360° video: Battery Prototyping Laboratory - Transcript
[On screen: 360° Battery Prototyping Laboratory, Boucherville, Québec]
Welcome to NRC's Battery Prototyping Laboratory in Boucherville. It is the only facility of its kind in Canada accessible to industry and to the scientific community. This is where innovative batteries are developed using the same manufacturing processes as in industry. Battery manufacturing involves multiple steps and all details have to be carefully considered.
One of the secrets in the manufacturing of a battery is the formulation of the active material inks for the electrodes. The mixing method and the sequence of addition of the different components are particularly important. Our formulation experts can adapt the composition and the mixing methods to your material, to optimize battery performance.
The ink is coated on both sides of a metal foil that acts as a current collector, with a precision in the micron range. Our slot-die coater has been designed to enable the use of small amounts of ink, which is particularly useful if you have developed a new promising material in your laboratory but do not have the capability to produce the kilograms usually required for pilot-scale validation.
The coated metal foil is then calendered to compact the active layers to a specific porosity, in order to maximize the battery's volumetric energy density. It is then cut into electrodes of the desired size, and collected in magazines.
Once the 2 types of electrodes (anodes and cathodes) are prepared, we can proceed with the battery assembly.
[On screen: Battery Assembly Laboratory Boucherville, Québec]
The battery assembly laboratory is located in a dry room. Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries must be free from any traces of humidity during their fabrication.
The assembly steps are the same as in the industry. Multiple quality control tests are systematically carried out and documented at every step of the manufacturing process.
The stacking of the electrodes and the separator is entirely automated in order to obtain a perfect alignment between the electrodes.
The number of electrodes will define the final capacity of the battery. After welding the electrode tabs using an ultrasound technique, the battery is inserted into a pre-embossed pouch laminate, and the pouch is thermally sealed on 3 sides.
The electrolyte is then injected under vacuum to ensure optimal battery performance. This highly flexible installation provides the opportunity to replace each of the components of the battery with your technology and to compare its performance to commercial products.
We can test and benchmark different current collectors, active materials, electrode additives, binders, separators, electrolyte components, etc.
Two battery sizes are available: R&D size batteries for the first level of pilot-scale demonstration, and large batteries with capacities up to 30 Ampere hour, which can be used to assemble packs for various industrial applications including electric vehicles.
Innovation in battery materials is the key to address the challenges of energy storage, including cost reduction and improved energy density. Whether for portable electronics, renewable energies, or vehicle electrification, NRC's Battery Prototyping Laboratory and its highly qualified staff are at the forefront of the technology and can help you solve these challenges.
[On screen: official signature, National Research Council Canada / Conseil national de recherches Canada]
[On screen: Government of Canada wordmark]