Be it for mobility or for stationary energy storage, the energy transition means batteries are more important than ever. The Cleanzone international trade fair offers the opportunity to talk with the experts and find solutions for the demanding requirements that production environments must satisfy for lithium-ion batteries.
Manufacturing batteries under extreme conditions: clean and dry
Europe has been making huge investments in researching and developing innovative battery systems to expand its expertise and accelerate progress. Sustainable, high-performance systems are in particular demand. That is why modern battery technology and the strict requirements for climate control and purity required for production facilities will be one of the top themes at Cleanzone 2020.
The trade fair’s strategy commission has set up a special working group for this issue that includes Karl Goll (Asys), Dr. Udo Gommel (Fraunhofer IPA), Josef Ortner (Ortner Reinraumtechnik), Thorsten Schmitt (Siemens) and Markus Thamm (cleanroom.de). In our interview, Markus Thamm tells us more about the trends in modern battery production.
Mr. Thamm, how would you describe the development of battery technology here in Germany?
“Germany is working to maintain its pioneering role in the production of batteries for electric mobility. The future here depends very much on the technological advances made and on government policy. Germany is fortunate to have numerous companies based here who already have the framework in place and have mastered the technologies.”
Batteries’ energy density has been improving continuously, particularly for mobility. What requirements does cleanroom technology have to satisfy for the production of highly complex lithium-ion batteries?
“The most important criterion is the extremely low level of humidity that can be achieved by air-conditioning and ventilation systems. At the same time, humidity must be kept within a range that does not pose a health hazard to people, as excessively dry air can cause mucus membranes to become dangerously dry. This is an area in which automation can offer solutions, although low humidity can cause problems here as well, as today’s automation technology is not designed to cope with such low moisture levels.”
What cleanroom solutions do you see as particularly suitable for battery production? Does the future belong to systems utilising mobile cleanrooms or flexible solutions?
“Clean and sterile environments are now a prerequisite for state-of-the-art production. Yet the climate within these cleanrooms continues to pose a challenge, particularly the humidity. This is an area in which mini-environments offer potential solutions for a wide range of processes. In the field of semiconductor technology, all processes capable of being encapsulated have been taking place in these mini-environments for years now, and the same thing is likely to occur in the field of battery production. The use of flexible solutions will be rendered more difficult by the complexity of the process.”
Why should people planning battery production facilities visit Cleanzone?
“As a trade fair for cleanroom technology, it goes without saying that Cleanzone attracts exhibitors specialising in automation. The ability to work with customers to develop innovative solutions and organise talks between users and providers during the trade fair can be very helpful for people who have to deal with these issues. Ventilation and air conditioning technology are also very well represented at Cleanzone, and there will be more than a few highly efficient solutions on offer.”