A Storage Battery for the Entire World

Author:
University of Freiburg

Date
06/02/2020

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The lithium-ion batteries currently available for e-mobility are being optimized primarily to increase power density. However, the requirements are different for batteries for stationary energy storage in rural, decentralized electrification. They should be inexpensive, consist of readily available materials, be easy to recycle, have a robust cell chemistry and not be complex in its overall operation. In order to combine these contrasts, the "Electrochemical Energy Systems" junior research group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) at the University of Freiburg and Hahn-Schickard is working on a new storage concept. The researchers led by Dr. Matthias Breitwieser and Dr. Severin Vierrath are combining this concept with a scalable and intelligent battery system. The "Plug-In" project has now been included in the "World Storage" program. With this program, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) wants to support new ideas that have the potential for leapfrogging innovations and accelerate their implementation. The twelve-month concept phase of the Baden-Württemberg consortium will start on June 1, 2020, after which the BMBF will provide up to two of the currently approved "World Storage" projects with up to five million euros over a maximum period of three years in order to transfer the ideas to practical applications.

During their work for the non-governmental organization "Ingenieure ohne Grenzen e.V." ("Engineers without Borders") and a workshop on rural electrification through photovoltaics, the applicants came up with the idea of developing a scalable, flexible storage system made of cheaply available materials. In order to be able to realize the project as quickly as possible, the Freiburg scientists and their team from IMTEK are working together with the medium-sized battery manufacturer BOS Balance of Storage Systems AG from Neu-Ulm, Prof. Dr. Peter Adelmann from the Institute for Decentralized Electrification, Entrepeneurship and Education GmbH & Co.KG (id-eee) in Ulm and the start-up companies Fothermo and Fosera.

The research group "Electrochemical Energy Systems" at the Laboratory for MEMS Applications of Prof. Dr. Roland Zengerle and Hahn-Schickard has been in existence since 2013, with almost 25 young scientists and students researching the application and characterization of new materials in electrochemical energy systems such as fuel cells, electrolysis and batteries.

EurekAlert!, the online, global news service operated by AAAS, the science society: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-06/uof-asb060220.php

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