Overview

There are many players in the field of battery technology, battery research, testing and related services, offered by private companies, academic institutions and government agencies. These entities service a small pieces of the entire vertical, which is often due to historic reasons; industrial testing providers branched out to include battery testing, research institutions both from university and unaffiliated organizations focus on basic and applied research only, etc. Applied Energy Hub was concipated as uniting all those small aspects under one roof to serve the entire spectrum of activities of the battery technology sector. Applied Energy Hub's services are grouped into four main cores - Testing of batteries and battery systems, applied R & D for our industrial customers, consulting on product development and -improvements and conducting workshops, seminars and courses.

Testing

Using the wide array of equipment available in our 440 m2 lab space, we can evaluate the performance of any battery (any battery chemistry, including lithium ion cells), module or pack in temperature-controlled environments in small to very large walk-in climate chambers or utilizing a refrigerant circuit test bench. Measurements can be conducted with battery testers operating in the ranges from a few milliampere and millivolt up to 1.2 kiloampere and 600 volt. The thermal properties and heat emission of the cells, modules or packs under investigation can be determined using calorimeters, a hot disk / TPS system, temperature sensors attached to the cells and high-precision, high-frequency thermal cameras.

In addition to that, the lab is equipped with multiple electrochemical impedance spectroscopy channels for non-destructive analysis of a battery’s electrochemical properties. Using the battery test equipment allows us to conduct lifetime investigations on customers’ cells under simulated target application conditions and load profiles. Further, material analysis using the calorimeters, a thermograph and a mass spectrometer can be conducted as well.

A specifically constructed battery abuse test chamber with fully automatic nitrogen fire extinguishing system and attached gas scrubber allows us to test the behaviour of big and small lithium ion cells (up to a capacity of 500 Wh) under extreme conditions such as over- and undervoltage, over-temperature, external short circuit, mechanical crushing and nail penetration. Together with our calorimeter that is equipped to bring a cell to thermal runaway and a thermograph to analyse the gases ejected from the cell during the runaway, we can develop a complete picture of the state of safety of a lithium ion cell.

One of our key strengths in regard to testing are our independence from battery manufacturers and battery system suppliers, which allows us to verify our customers' components' and systems' performance against specifications without bias. We further are able to customize tests together with our customers to our customers' requirements by creating special test plans and by using the workshops at our research campus to develop and build customized testing rigs. The experience of our team as well as our close links to academia allows us to support customer tests with knowledge and provide interpretations and analyses of test results; beyond that, recommendations on next steps based on the results obtained can be provided to the customer.

Apart from custom test plans, we can conduct tests against national and international standards (ISO, IEC, UL, ECE and more) governing batteries and battery systems both in our lab and by leveraging our network of partners.

Contact us to let us help you define your testing needs or if you would like more information about our equipment and test setups.

Industrial Research & Development

Our applied research fills the gap between university research and the industry. Our team can cover the entire spectrum of battery-related research fields from material analysis over cell construction and design to battery module and battery pack investigations, design and development, including battery management electronics. Our flexible structure allows us to conduct shorter research projects that are not of interest to the academic field as well as long-term projects and we can provide confidentiality of research results (publication optional) while at the same time leveraging the strength of our connections to the academia and academic research.

Our academic R & D partners can vice-versa benefit from our connection to the industry to get insights into state-of-the-art technology and engineering as well as allowing students to get in contact with those industrial partners in the form of Bachelor / Master theses that can be conducted on non-confidential research projects at our premises.

Typical R & D objectives include, but are not limited to:

  • Analysis of battery cells with regards to performance, thermal properties, safety and lifetime
  • Improvement of cell design down to geometric and material enhancements
  • Lifetime and performance analysis of battery modules and systems, influence of load profiles on characteristics
  • Design and manufacturing of prototype modules or packs
  • Determination and improvement of cooling system effectiveness
  • Study of novel battery management technology

Consulting

Our experience working in Asia and Europe as well as the knowledge gained from research and industrial projects allows us to advise customers in their battery cell / -module or -pack related projects with regards to performance, safety of the cells, functional safety, design of battery management electronics or international requirements. Our customers can benefit from the numerous connections to partners and industrial contacts that we can leverage to assist in the successful completion of customer projects.

Training & Workshops

With our team’s backgrounds covering diverse topics from cell materials, construction, properties and safety of cells to module- and pack design and BMS development over to functional safety aspects of supervising electronics and safe working in the presence of high voltages, we are ideally positioned to give trainings and courses in these topics, as well as speak at seminars or conferences. Our customers for these services profit from our close ties both to academia and the industry, which will enable us to stay current with the latest developments in the sector and share won insights with the attendants of our events. Our independence guarantees our customers that all knowledge they gain will be bias-free, while our testing and research facilities as well as our network of partners and contacts can help customers to clarify issues they were made aware of in the trainings that they face in their own development efforts.