Joint Research Focuses on Energy Storage System for Electric Vehicles

Safe and efficient utilization of the constantly increasing energy density and power density of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in electric vehicles is targeted as a joint goal by Batterien-Montage-Zentrum (BMZ) in Karlstein, University of Applied Sciences Aschaffenburg, Germany and Linde Material Handling in Aschaffenburg.

Within the scope of a 3-year research project, funded with 480,000 Euros by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, an innovative storage system with extremely high peak performance and high energy density, based on the combination of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries and dual-layer capacitors, will be developed. Special focus of the researchers will be the optimization of energy management, protection of the energy storage system against overload and the development of new methods to safely isolate the batteries from the user in dangerous situations.

The partners of the project – Project Management: DLR Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt e.V. – are convinced that these technological challenges can be jointly overcome. Sven Bauer, Managing Director of BMZ Batterien-Montage-Zentrum GmbH: “If we were to more strongly pool the strengths in Germany of the existing know-how in battery management and energy management, in the medium term, we could definitely also take a leading position in the field of rechargeable batteries similar to that in today’s solar technology. The required technical knowledge for this is already available.”

Professor Dr.-Ing. Johannes Teigelkötter, Leader of the Laboratory for Electrical Machines, Power Electronics and Drives, which was founded in the year 2000 at the University of Applied Sciences Aschaffenburg, is also extremely optimistic. “In the past eight years, incredible progress has been made in cells and rechargeable battery technology as well as in the field of power electronics. In the meantime, lithium-ion rechargeable batteries have achieved an energy density and a power density that not too long ago was considered unthinkable and also nowadays, the energy management can be controlled much more accurately. Therefore, we are confident that our project will lead to tangible, commercially usable results.”

For this joint research project, BMZ provides facilities, equipment and qualified personnel. The University of Applied Sciences Aschaffenburg will employ an additional laboratory assistant and a part-time engineer. Among other things, the construction of a test machine for high-performance storage systems and energy management systems is planned. The students in Aschaffenburg will be involved in the project by means of lectures and laboratory internships. Topics for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are also planned.

The research findings will initially be tried tested and optimized using lift trucks with electric drive. Linde Material Handling in Aschaffenburg, which ranks among the world’s foremost makers of lift trucks and warehouse trucks, as pilot customer will provide a lift truck. According to Dr. Alfred Langen, responsible for the project at Linde, it is hoped that from the research work, not least of all, also new impulses will be found for Linde’s own product portfolio. “We anticipate that more powerful energy storage, in combination with an efficient energy management system, will significantly widen the range of applications for lift trucks in the industry,” says Dr. Langen.

The first interim results of the joint project are already planned for October of 2008. At this time Professor Dr.-Ing. Johannes Teigelkötter’s laboratory will host EMA 2008 – Elektro Mobil Ausstellung – with accompanying conference at the University of Applied Sciences Aschaffenburg.

About Batterien-Montage-Zentrum GmbH
Batterien-Montage-Zentrum GmbH (BMZ), located in Karlstein, Germany, is a system provider and specialist for intelligent battery solutions. Within only a few years, BMZ has established a leading position in the fast growing accumulator (rechargeable battery) market. Founded in 1994, the company now has more than 300 employees and is today one of the leading European manufacturers of customized battery solutions. The innovative power packs from BMZ are used in a wide variety of different products from leading suppliers ranging from electrical garden tools, mobile toys, drilling machines and battery powered screwdrivers to laptop computers and mobile telephones.