KIT exhibits energy solutions

  • April 07, 2016
  • News

April 7, 2016 -Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) will present innovative technologies for future energy supply, lighting, and lightweight construction (hall 2, B16). By means of a production concept developed by KIT, battery packs for stationary storage systems can be produced safely, flexibly, and at low cost. KIT has also developed a sustainable method for the production of novel organic solar cells: The coating process does not require any substances hazardous to health or the environment. In addition, KIT will present luminescent coatings for three-dimensional components, a process for preforming textile materials in lightweight construction, and a 3D printing technology for high performance polymers.

“The big projects of our society, such as energy transition or future mobility, will only succeed, if science and industry exchange knowledge and cooperate closely. Our clear objectives are innovative technologies that are sustainable and affordable at the same time. I am very happy that we will present such processes at this year’s Hannover Messe. They were developed by researchers of KIT together with industry partners or by our spinoffs,” the President of KIT, Professor Holger Hanselka, says.

Stationary Storage Systems: Battery Pack Assembly

Stationary storage systems are crucial to future energy systems with high shares of fluctuating renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power. Development of reliable, highly efficient, and inexpensive storage systems is necessary for the success of the energiewende and a central activity of KIT. In this connection, KIT scientists have developed an innovative manufacturing and assembly concept for modular, scalable battery packs. “The automated robot production line ensures reliable and efficient welding of battery cells. Our focus lies on consistently high process quality and on production speed and flexibility,” Dr. Olaf Wollersheim of KIT’s Competence E Project explains. With an overall welding time per battery pack of eight spherical cells of less than one minute, the optimized assembly process also is economically interesting. The battery packs can then be interconnected to battery systems of high storage capacity.

Renewable Energy Sources: Environmentally Friendly Solar Cells

Organic solar cells can open up entirely new markets for photovoltaics, because these “plastic solar cells” have many advantages over conventional inorganic cells: “They are light, mechanically flexible, and can be produced in many colors. Thus, they open up a variety of applications,” Dr. Alexander Colsmann of KIT’s Light Technology Institute explains. So far, precipitation of layers of lightabsorbing organic semiconductors has required the use of solvents harmful to health. KIT researchers, in cooperation with MJR PharmJet GmbH, have now developed an environmentally compatible process for the coating and printing of organic semiconductors, by means of which consumption of materials and energy and, hence, costs are reduced. The novel solar cells reach about the same efficiency as conventional organic solar cells. Last year, the project received GipsSchüle Foundation’s 50,000 Euro research award.

Light Technology: Printing Process Makes 3D Objects Glow

Conventional electroluminescent (EL) foils can be applied easily to flat surfaces, but they can be bent to a certain degree only. The new process developed by KIT in cooperation with the company of Franz Binder GmbH & Co Elektrische Bauelemente KG now for the first time allows for direct printing of electroluminescent layers onto threedimensional components and curved surfaces. “In conventional EL carrier foils, the luminescent material is located between two

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) pools its three core tasks of research, higher education, and innovation in a mission. With about 9,300 employees and 25,000 students, KIT is one of the big institutions of research and higher education in natural sciences and engineering in Europe.

Learn More

Did you enjoy this great article?

Check out our free e-newsletters to read more great articles..