Battery cells in electrical energy storage systems are the most expensive part in an electric vehicle currently and even in the next years. The energy density of currently used cells is insufficient to enable a cruising range of more than 500 km for vehicles ready for the mass market. The central challenge of the electric mobility is the increase of the energy density at simultaneous cost reduction. Novel anode and cathode materials as well as an optimization of the production are necessary for this purpose.
The WING-center (center for material innovations for the industry and society) ´Exzellenzzentrum für Batteriezellen an der Technischen Universität München` has built up competences of battery production. The entire process chain is managed by four research groups of the TUM: Chair for Technical Electrochemistry, Research Neutron Source Heinz Maier-Leibnitz, Institute for Electrical Energy Storage Technology, Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial Management.
The WING-center provides:
- the opportunity for the evaluation of novel materials in cells (up to 5 Ah),
- numerous in situ and novel in operando research methods such as online electrochemical mass spectrometry (OEMS), x-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES), small-angle neutron scattering (SANS), neutron diffraction (ND), x-ray diffraction (XRD),
- a large number of battery test channels for quality and performance tests as well as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS),
- comprehensive experience in the electrochemical modeling of batteries,
- an efficient platform for the cooperation with the industry.
With all this, the basis has been established to research novel materials and concepts from the basics to their application.
The object of the WING-center ExZellTUM II is the research and optimization of silicon anodes and high-voltage cathodes in large-size lithium-ion cells as well as the cross-process optimization of the stages of their production.
The development plan comprises the optimization of the electrode structure and the cell design, the improvement of the manufacturing processes for semi-finished products and of the cell assembly, basic research into the electrolyte filling and cell formation and the elucidation of the aging mechanisms of cells. The challenge of the scale-up of cells essential for industrial applications are the center of research at the ExZellTUM II.