India’s first hands-on Li-ion cell fabrication workshop successfully concludes in Pune
In its endeavor to promote Li-ion cell manufacturing in India and work towards building domestic capacity in advanced cell manufacturing, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) along with the Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET) successfully concluded India's first-ever hands-on Li-ion fabrication workshop in Pune on March 11-12, 2020.
The first-of-its-kind two-day workshop was designed by IESA experts along with C-MET researchers to develop industry understanding of the Li-ion cell manufacturing process. The participants, which included, several battery systems providers and manufacturers in India learned about raw materials and equipment required and detailed process
of Li-ion cell manufacturing
through a mix of hands-on lab training and expert presentations and lectures.
Day 1 of the workshop opened with the inaugural remarks by Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, President, IESA and President & MD of Customized Energy Solutions India, along with Dr. Bharat Kale, Director of C-MET, Pune. Dr. Walawalkar and Dr. Kale welcomed the participants that included eminent battery system providers, automotive research and Li-ion battery pack manufacturing companies in India, namely, Tata Auto Comp, Soft Bank Energy, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), Amara Raja, Lucas TVS and Exicom.
Addressing the participants at the workshop, Dr. Walawalkar stressed on the urgent need to take up R&D and advanced cell manufacturing by the Indian industries to reduce reliance on other countries.
Dr. Walawalkar added that energy storage and EVs have importance for national energy security, and given the recent pandemic of COVID-19, now, more than ever was the need to accelerate our efforts for building domestic capabilities.
Post the inaugural talk, Dr. Satyajit Phadke, Manager R&D at Customized Energy Solutions (CES) opened the sessions by giving an overview of lithium-ion batteries. Dr. Phadke discussed existing Li-ion chemistries and relevant parameters such as energy density, power density, etc. He traced the performance evolution of Li-ion battery technologies in terms of their gravimetric and volumetric energy density and cycle life.
Dr. Shrikant Nagpure, Assistant Manager R&D at Customized Energy Solutions gave an overview of the Li-ion batteries manufacturing process – the main theme of the workshop. The manufacturing process was covered in two sessions – part 1, covered different processes involved in manufacturing batteries and the equipment required for those processes. Dr. Nagpure gave a detailed description of each step of the manufacturing process and discussed the process of cell design, critical parameters therein and how that process affects battery performance and life and battery failure. In the part 2 of the session, he discussed the things to consider when companies decide scale up to GWh factories.
Dr. Tanmay Sarkar, Senior Consultant R&D at Customized Energy Solutions gave an overview of the supply chain of Li-ion cell manufacturing. He discussed the materials needed in Li-ion manufacturing, global reserves of raw materials, and present market conditions in India along with the price breakdown of those materials. He gave examples of companies making the raw materials used in the manufacturing process as well.
Day one of the workshop ended on a high note with participants visiting the C-MET facility where they toured the lab and learned the process of cell fabrication. IESA experts and C-MET researchers demonstrated the process of making Li-ion cells, following which each participant got the opportunity to make their own respective cells under expert guidance. These cells were subjected to the formation cycling 1st and most crucial slow charging process post fabrication. During the second day of the workshop, the participants were given the fabricated cells for performance validation. By combining hands-on work with detailed lectures, the participants were able to appreciate the intricacies underlying the process of cell fabrication.
Day 2 of the workshop was led by Dr. Phadke, beginning with the hands-on cell testing session. He covered performance tests and safety tests that are done in batteries, followed by a visit to the IESA testing lab. At the lab, participants got to the opportunity to build the program for cell testing and start the actual test. In parallel, during the classroom sessions the participants were trained to do an analysis of actual cell testing data collected during the testing process. Calvin Raj, Junior Analyst at Customized Energy Solutions demonstrated the equipment to the participants and the process of conducting tests.
Harsh Thacker, Director and Senior Analyst at Customized Energy Solutions presented India market opportunities for energy storage devices and gave an overview of the energy storage landscape in the country before concluding the final day of the workshop.
The two-day workshop culminated with certificate distribution to the participants by Dr. Walawalkar and Dr. Kale.
Speaking after the successful completion of the two-day workshop, Dr. Kale opined that, "It is our responsibility to support the industry so that India can pick up Li-ion manufacturing instead of depending on other countries."
India's first workshop held by IESA along with C-MET is a step towards it, he added.
Dr. Kale expressed gratitude towards the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) for creating such a facility and for advancing Li-ion fabrication initiative at C-MET Pune.
Speaking of her experience at the two-day workshop G Devi, Senior Engineer at Amara Raja Batteries Ltd lauded IESA and C-MET for organizing an informative and timely program.
"I have learned about the various critical parameters to be noted in deploying a Li-ion battery manufacturing plant," Devi said.
"I recommend this workshop not only to the battery manufacturers but also to people who are interested in the Li-ion battery cell fabrication."
Mahesh Padmanabh, EV/HEV Engineer at ARAI, another participant at the workshop added, "People in the automotive market do not have the necessary skill set to be entering the EV & battery market and IESA has done a great job, as this workshop has been helpful not only from the market point of view but from the point of the actual fabrication and analysis of lithium-ion cells."
After the successful completion and the tremendous response received from the industry, IESA is in the process of finalizing the schedule for the next workshop which will most likely be held in the month of May. We welcome anyone and everyone interested in learning to attend the workshop, irrespective of their background and experience. If interested, please check details of the next event on the IESA website.