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New COMET Center for Battery Safety led by TU Graz – pv magazine Germany

New COMET Center for Battery Safety led by TU Graz – pv magazine Germany

Researchers at the Institute for Vehicle Safety will work with national and international partners to make batteries safer, longer-lasting and more sustainable. The FFG Foundation, the states of Styria and Upper Austria and companies are investing around EUR 19 million.

This is a major success for TU Graz and proof of the outstanding competence of its researchers in the field of future battery technology: The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) has approved the application for the establishment of the new COMET-K1 “Battery4Life” centre. In cooperation with international partners from science and business, a team led by Christian Ellersdorfer from the Institute for Vehicle Safety will conduct research to improve the safety, service life and sustainability of batteries. The FFG Foundation is supporting the project with a total amount of around EUR 6.5 million, the State of Styria is contributing EUR 2.6 million and the State of Upper Austria EUR 0.6 million. In addition, partners from the automotive and electronics sectors are investing around EUR 9 million over the planned four-year period.

With the approval of the K1 Battery4Life Center, TU Graz is expanding its position as Austria’s most successful university in the FFG’s COMET program. “I am particularly pleased with the funding for Battery4Life,” says TU Graz Rector Horst Bischoff. “It demonstrates the outstanding expertise in battery research that we have built up at TU Graz over many years together with industrial partners. Together with the hydrogen research center HyCentA, we have now integrated concentrated energy storage technology on the Inffeld campus.”

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Safe battery operation throughout the entire life cycle

Due to the expansion of e-mobility, the demand for batteries is growing rapidly, and large amounts of money are being invested worldwide in research projects to increase battery capacity and develop new storage materials. “Due to the large number of battery types, there is an increasing need for research into safe operation in a wide range of application areas and over their entire life cycle,” says Christian Ellersdorfer. The COMET Battery4Life Center is building its work on the COMET SafeLIB project and can also rely on a test center in the field of battery safety (Battery Safety Center Graz) on the TU Graz Inffeldgasse campus. The Institute for Vehicle Safety has developed new experimental methods and virtual procedures. The Battery4Life researchers want to improve and expand them using artificial intelligence methods in order to achieve more accurate predictions with fewer experiments and less computing power.

Reusing used batteries

In addition, the Competence Center is looking into ways to reliably assess the safety status of used batteries. Suitable batteries that have been disposed of, for example from electric vehicles, could be reused as a stationary electricity storage and would not need to be disposed of, which would make a significant contribution to greater sustainability. When developing assessment methods, the researchers will take into account not only technical aspects but also economic efficiency and legal issues related to data protection, warranty and liability.

Partners from eight countries

Scientific partners include numerous institutes at TU Graz as well as universities and research institutions from Austria, Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland and the USA. AVL List, AVL DiTEST, Infineon, Fronius, Magna Steyr, Audi, BMW and Porsche are participating as corporate partners.

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Two more COMET centres in partnership with TU Graz receive funding approval

In addition to Battery4Life, two existing COMET-K1 centres with corporate participation from Graz University of Technology have received funding for another four years: Pro2Future and the Polymer Competence Centre Leoben.