On June 7th, 2023, the IMDEA Energy Institute organizes the Session on Energy Storage, needs, developments and funding possibilities with the Eureka program. Experts from the Centre for the Development of Technology and Innovation of Spain, CDTI, the Spanish Technological Platform for Innovation and Energy Storage, Batteryplat, and the companies Iberdrola, Acciona Energía, Power Electronics, TSK and Arraela will participate to discuss and answer questions from attendees about storage needs and how meeting them is being addressed in the grids to facilitate the deployment of generation from renewable sources, provide flexibility and security to the electrical system and achieve lower energy prices, as well as the most recent advances and innovations, the experience acquired in engineering and management with different storage technologies, the integration of batteries into generation and consumption systems, the projects of battery gigafactories, etc., to end presenting the financing opportunities offered by the international call Eureka for R&D projects in collaboration with entities from countries such as: Austria, Canada, Chile, France, Germany or Turkey.
Attendees will have the opportunity to visit the Smart energy integration lab (grid plant), showing a demo, the battery and supercapacitor testing plant and a laboratory.
The event is aimed at the industry related to energy generation and distribution, plant engineering and control, the production and use of batteries and other storage systems, technology and centers, universities and public entities.
Registration here. Deadline June 1st.
The international Defence and Security Exhibition FEINDEF, organized by the FEINDEF Foundation and with the institutional support of the Ministry of Defence, is the most important event held in Spain in this sector, it will take place at Ifema, Madrid, on May 17th, 18th and 19th, 2023.
The IMDEA Energy Institute will be present, actively participating in the conferences and business roundtables of the Brokerage Event where Félix Marín and Jesús Palma will hold bilateral meetings.You will find us at the section of the IMDEA Institutes network within the Madri+d Foundation for Knowledge stand (pavilion 8, stand 8B14), where the various expertises, technological offers and R&D projects of IMDEA Energy focused on the Defense sector will be presented.
The lithium-ion batteries on which countless devices depend today, from our phones to electric vehicles, have been around for more than 30 years and have become an essential component of current and future technologies.
Knowing their availability, longevity, performance and capabilities is now vital for users. But it is difficult to know these essential variables with certainty.
The question arises: should we trust the information that some devices such as the iPhone or any other mobile phone – or an electric vehicle – give us about the state of health of the battery? In other words, are we sure that the battery won’t let us down just when we need it most?
“Life” and “death” in one circuit
Lithium-ion batteries are made up of cells, each containing a positive and a negative electrode. These are immersed in an electrolyte that acts as a conductor to transport the ions. In this way, the electrons travel through the external circuit that powers the electrical devices and makes them work.
In the process, the batteries are discharged and have to be recharged again. This is called a cycle, and, like any other battery, the more cycles they experience, the sooner they “die”.
Studies measure how many cycles the battery lasts under certain electrical conditions. Unfortunately, changing factors such as operating temperature, charge/discharge rate and usage time lead to different lifetimes, making it really difficult to establish the health of batteries over time.
Will it be possible to estimate when a battery will cease to be operational, and what functionality it may have once it has reached the end of its life?
Industry 4.0 has been working on virtual simulation technologies since mid-2010, on so-called digital twins. These are sets of virtual information that fully describe a physical product.
In this area specifically, a lot of progress has been made in the development of simulation programmes for both the design of industrial plants and the virtual recreation of their processes.
These “twins” aim to analyse, optimise and improve the productivity of a plant in real time, reducing development times and detecting faults early.
With the right software, everything from industrial plants to devices such as batteries can be simulated. And thus have an exact digital reality in which to contrast the information recorded in the digital twin with that implemented in the battery management system.
This makes it easier for them to operate with maximum efficiency and ensure greater durability, as well as exploring their performance at specific moments, avoiding failures and even addressing possible optimisations.
Overly simple models
The problem is that batteries are very difficult systems to model faithfully.
Generally, indicators are used that are sometimes not directly measurable, such as the State of Charge (SOC), which represents the amount of charge the battery has compared to the maximum possible, and the State of Health (SOH), a parameter that assesses the performance of a battery compared to its ideal conditions.
Thus, the models are still too simple and their characteristics depend on the different types of batteries, their design and their type of manufacture.
Therefore, the accuracy of the indicators described above decreases, and not precisely in a linear way, and this must be taken into account in the operation of energy storage systems.
The BEST project
From Institute IMDEA Energía and the University of Alcalá de Henares, we are entering the field of digital twins for batteries with the Battery Energy Storage Digital Twin (BEST) project, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.
In this initiative we propose the use of digital battery twins through the integration of mathematical models and health status estimators, as well as the analysis of operating data using artificial intelligence techniques.
This will provide greater knowledge and control over the real conditions of the battery systems throughout their operating life, thus reducing the differences that may exist between the definition of the model and the real system.
These differences generally arise either when the passage of time affects the characteristics of the batteries, or when an accurate model cannot be produced, or when working with a detailed model is not possible or is ineffective.
As a strategy, we have chosen a twin that brings together different techniques and allows us to achieve this purpose by creating a dynamic model with two approaches:
- The first is the reproduction of the state of health of the batteries based on the estimation of the state of the most relevant indicators of the cells (the aforementioned SOC and SOH).
- The second is the development of battery degradation models, obtained through a proper characterisation of cells of different chemistries and electrochemistry (lithium-ion power and capacity batteries, including other types of batteries such as redox flow batteries).
This, integrated with an analysis of operating data using artificial intelligence techniques, will provide much more complete and useful information on the actual condition of battery systems.
With this framework, it would be possible, for example, to calculate when they will reach the end of their life cycle and determine their state of health, either to find an efficient recycling method or to give them a second life in a less demanding application.
If it works, we would have come up with nothing less than a way to avoid suddenly running out of battery on our mobile phone and, secondarily, ending up with the excuse of blaming the battery for being late for a meeting or not answering a message on time.
For yet another year, IMDEA Energía has actively participated in the Madrid Es Ciencia Fair, a major science dissemination event aimed at school communities and the general public.
Several of the centre’s researchers brought their work to Hall 5 of IFEMA Madrid through different experiments, workshops and participatory games over three days.
Thus, on Thursday 23 March, researchers from the Electrochemical Processes Unit and the Advanced Porous Materials Unit carried out practical activities on electrolytes, the manufacture of button cells and the decontamination of water using metal-organic networks.
In addition, Sergio Pinilla Yanguas, Catalina Biglione and Sergio Carrasco Garrido, postdoctoral researchers at the Institute, participated in the #MSCAFellow space of the Fundación para el Conocimiento madri+d, and on the Ágora stage.
On Friday 24th it was the turn of the Systems Analysis and Electrical Systems Unit. Attendees tested their knowledge of sustainable energy with a quiz and learned what a hybrid vehicle is and what the difference is between fast and slow recharging in an electric model through a board game in teams.
Javier Santaolalla also visited the IMDEA Institutes stand on this day to present the scientific dissemination platform Amautas, with the participation of several IMDEA Energy researchers involved in the project.
Finally, on Saturday 25th, the High Temperature Processes Unit team showed the participants some applications of heat generation by means of light by running a Stirling engine or melting chocolate with a homemade concentrator. In addition, virtual tours of our facilities were carried out using 3D glasses. For their part, researchers from the Photoactivated Processes Unit encouraged children to extinguish candles by generating CO2 and to make their own lava lamp with oil and water.
Thank you very much to everyone for joining us![/tatsu_text]
After three intense years of ground-breaking research, the EU research project NanoBat ends with revolutionary solutions for battery production in Europe and beyond. The consortium of 13 academic and industrial partners have jointly developed a novel nanotechnology toolbox for quality testing of Li-on and beyond Lithium batteries with a particular focus on the nanoscale structure of the SEI (solid electrolyte interphase) layer – an electrically insulated layer preventing ongoing electrolyte decomposition and responsible for battery performance and safety.
“With the new NanoBat technologies European manufacturers and SMEs will be adequately equipped to create a competitive manufacturing value chain for sustainable battery cells in Europe”, says project Coordinator Dr Ferry Kienberger from Austria-based industry partner Keysight Technologies.
The findings will impact various future endeavours: With the development of the now patented Keysight hardware EIS (electrochemical impedance spectroscopy), new products can be commercialised. The same is true for the QWED software modelling for integration in QuickWave and the newly established QWED GHz scanner. Further advances provide the base for future development. This comprises the high-throughput measure station developed jointly by Keysight and Kreisel, the fast electrochemical cycle test implemented at IMDEA, the new virtual quality gate data analytics prepared at Technische Universität Braunschweig, and the new scanning probe techniques designed by Ruhr-Universität Bochum and University of Burgos. Last but not least, Pleione Energy has established a battery pilot line for pouch cells and supercapacitors available to the wider battery community.
Over time, the green production methods can be scaled up through the involvement of global players in the automotive industry and spread to additional markets, such as speciality batteries for satellites, green buildings, GHz-materials or modelling software.
The findings will also foster the EU’s industrial competitiveness and innovation capacity and have a positive impact on the circular economy and the environmental footprint of battery production, as more precise testing methods result in a decrease of energy and raw material use and waste.
Further information on the results of the NanoBat project are available on the website (insert url) including short videos detailing the individual innovations.
Project Key Facts
Title: NanoBat – GHz nanoscale electrical and dielectric measurements of the solid-electrolyte interphase and applications in the battery manufacturing line
Start: 1 April 2020
End: 31 March 2023
Budget: 4,966,912.50 €
Coordinator: Keysight Technologies GmbH, Austria
- Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Austria
- Centro Ricerche Fiat, Italy
- EURICE – European Research and Project Office GmbH, Germany
- Federal Institute of Metrology METAS, Switzerland
- IMDEA Energy Institute, Spain
- Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria
- Keysight Technologies GmbH, Austria
- Kreisel Electric GmbH & Co KG, Austria
- Pleione Energy S. A., Greece
- QWED, Poland
- Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany
- Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany
- University of Burgos, Spain
- Launch of the EU-funded project SUN-to-LIQUID II Fuels from concentrated sunlight
- New EU labeling rules to make batteries last longer and keep them out of landfills
- IMDEA Energy opens its doors to more than 100 students during Science and Innovation Week
- David Serrano, Director of IMDEA Energy and Professor at Rey Juan Carlos University, receives the “Miguel Catalán” 2023 Research Award of the Community of Madrid for his scientific career
- Patricia Horcajada, head of the Advanced Porous Materials Unit at IMDEA Energy UAH Award for Research Excellence