A £300,000 feasibility study being led by engineering solutions provider, KWSP could significantly advance the UK’s competitive position in battery cell manufacturing.
Co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, the programme will see KWSP work with project partner WMG, at the University of Warwick, to complete a feasibility study and prototype demonstrator of a new electrode deposition technology. Electrodes form a critical part of lithium-ion batteries, commonly used in electric vehicle production.
The consortium is working to create a hardware platform that will digitally print electrodes more accurately, using suitable material formulations and at greater speeds. This will enable the development of more advanced and cost effective production techniques, bringing battery manufacture increasingly in line with digital industry advances.
If successful, it could enable the UK to sit at the vanguard of the global electric vehicle battery revolution, competing with China and other nations.
Commenting on the project, KWSP’s Managing Director, Kieron Salter, said: “The UK Government recently announced that only electrified vehicles will be sold in the country from 2040. This, together with changes across social, environmental and economic domains for energy storage and management, presents ever-increasing demand for next-gen battery technologies. To answer this critical need, ensuring the creation of effective production processes for battery manufacture and a connected supply chain is essential to support future sectors.
“Working closely with Innovate UK and WMG, we are exploring novel technology that could lead to significant efficiencies in the manufacturing life cycle and, consequently, the value chain. It will enable the reduction of costs, improved battery performance and understanding, as well as reduced waste of valuable raw materials and scrap. Once successful, our new production methods will provide a positive boost in the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy.”
Dr Emma Kendrick, WMG said: “There is a critical need to dramatically improve electrode deposition technology to increase production values and overall cell performance. This project will look at a range of electrode formulations, and develop process optimisation, with high consistency, speed and precision accuracies not currently available, and has the potential to revolutionise battery manufacturing.”
The project commences on 1st March 2018 and will run for 12 months.