Powerful research contribution of the University of Bayreuth to federal battery cluster network
University of Bayreuth, Press release No. 165/2020 - 01.12.2020
Several professorships at the University of Bayreuth are now part of the nationwide cluster network "Battery Research Factory" of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). University of Bayreuth research groups Electrical Energy Systems (EES), Manufacturing & Remanufacturing Technology (LUP), and Information Systems & Value-Based Business Process Management are involved in the research projects on “Green Battery”, “Analytics / Quality Assurance, and “Intelligent Battery Production”.
With its competence clusters, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research is investing in battery research at universities and non-university research institutions. As part of the umbrella concept "Battery Research Factory", four new battery competence clusters are to contribute to strengthening battery research in Germany along the entire value chain. The University of Bayreuth is involved in three of them. While the Bavarian Centre for Battery Technology (BayBatt) at the University of Bayreuth is developing with assistance from the Bavarian High-Tech Agenda, the federal government is now also funding battery research in Bayreuth as part of state-funded third-party projects, which will further strengthen and advance battery research at the University of Bayreuth in the long term.
Experimental cells for the investigation of battery electrodes with reference electrodes. © UBT/Wißler
Battery Competence Cluster Recycling / Green Battery (greenBatt)
The central field of action of this competence cluster is the systematic design of battery systems to increase their recyclability. With a view to battery life cycle, guidelines for cycle-oriented design are to create the constructive prerequisites for closed, efficient battery system life cycles featuring low rates of raw material losses. The aim is to close product and material cycles. This is where LUP under the direction of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank Döpper comes into the picture, together with the EES research group under the direction of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Danzer. Further partners are Technische Universität Braunschweig and the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems. The Bayreuth researchers are particularly interested in product recycling and the recovery of functional components without compromising product design. The burning question here is how battery systems with their different, in part, environmentally harmful components can be redeployed as directly as possible through remanufacturing in an economically viable and ecologically responsible anner. Test methods for the evaluation of aged battery cells and modules are also to be developed.
Battery Competence Cluster Analysis / Quality Assurance (AQua):
The continuous improvement of the performance of batteries, combined with long service life and high safety standards, requires expertise in analysis and quality assurance. The aim of the cluster is the joint development of methods, strategies, and standards. In the HysKaDi project, the research grouping led by the director of BayBatt, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Danzer, is dedicated to the performance and ageing of novel active materials like silicon and lithium- and manganese-rich oxide layers. By analysing their electrode behaviour, they are aiming for a deeper understanding of these active materials. Their partners in this consortium project are the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW) Ulm and the Technical University of Munich. Together, they are furthering the fundamental science for the eventual use of these materials in next-generation, large-format lithium-ion batteries and their industrial production.
Battery Competence Cluster Intelligent Battery Cell Production (InZePro):
The focus here is on increasing and making the productivity of cell production more flexible. Here, the battery production process is viewed from an integrative perspective, and its productivity and quality are to be optimised through the use of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence. The main focus is on innovative and agile plant technology, digitisation, and artificial intelligence (AI) in production and virtual production systems. This is where Prof. Dr. Maximilian Röglinger, Chair of Information Systems & Value-Based Business Process Management and member of the Business Information Technology project group at Fraunhofer FIT, is concentrating his efforts. Together with the Fraunhofer Institutes IGCV and ISC, as well as the TH Aschaffenburg University of Applied Sciences, he is working on the expansion of battery cell production to include AI-supported process monitoring based on a generic system architecture. The benefit for battery cell production lies in a lower reject rate, which reduces costs and increases the overall plant efficiency. The project also contributes to sustainability by increasing product quality and reducing resource consumption in the areas of energy and materials. This progress is indispensable on our way to a sustainably produced battery that is nevertheless competitive on the market.
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