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University of Oxford partner in €5 Million EU Horizon battery research project

A consortium of European partners spanning research, battery cell manufacturing, testing and system providers has launched the EU Horizon DigiBatt Research Project

Members of the Horizon EU-funded DigiBatt project at the kick off meeting, February 2024 in Oslo

Members of the Horizon EU-funded DigiBatt project at the kick off meeting, February 2024 in Oslo

The EU Horizon DigiBatt Research Project is a significant initiative aimed at addressing the growing demand for batteries in Europe and the need for clean and sustainable energy solutions. The project will run for 3 years until December 2026.

DigiBatt aims to reduce the cost and time to market for new batteries by combining traditional testing methods with state-of-the-art digital techniques. The project will standardize, automate and accelerate the battery testing process with several novel approaches, developing:

  1. Standard semantic data models for battery testing, which can be read and understood by both humans and machines.
  2. A digital-twin infrastructure linking experimental testing rigs with simulation-based virtual testing workflows and allowing for automatic triggering of tests.
  3. Data-driven approaches to support the intelligent design of experiments and tailored testing workflows.
  4. Reliable new models for predicting battery lifetime and safety within system-level infrastructure.

The DigiBatt consortium brings together world-leading institutions with the capacity to make this vision a reality: Norway’s SINTEF Research Institute (Coordinator), DLR (German Aerospace Center), Vrije University Brussels, Virtual Vehicle Research, Corvus Energy (battery system supplier), Forschungszentrum Juelich, AVL, FREYR (cell manufacturer) and the Department of Engineering Science at Oxford.

Battery Intelligence Lab PI Professor David Howey will be leading Oxford’s work package in the project, focused on developing ‘digital twins’ for battery systems. He says, “Digital twins are sophisticated simulation models to predict performance and lifetime, linked to real operational data, and enable improved decision making”.

These developments are expected to streamline testing workflows, enhance the quality of results, and make digital battery testing accessible to the broader community by developing open-source solutions, as part of efforts to meet increasing demand and gain energy independence for Europe. The results will also help reach the ambitious goals of EU to become the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

Francesca Watson, Research Scientist at SINTEF, who are coordinating the project, explains: “The forecasted battery demand of 450 GWh in Europe by 2030 highlights the urgency and significance of initiatives to support the transition to a sustainable and low-emission future. The DigiBatt project will be a big step in the right direction as the potential for advances in battery testing and new digital tools is huge. By establishing a common way to describe and share all the data, we will get more learning from the data we already have. This will enable the DigiBatt project to develop more advanced simulation tools, more efficient testing as well as shorten the time for new battery developments.”

DigiBatt's collaborative approach and its commitment to digital innovation means it will be crucial in advancing battery technology for the benefit of the European Union.

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