RSE Battery Laboratories Research Infrastructure (RSE-BatLabs-RI)
Electrochemical energy storage
Electrochemical energy storage
Ricerca sul Sistema Energetico
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The RSE-BatLabs-RI allows to carry out activities along the whole battery value-chain. In particular, it allows synthesis and characterization of new advanced materials (active and inactive), production of electrochemical storage cells (also hybridized with conductive materials) and tests of cells and storage systems to evaluate performances and aging trends for stationary and traction applications.
The RSE-BatLabs-RI is provided with conventional equipment, such as technical and analytical balances, furnaces, muffles, heating plates, laminar flow hoods. Specific devices are devoted to the treatment of powders and solid-state reactions: planetary ball mill, sieves, hood equipped with an absolute filter and two glove boxes that allow both the storage and handling of all those substances that require particular controlled working conditions (low oxygen and humidity levels). A very peculiar technique is available, the Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS), that allows the synthesis and sintering of materials starting from the powders of the precursors by operating in a controlled atmosphere (vacuum and/or inert) with high pressures and heating rates (i.e. 100-150°C/min); the SPS is able to operate up to 1900°C. The RSE-BatLabs-RI is also equipped with devices (doctor blade, hot press, etc.) necessary to realize different types of half or single cells at laboratory level (e.g. Swagelok or coin cells). A further peculiarity of RSE-BatLabs-RI is the availability of a fully equipped large glove box for the realization of cells on a pre-industrial scale, as pouch-type cells (this large glove box, co-owned with University of Milano-Bicocca, is under installation and will be ready and equipped before the end of 2021). Finally RSE-BatLabs-RI is provided with different cyclers, potentiostats, galvanostats, impedance meters and testing stations for the electrochemical, electrical and thermal characterization of storage systems of different sizes, from prototypal coin/Swagelok half/single-cells to complete battery packs and in controlled environment conditions. At the moment these instruments are available: bidirectional multichannel cyclers up to 5Vdc and ±1-100A for channel (total 40 parallel channels), potentiostat for EIS measurements, programmable dissipative testing stations from 66V/4.2kW (for battery modules) to 600V/21kW (for battery packs), climatic chambers in the ranges of 130litres-26m3 internal volume, -40+180°C temperature, 10-98% humidity (from cells/modules to battery packs).
Services currently offered by the infrastructure:
Advanced battery materials synthesis and characterization and cell assembly:
Synthesis and/or sintering, processing, analyses and testing of new receipts and or techniques (also Spark Plasma Sintering) for producing new advanced active materials and electrolytes for the development of innovative electrochemical cells;
Scale-up demonstration of the processes to develop innovative materials and cells, up to pre-industrial levels (the fully equipped large glove box can ensure scalability to pouch cells)
Cells/batteries tests and Post-mortem analysis:
performances characterization tests and aging tests on electrochemical energy storage systems, with different load profiles and ambient operating conditions. The tests can be carried on batteries, both commercial and prototypal, of different technologies (lithium-ion, sodium-ion, redox flow batteries, high temperature batteries, lead acid batteries, supercapacitors, etc.) and different sizes (from coin/Swagelok half cells to complete battery packs of many kWh)
abuse tests, such as overcharge, over discharge and short-circuit tests, on single cells or little modules (max 1 kWh of energy)
development and validation of electrical and thermal models of electrochemical energy storage systems
development and validation of aging models (both empirical and data driven)
development of SOC, SOE, SOH estimators bases on the models developed and validated with experimental tests
design, development and test of innovative BMS
post-mortem analysis of electrochemical cells.
At the moment RSE-BatLabs-RI is mainly used for national research activities: development of advanced materials for Sodium-ion batteries (with liquid or solid electrolyte and active materials hybridized with carbon) and implementation of diagnostic mechanisms and control strategies and devices for commercial Lithium-ion batteries. RSE expertise in these sectors could be a valuable support to external users’ needs.