Modern energy systems

Conventional processes for manufacturing battery electrodes involve mostly toxic solvents and require a lot of space and energy. This is not the case with DRYtraec® – a new dry-coating process.
© Fraunhofer IWS
Conventional processes for manufacturing battery electrodes involve mostly toxic solvents and require a lot of space and energy. This is not the case with DRYtraec® – a new dry-coating process.

Electrical energy storage systems are indispensable for a reliable and sustainable energy supply. As energy transition progresses, batteries are required both as mobile and stationary energy storage devices – for example, for electromobility or to compensate for fluctuating electricity production from renewable energies. The energy and environmental sectors as well as the automotive industry are therefore intensively involved in this topic.

At Fraunhofer IWS we are working on next generation batteries. In addition to lithium-ion technology, we focus on lithium-sulfur and solid-state battery concepts. Our key issues are energy density, range, charging time, weight and size as well as environmental compatibility and safety. In its function as energy carrier, hydrogen will also contribute decisively. With our expertise in materials and laser technology, we are developing innovative and economical solutions for storing and transporting hydrogen. Examples include magnetic pulsed-welded hydrogen pressure tanks and the production of metallic bipolar plates using roll-to-roll processes. In line with the "Green Economy" approach, we develop novel processes for the use of process heat as energy carrier and thus contribute to a better environmental balance for our customers.

Our solutions

Battery technology
 

The "Advanced Battery Technology Center" brings together expertise in materials research, innovations in electrode production and technologies for cell manufacturing and recycling. Thus, Fraunhofer IWS offers companies along the value chain innovative solutions for battery cell development:

Advanced Battery Technology Center (ABTC)

Hydrogen technology

Fraunhofer IWS develops sustainable material and manufacturing concepts for energy converters such as electrolyzers and fuel cells, which are essential for an ecologically and economically efficient use of hydrogen in industrial applications. Further research focuses on solutions for safe and flexible storage – for example in H2 pressure tanks – as well as for the transport and distribution of hydrogen in modern energy cycles.

Further research and development solutions relating to hydrogen technology can be found here:

Future and innovation field hydrogen technology

Process heat as energy carrier

  • Printed flexible thermoelectric generators
  • Thermally sprayed large-area thermoelectric modules made of ceramic materials

Latest research and development results

DRYtraec® – Low-cost battery electrode production

The DRYtraec® prototype system developed as part of the "DryProTex" project coats battery electrodes on both sides without solvents and saves both space and costs.
© Fraunhofer IWS
The DRYtraec® prototype system developed as part of the "DryProTex" project coats battery electrodes on both sides without solvents and saves both space and costs.

In order to keep up the pace in electromobility, battery cell production capacities have to be expanded worldwide. Since the price of an electric vehicle is significantly influenced by the cost of the battery, industry is focusing on both economical and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes. To this end, we have developed DRYtraec®, a novel process that provides cost-efficient and environmentally friendly manufacturing of battery electrodes. The technology completely excludes the use of toxic solvents and saves the energy- and cost-intensive drying process of the electrode layers. In addition the process can be used to manufacture not only lithium-ion batteries but also novel cell technologies such as lithium-sulfur and solid-state batteries in high quality without the use of solvents.

In the funded project "DryProTex" we developed a worldwide unique prototype system together with German equipment manufacturers and launched it at Fraunhofer IWS. The highlight: The roll-to-roll system enables simultaneous electrode coating on both sides in one step. In the lab, this is already possible on widths of up to 25 centimeters and at speeds of up to ten meters per minute.

 

Press release / 5.8.2020

Solid-state battery to leap into industrial application

BMBF project “SoLiS” explores innovative lithium-sulfur battery concepts

 

Press release / 1.4.2021

Unweldable” not anymore

Optimized joining technology opens door to safe hydrogen use in aerospace industry

 

Press release / 29.9.2020

Graphite instead of gold: Thin layers for better hydrogen cars

Innovative coating for bipolar plates in fuel cells