Optimizing the Production Process of Battery Cells

The project Cell-Fi addresses the accelerated electrolyte uptake in lithium-ion battery cells.

Electrolyte Filling of Battery Cells

Project Cell-Fi

Within the framework of the competence cluster for battery cell production (ProZell) we currently work in the project Cell-Fi on the optimal electrolyte filling of battery cells. The aim of the cluster is to investigate and improve the influence of the production process on cell properties and production costs and to extend it to future battery generations. There are currently 12 projects within the PorZell cluster with 12 German universities and research institutes working together on several aspects of battery production.

The ProZell cluster aims at providing the scientific foundation for the establishment and sustainable development of an internationally leading and competitive battery cell production in Germany. Specifically, the project Cell-Fi deals with speeding up the time-consuming electrolyte uptake through optimized filling and wetting processes.

Background and Goals of the Cell-Fi Project

The rising relevance of electric storage technology for mobile and stationary applications demands an economic production of batteries on a large scale.  Due to the long wetting-times the process of electrolyte uptake is very time-consuming and therefore expensive. Up to now, there has been almost no scientific research on electrolyte filling.  Hence, there is large potential to increase throughput and save costs. Although best practice solutions exist, a systematic evaluation of the dominating processes and how to accelerate them is still missing.

Within the project Cell-Fi the issue of electrolyte filling and wetting is treated scientifically.

The main goals are:

  • reducing wetting time for large-format battery cells,
  • increase the resulting production cycles.

We investigate

  • which product and process parameters govern the electrolyte filling
  • and how changes of the wetting time affect cell performance.
Logo ProZell Cell-Fi

For this, we evaluate wetting properties of basic components. The focus is on the electrolyte and electrode as well as separator properties und their dependence on relevant process parameters.

 

Findings as a Direct Contribution to the Development of Economic Storage Technologies

To develop process knowledge for filling and wetting and to study its influence on battery performance the project partners consider pouch and prismatic cells. Through the investigation of the product- and process settings the potential for a reduction of wetting times is estimated.

This knowledge is integrated into our simulation models and we apply it also to other material systems or cell geometries. The results of the Cell-Fi project contribute to the development of an economic production of storage technologies for mobile and stationary applications.

The ITWM Task: Development and Application of Simulation Techniques for Process Optimization

The core competence of our institute is the application of mathematical methods (simulation, analysis, optimization, etc.) to a very wide spectrum of relevant industrial questions. Within this sub-project our goal is to develop and apply physics-based simulation techniques for a detailed evaluation of the wetting process in battery cells. The simulation tools can then be used to better understand and improve the electrolyte uptake.

Simulation Electrolyte Filling of Battery Cells