing: the cost of efficient lithium-ion batteries is just too high. This applies as much to electric cars as it does to storing solar and wind energy. One enormous cost factor is the costly production process for lithium-ion batteries. The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Stuttgart-based M+W Group have now forged a development partnership, with the aim of massively reducing the use of energy and materials in battery production and therefore also the price.

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Signatories to the Cooperation Agreement: Professor Eberhard Umbach, KIT, Jürgen Wild, M+W Group (Photo KIT) (Download: http://www.mwgroup.net/download/kooperation)

Professor Eberhard Umbach, President of KIT and Jürgen Wild, CEO of M+W Group, signed an agreement just a few days ago, which sets out the key points for the future partnership. The cooperation essentially encompasses the areas of dry-room technology, resource-efficient plants and process control systems.

Andreas Gutsch, coordinator of the ‘Competence E’ project at KIT sums up: “For us, cooperation with an internationally recognized factory designer and EPC company makes it possible to have the results of our development incorporated directly into innovative manufacturing concepts for cell and battery production, and therefore the opportunity to market them globally. We want to develop industrial processes while keeping a particular eye on costs.”

“The existing practical knowledge of M+W Group with engineering and construction of lithium-ion facilities ideally complements KIT’s excellent expertise in research into battery manufacture”, said M+W Group CEO Jürgen Wild. “Together, we will find new ways of reducing costs in battery production for our customers more quickly.”

Until now, energy-intensive processes, such as drying the coated electrodes, cell assembly in the dry room, or cell formation have dominated li-ion cell manufacture. The cooperation will contribute to making the entire energy system of cell and battery manufacture more efficient, where both the energy efficiency of the facility and that of the installed processes will be put to the test in applied research at KIT. At the same time, the proportion of renewable energies in the supply of energy-optimized production will be increased. According to Gutsch: “Installing a photovoltaics plant with coupled, stationery energy storage at KIT’s Nord campus will make it possible to implement a power supply based on renewable energy, and therefore ‘green’ cell production.”

“M+W Group brings together the objective of achieving considerable cost reductions in plants to manufacture lithium-ion batteries with the most stringent requirements in terms of high-quality manufacturing. In doing so, we are able to use the experience from other high-tech industries, such as the semiconductor or photovoltaics sector, and achieve innovative solutions together with KIT,” says Dr. Rudolf Simon, Technology Manager Automotive and Batteries at M+W Group.

The cooperation will expand the interdisciplinary, industry-driven research at KIT, thereby strengthening innovation at KIT and at the M+W Group. This means that new concepts of cell production can be evaluated immediately in practice and adapted more quickly. M+W Group, together with KIT, will set up by February 2013 a particularly efficient dry room at KIT for the assembly of lithium-ion cells.

The ‘Competence E’ project will bring together all the work of KIT on the storage of electrical energy for mobile and stationary applications. This until now unique focus on the overall system makes it possible to develop cost-effective solutions for next-generation battery systems and electrical drives that can be used in industry. New manufacturing methods for the cost-effective production of these batteries will be developed in parallel to the development and prototyping of innovative cells and batteries and presented as prototypes. You will find further information at:

http://www.competence-e.kit.edu/

Press contact for M+W Group:
Michael Gemeinhardt
Phone: 0711 8804-1420
mailto: michael.gemeinhardt(at)mwgroup.net

Press contact for KIT:
Monika Landgraf
Phone: 0721 60847414
mailto: presse(at)kit.edu