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A factory for long-life power batteries

Solid-state batteries are the new stars in the battery sky: fire- and explosion-proof, 15-year lifespan and cheap to produce. In Saxony (Germany), the company Altech wants to manufacture the new batteries. Leadec is responsible for the planning of plants and production processes for the future-oriented manufacturing.

Eight years ago, Fraunhofer IKTS and battery manufacturer Altech started developing a new solid-state battery. Now the technology is ready for industrial product development and a suitable site has also already been found: A new plant for the high-performance batteries is to be built in the Schwarze Pumpe industrial park in Saxony, Germany, where Altech is located. Now, the go-ahead was given for the feasibility study based on the Fraunhofer IKTS process description. With its engineering services, Leadec is responsible here for reproducing the process industrialization in a complete factory planning. "Leadec has extensive experience in battery manufacturing and will play a key role in driving the final feasibility study for the commercialisation of CERENERGY® solid-state sodium-alumina batteries," said Uwe Ahrens, CEO of Altech Advanced Materials AG.

Initial target: 100 MWh per year

The production plant planned by Altech Group is expected to produce 10,000 battery modules per year, each with a capacity of 10 KWh. There are many possible applications for the solid-state batteries. The batteries will be installed in stationary energy storage systems, for example for renewable energies (wind, solar), as a component of the charging infrastructure for e-vehicles and in industry. Batteries also serve as energy storage in private households to provide a buffer between power generation and power consumption. And last but not least, electricity suppliers can avoid peak load capping in their megaparks.

Components conserve resources

The sodium-aluminum oxide solid-state batteries are particularly compelling because of the raw materials used. Saline is mainly used, with small amounts of nickel. This makes the batteries fire- and explosion-proof and at the same time easy to store. Added to this are a service life of around 15 years and estimated 40% lower production costs compared with lithium-ion batteries.

Battery production know-how

Leadec is involved in several battery manufacturing projects. Services range from the planning of production sequences, installation of the line and IT-based quality testing to the creation of prototype cells. For example, Leadec supported the establishment of Volkswagen's battery production at the Braunschweig site. In existing battery production facilities - such as those of Mercedes-Benz in Kamenz - Leadec's experts maintain the battery lines.

Video: Factory Talks about "Factory Planning"

State-of-the-art factories are expected to run more efficiently and place new demands on their operators. From networked production processes and a high degree of automation to close cooperation with customers and suppliers. What does this mean for the field of production planning?

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