Opening of pouch cell prototyping facility
Opening in late 2022, the University of St Andrews has created a versatile battery scale-up facility to complement and support academia and business with pouch cell production facilities. Thanks to funding from Scottish Enterprise (ERDF), St Andrews and the Faraday Institution, the facility features:
- A dry room with a dew point of -50°C, making it suitable for Na-ion battery manufacture, as well as Li-ion
- Roll-to-roll coater
- Temperature-controlled inert atmosphere mixers
- Reel-to-reel calender
- Z fold stacker
- Electrolyte filling, degassing, and sealing
- Test chambers, cycling and formation
Two technicians run the facility, which has the capacity to produce several hundred cells per year. Initially, tooling allows for two cell sizes 100 x 300 x 15 mm or 100 x 150 x 15 mm.
St Andrews is keen to collaborate with established battery companies or those wishing to enter the battery supply chain. Thanks to ERDF support, favourable terms are available to Scottish SMEs
The facility is a powerful tool in NEXGENNA’s mission to support the UK commercialisation of sodium-ion batteries. The facility will also allow researchers to combine and test nascent materials from the NEXGENNA project to manufacture cells in commercially relevant formats. Thus, in a virtuous cycle with academic research, the project team can address scaleup issues and drive towards excellence in cell performance. Working with industry partners, the initiative aims to minimise the knowledge gap between lab and factory and reduce the time to market.
Image: Schematic of a prototyping facility. Image courtesy of Munters. The new dry room at St Andrews is 8m x 14m
Case study published December 2022.