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Fraunhofer To Make Affordable And Smart EV Battery Cells

By Paul Pajarillo , Dec 16, 2015 10:03 AM EST
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The researchers of Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing, Engineering and Automation IPA has developed a new prototype intelligent battery cell that can slash EV costs in half. The prototype battery cells also communicate with each other, which creates manufacturing options that did not exist before.

A prototype intelligent battery cell was successfully researched and developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing, Engineering and Automation in Stuttgart, Germany. This newly discovered technology not only leads to electric vehicle prices significantly slashed down, but can also lead battery packs to have better capacity and long lifespans.

The prototype battery cells features built-in microcontrollers that document various battery parameters like charge, temperature, etc., and use these data to communicate with other battery cells, allowing for some battery tech options that do not exist before. The likely benefits may come into the process when considering the current status of assembling battery packs.

By far, batteries seem like colossal blocks that houses individual battery cell as well as its technological support. In theory, all individual cells in a battery have the same capacity of stored energy. However, this is somewhat different in general practice. Battery cell energy capacities vary due to production reasons. Since a series connection links the battery cells, this would be very problematic.

A battery is only as powerful as its weakest cell. If a cell charge is completely depleted, the energy that remains in other cells do not help. Therefore, a car or a device needs recharging. This way, manufacturers install similar capacity cells into a battery. Another inadequacy is that when a cell becomes faulty, the vehicle or the device will stop functioning.

In comparison, the new prototype battery cells allow a setup where dead cells do not require the battery to stop functioning as long as other cells still have electrical charge. The dead cells simply decouple from the others similar to a current by-pass. Depending on cell quality, the effect increases over time.

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