Hybrid storage system heading for small-scale production

Scientists in Germany are preparing a hybrid storage system for small-scale production. The battery can be charged in just a few seconds, has a large capacity and can last ten to twelve years.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) in Germany are working with the battery manufacturer Varta and other partners to develop a powerful hybrid storage system that combines the advantages of lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors.

According to a Fraunhofer statement, the PowerCaps can be charged in a matter of seconds, operate at temperatures of up to 85 degrees Celsius, and withstand a hundred times more charge cycles than conventional battery systems.

The researchers have chosen to prepare their hybrid storage system for small-scale production so that individual battery manufacturers can produce the PowerCaps in an intermediate step between laboratory production and large-scale production.

“This way, we can create the ideal conditions for large-scale production, optimise processes and ensure production that follows the principles of Industrie 4.0 from the outset,” said Joachim Montnacher, head of the energy unit at IPA. Such an approach provides companies with a competitive advantage and cuts the time it takes to ramp up production by more than 50 per cent.

The individual manufacturing systems are equipped with numerous sensors, allowing them to communicate with one another and store the results in a cloud, an approach that strongly appeals to Varta.

Said Hubert Schein, CEO of Varta: “Intelligent production systems increase efficiency, process safety and flexibility.” They also make it possible to reliably predict product quality.

The project is funded by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs.

 

Image credit: Fraunhofer IPA

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