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17-06-2019 | Materials Technology | News | Article

The New Battery Generation: A Project on a Large Scale

Leyla Buchholz

In the new infrastructure project NextGenBat, six institutes are paving the way for the research and development of future battery systems. RWTH Aachen University, Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT are involved in the project.


It is already expected that the solid fuel battery will have a significant impact on electromobility over the next ten years. To successfully industrialize such technologies, production engineering is a key requirement. “The NextGenBat project will make it possible for us to invest now in the technologies of the future and to explore the path towards industrially manufacturing next-generation battery cells, “explains Dr.-Ing. Heiner Heimes, senior engineer at the Institute for Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components PEM at RWTH Aachen University. “As production engineers, we can help transform material innovations into competitive products. “

In the NextGenBat project, the six participating institutes from Aachen, Jülich and Münster are jointly developing pre-competitive research infrastructure within two years and with a budget of around €10 million. In it individual process steps will be created as module components on a pilot plant scale. With these decentralized solutions, the project participants shall pave the way for the entire value chain of the next battery generation, including all interfaces from the material synthesis of the active materials to the recycling of the cells.

Dr. Alexander Olowinsky, head of the Micro Joining group at Fraunhofer ILT, is working on laser-based production processes for the next generation of batteries. “NextGenBat offers us the opportunity to explore the potential of laser technology as a key technology for future cell and module concepts at an early stage and to test it in innovative systems engineering. We are thus providing important impulses for battery development,“ explains the scientist. The first devices and systems are already being procured and will later be available at the various institutes – partly in newly created laboratories – for further developments in battery technology in research projects.

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