TOMORROW TODAY BATTERY MATERIALS RESEARCH
ON THE SEARCH FOR NEW ENERGY CELLS ARMED FORCES RELY ON AIT EXPERTISE // Joint research into topics of future interest FIT FOR SPACE WITH PULSE WAVE MEASUREMENTS // Impacts of prolonged periods spent in zero gravity ENHANCING THE SENSES WITH HEARING AIDGLASSES // Active Assisted Living in new dimensions
Atanaska Trifonova, Head of the AIT Battery Research Laboratory
TOMORROWâ€˜S ENERGY SOURCES
Atanaska Trifonova and her team are Austrian and European key players in battery research.
Research into battery materials is a core task of the AIT Mobility Department and involves examining the entire value chain, including material optimisation, battery testing, and system design.
Photos & Cover: Johannes Zinner
And then the cell finally manages to hold out, withstand the high ambient temperature, and maintain its shape. Experiment successful, cell survives. „Tough“ experiments such as this, in which various potential battery cell materials are tested under extreme conditions, make up only a small part of the research activities undertaken by the Mobility Department team in the Electric Drive Technologies business unit - yet they are decisive: what happens here in the AIT battery materials research laboratory could have a significant impact on our lives over the coming decades, especially in the fields of mobility and energy. This is because AIT is regarded as a key player in battery and battery materials research, as well as battery properties and behaviour. With its new laboratory AIT offers customers everything they need, from material manufacture and analysis, screening, simulation-based selection of the optimal battery cell, through to cell testing. Early diagnosis of battery aging as well as post-mortem analysis are also part of the Department‘s comprehensive service portfolio. Ex-situ and in-situ methods and tools can be used to estimate the second life of cells. “We‘re truly a one-stop shop for automotive suppliers, battery manufacturers, materials developers and cell producers,” stresses Professor Atanaska Trifonova, head of the laboratory and since recently the first female Principal Scientist at AIT. Her appointment marks AIT‘s growing focus on battery research. Top scientist Trifonova and her team will develop new ideas and shape research in this field. “With our materials and process development, we are the only Institute able to cover the entire production chain, from the material to cell design, and through
Materials are subjected to a series of tough tests in the AIT battery research laboratory.
Batteries are a strategic topic at AIT. The initial focus lies in improving lithium-ion technology through methods including the use of new electrode materials. “When it comes to large-format cells in particular, there are still niches in the EU. That‘s why we’re integrating basic and applied research with a multidisciplinary team,” explains Trifonova. They also intend to work on the next generation of battery technologies and beyond, even if traditional lithium-ion batteries will continue to be used for electric cars or smartphones for the next 10 to 15 years. “The lithium-ion battery is the best performer for e-mobility, and can also be used for stationary storage,” stresses Trifonova. Safety, costs and lifespan are the key criteria for assessing battery quality, together with energy density – the key measure for an e-vehicle‘s achievable range – and the power density which determines factors such as acceleration, driving speed and charging times. Lithium-ion batteries score well for their high energy density and long lifespans, and despite their degree of maturity still offer considerable development potential. That‘s why Atanaska Trifonova and her team are taking an integrated approach to the topic which includes developing and optimising the materials and process technologies, the microstructure, thermoelectrical modelling and simulation, as well as prototyping and the comprehensive validation of cells, modules and systems using industrial test protocols. Research also includes lithium-ion alternatives such as lithium-air
and magnesium-ion batteries. “We are absolute pioneers in this field in Europe and still at the basic research stage,” says Trifonova. AIT is creating the vital preconditions which allow industry to assess whether particular materials are suitable for future high voltage cells early on in the development process. “With our battery materials lab we can offer stateof-the-art, integrated research infrastructure all under one roof,” stresses Trifonova. Increasing battery lifespan, efficiency and capacity are all areas being examined and optimised by scientists at AIT. “We are currently involved in 17 battery research projects,” says Trifonova. “Half are EU projects and we are usually also the consortium leader.” The international AIT network for battery research includes German research centres (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Fraunhofer Institutes), cooperative agreements in the UK, and university and research partners in Korea and China. The AIT laboratory infrastructure is supporting the transition to the electric age in mobility, and continues to drive the evolution from conventional vehicle to various hybrid technologies, and through to pure electric vehicles. AIT expertise is sought after by major international customers such as Mitsubishi Chemical, LG Chem, EPCOS, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd, and VW. Currently the research findings from Vienna are particularly in demand in Asia. But there‘s much more to come: Atanaska Trifonova and her team are now working on expanding their service portfolio by establishing a research production line and further extending their expertise in high voltage batteries and process design.
Scientist with an excellent reputation Professor Atanaska Trifonova has over 20 years research experience in lithium-ion batteries and was recently appointed the first female Principal Scientist at AIT. She took over the thematic coordination for electrical energy storage systems at the AIT Mobility Department in mid2013 and has since headed the battery research group. Trifonova‘s research fields include electrochemical energy storage and conversion, nanotechnology and electrochemistry.
Photo: Johannes Zinner
to system level. We aim to use our know-how to become a leading player in this field, and not just at a national level,” says Trifonova.
Performance & Success
FOCUS ON PERFORMANCE & SUCCESS
Successful cooperation extended: Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil, Brigadier Klemens Hofmeister, AIT Head of Digital Safety & Security Department Helmut Leopold, President of the AIT Supervisory Board Hannes Androsch (from left)
Photos: AIT/Johannes Zinner
ARMED FORCES RELY ON AIT EXPERTISE IN SECURITY RESEARCH Austrian Minister of Defence Hans Peter Doskozil and President of the AIT Supervisory Board Hannes Androsch recently signed a cooperation agreement between the Federal Ministry of Defence and Sport and the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology. This extends a successful research cooperation dating from 2010 by a further five years. “In today‘s world it‘s vital to ask ourselves what we want to achieve, where the challenges lie, and how we can combine existing expert knowledge,” says Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil. “We must develop further, together with our research partners. The past five years of our collaboration with AIT have led to the implementation of advanced research projects.” For Hannes Androsch the aim of this partnership is to generate synergies and create advantages for both organisations, as well as to strengthen Austria‘s position within European security research: “Over the past years the Armed Forces and AIT have been successfully involved in around 35 joint projects, attracting funding of almost EUR 50 million from national security research programmes run by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) and especially from European funding programmes.” Key areas of cooperation include national security, the protection of persons and goods in dangerous situations, cybersecurity for critical infrastructures, and situation assessments in crisis and disaster management. In the Cyber Attack Information System (CAIS) project, for example, AIT experts are working on security technologies such as new techniques for detecting anomalies in IT systems, and methods of exchanging information on cyber incidents between organisations. These help provide an international and coordinated defence against cyber attacks, and allow current threat situations to be efficiently analysed.
“We aim to reduce or even eliminate the need for bleed air from turbines.“ Boschidar Ganev, AIT Engineer
EFFICIENT HELICOPTER HEATING As part of the HELI-COMFORT project, an AIT team of experts seeks to progress an innovative, specially designed prototype of an electrical heating system to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4 or higher. Following laboratory scale tests on smaller samples and a CFD simulation of the heating elements inside a helicopter, the heating system will be integrated in a 1:1 helicopter mock-up and investigated under environmental conditions in a large-scale laboratory. These tests are designed to investigate the suitability of the adaptable power density coating for energy efficient heating of the cockpit and cabin.
Martin Suda (l.), who started his career at the AIT predecessor company ARC, and Helmut Leopold (Head of AIT Digital Safety & Security Department)
Stephanie Schwarz, Scientist, Innovation Systems
BRIDGE TO INDUSTRY
E-TAXIS IN VIENNA Given the relatively short journeys, frequent waiting periods and large distances covered each day, taxis are ideally suited for e-mobility. In order to exploit this potential, charging infrastructures need to meet the specific needs of taxi fleets. An AIT project has examined taxi journeys made by around 800 conventionally powered cars to determine the ideal arrangement of charging stations in order to optimally cover charging demands with a limited number of stations. The study provided the basis for determining the first ten locations for quick charging stations in Vienna.
AIT EXPERTISE IN DEMAND IN EUROPE After two successful years in the role, Dr Brigitte Bach, Head of the Energy Department, has been re-elected as Chair of the Horizon 2020 Advisory Group on EnerBrigitte Bach, gy (AGE). She is the only Austrian Head of Energy Department member of this exclusive committee of 28 European experts who are drawn from science and business. The goal of the AGE is to provide strategic input for the EU Commission‘s work programmes in energy research as part of Horizon 2020.
ACTIVE ASSISTED LIVING
ENHANCING THE SENSES The Innovation Systems Department is using so-called “hearing aid glasses” to explore new ways of supporting older people in their daily lives. The Technology Experience business unit is investigating new approaches to voice-controlled interaction with mobile services. AIT Scientist Stephanie Schwarz explains that, “the project combines an indispensable everyday object – reading glasses – with eHealth applications on the smartphone, such as reminders, emergency calls, and pedometers in order to provide support and assistance to the elderly.” This interaction takes place using “hearing aid glasses”– a combination of reading glasses and a bone conduction hearing aid. The hearing aid glasses will also be able to measure vital functions such as body temperature and pulse, offering information about the wearer‘s general state of wellbeing. The laboratory test phase clearly demonstrated that voice interaction per se, and solutions to support hearing via the bone conduction glasses, are acceptable to older study participants with differing degrees of hearing ability. A field study will now examine the system as a whole as it is used by older and hearing-impaired people in everyday life, in order to understand the user experience implications in a variety of use contexts.
Photos: Michael W. Mürling / AIT, AIT
Quantum scientist Dr Martin Suda was recently a guest in Vienna, confirming the importance of applied quantum research as a bridge to industry during his lecture. AIT has access to a comprehensive high-tech portfolio in this field, including special encoding software based on quantum cryptography which is made available to the global community as open source software.
PULSE WAVE TECHNOLOGY
FIT FOR SPACE Pulse wave measurements in zero gravity on board the A-310 Zero-G form the basis for the use of oscillometric pulse wave analysis in space physiology. AIT experts have been involved in a parabolic flight campaign carried out together with the Cardiovascular Physiology Group at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and with Professor Jens Tank and his group at Hannover Medical School. The campaign involved taking measurements under zero gravity conditions in 31 parabolas. In addition to blood pressure measurements, the brachial pressure waves were recorded during the flight manoeuvre for use in pulse wave analysis. The campaign also involved measuring blood pressure using a thigh cuff and taking ECG recordings. This allows pulse transit times to be determined, enabling conclusions to be drawn about acute fluctuations in blood pressure. The parabolic flight campaign was undertaken in preparation for pulse wave analysis on the International Space Station (ISS) which is designed to examine the impact of prolonged periods spent under zero gravity conditions on the human body, and particularly the cardiovascular system.
INNOVATION CALENDAR 19-24/6/2016 // INTERNATIONAL MEETING ON LITHIUM BATTERIES The 18th edition of this specialist event provides an overview of recent progress in international battery research. Venue: Chicago AIT contact: Atanaska Trifonova Info: www.imlb.org //
11-17/7/2016 // FARNBOROUGH INTERNATIONAL AIRSHOW The bi-annual trade show held on the Farnborough Airfield showcases the latest developments in the civil and military aviation industry. Venue: Farnborough, England Info: www.farnborough.com/trade/ //
20-24/6/2016 // INTERSOLAR EUROPE Intersolar Europe is the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry and its partners. Venue: Munich AIT contact: Michaela Jungbauer, Christoph Mayr Info: www.intersolar.de //
23-26/8/2016 // ERSA CONGRESS This year’s annual congress of the European Regional Science Association (ERSA) will take place in Vienna and focus on the topic “Cities & Regions: Smart, Sustainable, Inclusive?”. Venue: Vienna University of Economics and Business AIT contact: Thomas Scherngell, Michaela Jungbauer Info: http://vienna.ersa.org //
28/6/2016 // EUROPE DAY FOR YOUTH The event “EUROPAdeineWAHL” (“EUROPEyourCHOICE”) is designed to encourage pupils and teachers from all school types to actively engage with Europe and the EU Parliament. Venue: Austrian Economic Chamber (WKÖ) Vienna Info: www.europa-deine-wahl.at // 4-8/7/2016 // AGIT The AGIT Symposium and integrated AGIT EXPO are an important meeting place for experts in applied geoinformatics and provides a forum for the exchange of trends and themes. Venue: Salzburg AIT contact: Anita Graser Info: www.agit.at //
AIT-Scientists Siegfried Wassertheurer and Bernhard Hametner.
26/8/2016 // CIGRE WORKSHOP The meeting place for top-class experts and specialists from the electrical power industry. The focus of this year’s event is on smart grids and super grids. Venue: Paris AIT contact: Michaela Jungbauer, Georg Brauner Info: www.cigre.org // 29-31/8/2016 // PQS WORKSHOP The fifth Workshop on Perceptual Quality of Systems (PQS) brings together scientists from different fields to exchange ideas on the topics of Quality of Experience (QoE) and User Experience (UX). Venue: Berlin AIT contact: Sebastian Egger Info: http://pqs.qu.tu-berlin.de //
AIT Top Journal Papers
DYNAMIC TRANSPORT SYSTEMS
AL-ZN-MG ALLOYS IN WARM FORMING
Modern technologies make it possible to collect information about the movements of people and goods. The increasing volumes of data available leverage the potential of mobility data analysis. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) play an increasingly important role in this respect. AIT Scientist Anita Graser specialises in the analysis and visualisation of movement data and its temporal and spatial patterns. Her work includes improved travel time estimates using spatial information , predicting the energy consumption of electric vehicles on different routes depending on the elevation profile  and automatic recognition of popular routes for improved bike routing .
Al-Zn-Mg alloys have greater strength than conventional aluminium alloys used in the automotive industry, but little has been reported on their formability and paint bake response. This paper investigates the strength and formability of age-hardenable AW-7921 alloy sheet across a range of tempers. Numerous combinations of aging time and temperature were investigated and quantified by warm tensile tests at temperatures between room temperature and 230°C, and cross-die deep-drawing tests at 230°C. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was used to study the precipitation states of the sheet samples before and after tempering. Light aging for 10 min at 100 °C resulted in only GP zones being present in the sheet, while both GP zones and η’ precipitates formed after moderate aging at 120°C for 50 min. Dynamic recovery and the partial dissolution of precipitates were found to contribute to the increase in formability at elevated temperatures. Across the tempers investigated, the T4 temper has shown the best combination of warm formability and high post-paint baking strength.
Transparent electrodes are an essential component of thin film solar cells, optical coatings and modern optoelectronic devices. They are both highly transparent and electrically conductive. Conventional transparent electrodes are made from highly-doped oxides, such as ITO (indium tin oxide), which are brittle and therefore not suitable for flexible applications. The present work involved depositing transparent electrodes based on ultrathin metals (only several nanometers thick) on flexible substrates in order to achieve superior mechanical stability and high optical and electrical performance. The applicability of the developed flexible transparent electrodes was demonstrated in organic light emitting diodes.
 Graser, A., Leodolter, M., Koller, H., & Brändle, N. (in print) Improving Vehicle Speed Estimates Using Street Network Centrality. International Journal of Cartography, Eurocarto 2015 Special Issue, doi:1 0.1080/23729333.2016.1189298.  Graser, A., Asamer, J., & Ponweiser, W. (2015). The elevation factor: Digital elevation model quality and sampling impacts on electric vehicle energy estimation errors.
Properties of transparent and conductive Al:ZnO/Au/Al:ZnO multilayers on flexible PET substrates T. Dimopoulos (a), M. Bauch (a), R.A. Wibowo (a) , N. Bansal (a) , R. Hamid (b) , M. Auer (c), M. Jäger (c), E.J.W. List-Kratochvil (c) a: AIT-Austrian Institute of Technology, Energy Department, Photovoltaic Systems b: AIT-Austrian Institute of Technology, Mobility Department, Electric Drive Technologies c: NanoTecCenter Weiz
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