SPARTACUS: Smart sensors for future fast charging


The SPARTACUS research project as part of the EU research initiative BATTERY 2030+ has now been running for around a year. The project has successfully mastered the first milestones and project goals. On the way to sensor-based optimisation of charging times, range and service life for lithium-ion batteries, the SPARTACUS project team has worked on a number of partial aspects over the past 12 months. Now the individual components can be combined into a complete system.

SPARTACUS – the abbreviation stands for “Spatially resolved acoustic, mechanical and ultrasonic sensing for smart batteries”. The research project aims to develop a multifunctional sensor array technology for batteries that transmits the relevant data to the battery management systems for optimal charging and discharging depending on the battery condition. The project focuses on mechanical and acoustic sensors, supplemented by electrochemical impedance measurements and temperature sensors. The SPARTACUS sensor technology is intended to detect faults and negative influences on battery life and performance at an early stage.

The SPARTACUS project team started its work one year ago. The goal is to ensure that previously unused reserves in battery management are exploited in the future by means of comprehensive battery monitoring. This should make it possible to reduce charging times by up to 20 % without compromising reliability and service life. "The SPARTACUS project has broken new ground in many respects," explains coordinator Gerhard Domann of Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC. For example, he says, not only have new sensor concepts been prepared by combining acoustic-mechanical and thermal sensors with advanced analysis methods, but the modelling of the processes in the battery cell has also been advanced in such a way that new prediction models for battery condition and optimal charge control are possible. "After the first year of the project, all working groups have successfully advanced their individual project work, and all specifications have been defined. Now it is a matter of putting the puzzle pieces together and linking them into a successful monitoring technology for batteries," Domann continues.

Within SPARTACUS, CSEM’s main objective is to build the next battery management system able to include novel sensing capabilities coming from the sensorised cell and ORP-EIS (Odd Random Phase Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy). As well as developing a fully operational 24V battery module integrating such sensors and CMSs.

Caption: Sensor array and extended CMS circuit for measuring and evaluating the sensor signals. The sensor array measures the deformation of the battery during cycling (photo: K. Selsam, Fraunhofer ISC)

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