© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

Fraunhofer ILT is developing new concepts for the packaging of power electronics, for battery technology and for the construction of drive systems to meet the various requirements of e-mobility. Here, it is focused on improving laser-based processes for the production of battery modules and battery packs; in these processes individual cells are optimally interconnected to each other for performance and energy.

Here, it is focused on improving laser-based processes for the production of battery modules and battery packs in order to optimally connect individual cells in terms of performance and energy. ILT researchers are supporting e-mobility in several core topics, the construction, process development and design of production systems for batteries and power modules.

Encapsulation of battery cells and modules

In lithium-ion batteries, when active material comes in contact with water or oxygen, the lithium can be degraded, thus gradually destroying the battery. To prevent this interaction with the environment, metal housings (round cells, prismatic cells) or high-barrier multilayer films (pouch cells) are used.

A laser micro-welding process can be used to spatially limit the extent to which the foils or the metal housing are melted so that the active material inside is not damaged. This way, the encapsulated battery cell is optimally protected against external influences.

Laser bonding

Laser bonding, developed at Fraunhofer ILT, is used for a particularly flexible connection technology, in which a modified wire bonder is combined with a fiber laser, a galvanometric scanner and a beam guidance and focusing unit.

The system technology enables users to automatically feed a flexible connector to the component surface. When local power modulation is used, aluminum or copper strips with a cross-section of up to 300 x 2000 μm² can be welded onto the battery terminal.

Highly efficient energy storage

Highly efficient energy storage systems also make electrically powered transportation possible, namely in applications beyond the automobile. Battery-electric ships and ferries, even trains and airplanes, already run, in part, on batteries.

The development of solid-state batteries has the potential to significantly improve how efficient, sustainable and applicable electric mobility actually is. This type of battery offers a higher energy density, improved safety and a longer service life compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries.

Research and development is focused on improving the performance and efficiency of these batteries and on developing charging infrastructures and systems.

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