Batteries and energy storage systems are key technologies for electric mobility
frank peters / Fotolia
2018-03-22 press release

Fraunhofer ISE, Fraunhofer EMI and VDE establish a new competence center for batteries and storage systems

Market-oriented research and development and the testing and certification of batteries and energy storage systems support the global energy transition and the expansion of electric mobility. More than 30 million euros are expected to be invested in the new competence center in Freiburg.

Press Officer

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, the Ernst-Mach-Institute, EMI, and the VDE Technology Association establish a new competence center in Freiburg for batteries and energy storage systems. In so doing, the three partners respond to the booming demand for safe and commercially viable batteries and energy storage systems as key technologies for electric mobility and the increasing use of renewable energies. The portfolio includes applied, market-oriented research and development (R&D) of battery cells and systems, developing new test standards, performing safety and performance tests, and certifying components and complete battery systems along with energy storage plants in the field, particularly in the “bankability” and “insurability” of storage projects. The focus is on stationary storage systems, electric mobility and portable applications.

Market-oriented development of battery and storage Systems

The Fraunhofer ISE has years of experience in researching, developing and testing storage batteries, ranging from cells to modules to systems and their integration in holistic systems. Safety tests that also include destruction and crash tests of full vehicle batteries are particularly important in electric mobility–a field in which the Fraunhofer EMI has years of expertise and different testing facilities. With their knowledge in the fields of standardization and certification, the VDE experts offer certification of performance, service life, reliability and data security for battery and storage systems, going beyond established safety standards.

Baden-Württemberg becomes a center for battery testing

Establishing the competence center for batteries and energy storage systems at the Freiburg location seamlessly complements the numerous activities of the state government of Baden-Württemberg in the fields of battery technology and electric mobility. The VDE and Fraunhofer ISE’s Freiburg center particularly assists the industry in quality assurance and developing new production capacities. This is of significant importance for the automotive industry in their expansion of electric mobility. Go quicker from lab to fab: thanks to the center’s development-related tests and certifications, companies can shorten their product development cycles and therefore ensure their competitiveness in a dynamic, global market. More than 30 million euros are expected to be invested in the new competence center over the next three years. Operations are slated to begin in the first quarter of 2019.

“I am very happy that we are getting this pioneering project off the ground together with our long-time partner, VDE, and our partner institute, Fraunhofer EMI. Numerous new applications were made possible due to the successes in the Fraunhofer ISE’s research and technological development in batteries and energy storage systems with higher energy densities and longer service lives. The Fraunhofer EMI’s expertise in safety technology ideally complements this portfolio. Costs for battery components, along with the entire energy storage system, have considerably decreased. We must continue to work hard on this and also provide the greatest-possible safety and trust in this fast-growing global market with standards and test procedures”, says Prof. Hans-Martin Henning, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE.

Ansgar Hinz, CEO of VDE, adds: “Batteries, energy storage systems and renewable energies are among the VDE’s core competencies. Our VDE Renewables Group has already responded to the strong dynamic and quick development of new products in the energy sector for many years now. Due to today’s significantly stronger, system-based approach in renewable energies and energy storage systems, a close integration of battery tests, power electronics and software systems is becoming increasingly important. In addition, there are new challenges in the IT security of systems. The VDE has already successfully implemented this approach with Fraunhofer ISE in other sectors of renewable energies, and we will also continue this approach together in energy storage systems with this global initiative.”

About Fraunhofer ISE

With 1200 employees, the Freiburg-based Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE is Europe’s largest solar research institute. It creates the technical preconditions for efficient and environmentally-friendly energy supply as part of the research focal points of energy efficiency, energy production, energy distribution and energy storage. One special aspect of Fraunhofer ISE is its excellent technical infrastructure, which is currently divided into eight laboratory centers and four technology evaluation centers that are close to the production line. Furthermore, the institute has several accredited test Centers.

About VDE

With 36,000 members (including 1,300 companies) and 1,600 employees, the VDE Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies is one of the largest technical and scientific associations in Europe. The VDE embraces science, standardization work and product testing and certification under one roof. The association’s thematic focuses range from the energy transition to industry 4.0, smart traffic and smart living to IT security. The VDE is especially committed to promoting research and the youth and to consumer protection. The VDE mark, known and respected by 67 percent of Germans, is considered to be a symbol for the highest safety standards. The VDE’s main headquarters is located in Frankfurt am Main.

About VDE Renewables GmbH

VDE Renewable GmbH is a company that 100% belongs to the VDE. Important tasks of the Alzenau-based company include marketing, business development and project management for certifications and other services in the field of quality assurance in the worldwide market for renewable energies. VDE Renewables GmbH closely collaborates with the VDE Testing and Certification Institute and all structures of the VDE Group. In an international network consisting of partners like the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, it tests and certifies components and systems according to the highest quality Standards.

About Fraunhofer EMI

The Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, the Ernst-Mach-Institute, EMI deal with the physics, engineering, and computer science of fast-executing processes in experiment and simulation. The Institute possesses long-term expertise in highly dynamic processes, and there is a focus on researching the crash behavior of batteries.   Fraunhofer EMI offers solutions for industrial applications with a focus on reliability, safety, resilience, efficiency and sustainability.