At the moment, AMTE Power has a facility in Thurso, Scotland, but is looking to establish a Gigafactory in the near future, which would be able to accommodate the increased demand for batteries as more electric vehicles fill our streets. As the new AMTE Power facility is currently at concept level, HSSMI’s simulation model envisioned a balanced 2GWh cell manufacturing line.
The key focus of the AcouBat project was on validating the introduction of UCL’s newly developed acoustic battery testing processes, for high volume manufacturing within the facility. The project envisioned virtual testing in a simulation developed by HSSMI, as well as in-person testing at the AMTE Power facility in Thurso. The overall objective was to analyse what impact the acoustic testing method would have on production, whether any bottlenecks would be created as a result, and in which stage of battery manufacture it would be most beneficial to conduct the testing.
As part of the project, UCL observed the acoustic testing method at AMTE’s facility in Thurso. The objective of those tests was to validate the acoustic testing in different, real-life production stages such as pre-filling, after cell formation etc. This is something that UCL has not been able to do until now. Previous testing was conducted at laboratory scale and with fully finished cells rather than ones being manufactured.
The simulation tested similar criteria as were set out for the real-life tests. As scaling up the production of a cell manufacturing facility requires a lot of planning and investment, the simulation also enabled AMTE Power to tweak variables and explore the optimal factory layout, resource and personnel requirements, process development, and the costs involved.