Project “Metalit” simulates the chemistry in the battery


It is one of the big challenges of e-mobilitiate: Batteries with metallic lithium electrodes promise higher energy and power densities. However, these batteries can come to electrochemical processes that affect their safety and performance. The Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Industry and Energy System Technology (IEE) develops according to own information in the projectMetalit” promoted by the Federal Ministry of “Metalit” models with which these processes can be simulated. The software can be used to verify the algorithms in battery management systems. This saves expensive, elaborate tests with real batteries.

“Especially with a view of the electromobility, the market potential of Beyond Lithium Ion ‘batteries is enormous,” says Lars Pescara, scientific staff at the Fraunhofer IEE. Because with a theoretically higher energy and power density electric cars would be more range. “With our modeling, we support battery manufacturers and car suppliers to bring this potential to the street.”

The gain in energy and power density through metallic lithium electrodes is associated with some challenges, it says. First waxes by the reaction of the lithium with the electrolyte a protective layer on the electrode (solid electrolyte interphase, being) protecting the electrode. This process also takes place in conventional lithium-ion batteries. When using metallic lithium electrodes (without stabilizing grating), it is always torn down because of the mechanical stress when loading the battery, re-educated and thickened over time. This raises the internal resistance and cell performance is reduced.

Furthermore, the lithium waxes in deposition dendritic, so the findings. The needle-shaped structures can penetrate the separator in the battery and produce direct electrical contact with the counter electrode. As a result, there is a short circuit. Dendrites therefore mean a significant security risk.

These effects should counteract the battery management systems (BMS): they have the task of controlling the operation of the battery packs in such a way that the Be growth is minimized and the formation of dendrites is avoided. Should it nevertheless come to a defect, they would have to be identified early. Thus, affected batteries could be exchanged before they represent a security risk.

For these tasks, the BMS use complex algorithms that close from measured variables of the battery such as current, voltage and temperature to your condition. In order to optimize the operation and to recognize damaged batteries, these algorithms would have to be carefully verified, it continues to say. This could happen with the help of real batteries, which are operated under different conditions. However, these have costs – for laboratory infrastructure, specialist staff, safety technology and a high time for measurements.

According to the Fraunhofer Institute, the models developed in the “Metalitproject can simulate any battery states and pass on to the BMS. So the complex measurements with real batteries would be superfluous. In addition, the results are even more reliable due to the better reproducibility of the data.

For the models, however, the temporal development of SE growth and dendrite formation should be known. Therefore, the Fraunhofer IEE is working with “Metalit” with the research institute precious metals + metal chemistry (FEM): In an experimental analysis, experts of FEM characterize the dynamic properties of the metallic lithium electrodes within the battery.

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2 thoughts on “Project “Metalit” simulates the chemistry in the battery”

  1. I’m rather scared that it has not been the standard for years, as amazed what they do there. Simulations are always faster, controlled and non-invasive as an attempt. Since you have had to invest much more for a long time.

  2. This research project is certainly very helpful in order to advance faster in battery research and thus make the e-mobility more efficient. The current government supports the economy financially stronger than research, which has an impact on the period of research results. This is better in other countries.


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