SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS, IKERLAN, AND MONDRAGON UNIBERTSITATEA, PARTNERS OF FASTEST, A PROJECT TO DELIVER A FAST-TRACK HYBRID TESTING PLATFORM FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF BATTERY SYSTEMS
- THE THREE SPANISH ENTITIES WILL WORK WITH ELEVEN OTHER EUROPEAN ORGANISATIONS IN A STRATEGY BASED ON THE SMART COMBINATION OF PHYSICAL AND VIRTUAL EXPERIMENTATION FOR THE ACCELERATED DELIVERY OF TOP-PERFORMING BATTERIES IN THE AUTOMOTIVE, STATIONARY AND OFF-ROAD MACHINERY SECTORS.
- THE PROJECT HAS BEEN FUNDED WITH ALMOST 4.8 MILLION EUROS, OUT OF WHICH, AROUND 850,000 EUROS BELONG TO THE SPANISH PARTNERS
Madrid, June 8, 2023 – SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS, IKERLAN, and MONDRAGON UNIBERTSITATEA are the Spanish partners that will be in charge of executing the FASTEST project, an initiative funded by the European Union within the framework of the research and innovation programme Horizon Europe with the aim of developing a fast-track hybrid testing platform for the development of battery systems.
To develop and market Lithium-ion batteries, manufacturers need to evaluate their safety, performance, reliability, and lifetime according to standardized methods that consume a remarkable amount of time and economic resources. The time or number of tests required, the expensive equipment and a generalised trial-error approach are determining factors, together with a lack of understanding of the complex multiscale and multi-physics phenomena in the battery system. Besides, testing facilities are operated locally, meaning that data management is handled directly in the facility, and that experimentation is done on one test bench. When several technology developers are involved, the lack of centralised data management and harmonized design of experiments only hampers the process.
In this context, the FASTEST project, made up of fourteen partners from eight different European countries, will work for thirty-six months on a strategy based on the development of a fast-track hybrid testing platform that capitalizes on a smart Design of Experiments methodology for the accurate and reliable evaluation of cell, module, and battery pack parameters by combining physical experimentation and multi-scale and multi-physics modelling tools. This will enable an accelerated battery system research and development process for more reliable, safer, and long-lasting battery system designs. Hence, providing a key competitive advantage to European cell and battery manufacturers to provide quickly and efficiently the requested quality product for original equipment manufacturers in the international markets.
This innovative platform and its components will be demonstrated for three representative use cases: automotive, stationary, and off-road vehicles. The tool is aimed to be a flexible platform for any chemistry and application in the three previous scenarios mentioned since it will incorporate a complete set of physic-based and data-driven models able to replace most physical characterisation experiments.
The FASTEST project is expected to reduce the overall time and cost of battery production by at least 20 – 30 % as well as to decrease the number of physical experiments, which will have a direct consequence in the reduction of material costs and the efficient distribution of resources.
This pioneering concept will improve the competitiveness of the European battery industry across the value chain by cutting the time and investment required for the development of new advanced cell design and manufacturing processes since the firm’s (any cell-to-battery manufacturer) increased resources can be better allocated to increase the innovation capacity.
Within this project, SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS is responsible for administrative and financial management as well as for the communication, dissemination, and strategy for the future commercialisation of the outcomes born as part of the FASTEST project. For its part, IKERLAN will, among other tasks, support in the definition of specifications for the digital twins, evaluate the structural reliability and the fatigue loading conditions at module level, perform tests to characterise and validate the physics-based mechanical models, support the architecture design and the integration of the digital twins, as well as develop and install a demonstrator where part of the final validation testing will be performed. Finally, MONDRAGON UNIBERTSITATEA will lead the development of enhanced physics-based electro-thermal-mechanical modelling tools and will also contribute to the battery testing map with a focus on the potential of battery safety and reliability testing.
Europe as a future leader in the battery global market
Pushed by climate change policies, the increasing scarcity and price of fossil fuels, and the need to meet with the global clean energy demand, the market and applications for lithium-ion batteries has been rising over the past years, supported by a performance improvement and a reduction of production costs. Right now, the market is entering a period in which current generation Lithium-ion cells are evolving and, eventually, they will finally get to solid state fourth generation cells that are closer to reach the fundamental limits of this energy storage.
The emerging European battery sector, which aims to cover the whole value chain, has ambitions to lead the global market based on knowledge and innovation. For this vision to be achieved, European organisations need to be able to design and mass-produce better batteries thanks to the use of advanced materials, innovative cell and battery pack designs, cutting-edge battery, and thermal management systems. Thus, to lead the market being able to generate top-class batteries which are affordable, these should be reliable, safe, and of greater performance.
Led by ABEE, FASTEST is made up of BMZ Germany, COMAU SPA, FEV Europe, Flash Battery, Flanders Make, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, IKERLAN, INEGI, Mondragon Unibertsitatea, Surrey University, Sustainable Innovations, University of Ljubljana, and VTT.
The project has received €4,781,008 in funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation program under grant agreement number 101103755, of which €851,401 correspond to the Spanish partners.
About SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS
SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS is a Spanish consultancy that provides innovative services to a wide range of sectors across Europe: bio-based industry, renewable energy, and advanced materials, among others. The capabilities offered by SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS are structured around three main pillars that serve as a bridge between the conception of innovative ideas and the market: Innovation Management, Business Development Services and Training. Its main asset is the highly qualified team of engineers, environmentalists, communicators, and business development experts who work with them.
IKERLAN is a leading centre in technology transfer and in the contribution of competitive value to industry. It offers integral solutions combining different technological domains in two main areas: Electronics, Information and Communication Technologies (EICT), and Energy and Mechatronics. The technology centre’s team is currently made up of 400 people and has offices in Arrasate-Mondragón, Donostialdea and Bilbao. As a co-operative member of the MONDRAGON Corporation and the Basque Research and Technology Alliance (BRTA), IKERLAN maintains a sustainable, competitive business model in permanent transformation.
About MONDRAGON UNIBERTSITATEA
Mondragon Unibertsitatea is a non-profit cooperative university, belonging to the MONDRAGON Corporation, the leading Basque business group, the tenth in Spain and the largest cooperative group in the world (with 240 entities and nearly 70,000 workers). Its main characteristics are its firm commitment to innovation, its commitment to transformation, both personal and social, the quality of its educational programs and its practical orientation as a result of its close relationship with the industrial world.