PEM Researches Cheaper Battery Production Through Microenvironments


The Chair of Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components (PEM) of RWTH Aachen University has joined forces with Volkswagen's battery subsidiary PowerCo and Jagenberg Converting Solutions in the "MiKoBatt" research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The partners are looking into ecological, economical, and sustainable production of battery cells in order to give German and European manufacturers a commercial competitive edge in the future. Specifically, factory and machine concepts are to be developed for this purpose that allow efficient battery cell production with the help of so-called microenvironments.


Interactions between product and environment with regard to air quality

Such microenvironments are designed to protect special materials from the negative influence of humidity or air, for example. The concept is intended to reduce the air space volumes to be conditioned in battery cell production compared to classic dry and clean rooms and in this way significantly reduce energy consumption, save operating costs to a large extent and improve the protection of the product and employees. "In the project, PEM is primarily concerned with investigating the many interactions between the product and the environment with regard to air quality – for example, with a view to dryness and particle pollution," explains PEM DIrector Professor Achim Kampker.

Effective solutions for industrial large-scale production

Only with the help of distinctive knowledge about so-called product drying and quality management will it be possible to increase energy efficiency in a targeted manner and to advance innovative, effective solution approaches in industrial large-scale production. In general, the manufacture of batteries requires a strictly controlled production atmosphere to ensure process stability and maximize quality, cycle life, storage capacity, and production yield. In order for the use of microenvironments to be able to reduce high operating costs in the future, issues such as the handling of sensitive materials, transport, storage of intermediate products, and the optimum dew points for the products need to be clarified.

Further information on the project is provided here.