Friday, December 1, 2023

How dehumidification solution is powering lithium-ion battery production


By Deepak Pahwa

Dehumidification or moisture control plays an instrumental factor in controlling the environment of the Dry Rooms without which lithium-ion battery manufacturing is not feasible.

In recent years the Indian government has undertaken various progressive reformations in the automobile sector to spur the process of Electric Vehicle (EV) adoption. For which it even fast-tracked the BS norms and skipped stage V to reach stage VI championing the EV revolution in India. In this attempt to render an EV resilient industry the Indian market has adopted various innovative tech solutions for better EV penetration in the country.

EVs are the future of the automobile industry which provides green reliable solutions and are a good alternative for vehicles powered by fossil fuels. The cleantech solutions support sustainable development by protecting the environment. Depending on electricity, the highly advanced vehicles do not emit harmful gases into the air. These benefits perfectly coupled with low maintenance costs are driving the popularity of EVs in the country.

But the most important element driving this revolution is the lithium-ion battery which is at the heart of the EV ecosystem. Lithium-ion batteries make up for 40-50% of EV cost and their quality highly determines the performance of the vehicle. Lithium-ion battery makes use of the latest technology rendering it is highly competitive and hence, is emerging as a popular choice among the manufacturers and is being accepted globally for its plunging battery prices and energy storage system.

Apart from being a vital resource for EVs, the batteries are also powering the energy sector for storage. Any fault in the battery can cost the entire EV and ESS market. With India venturing into the battery manufacturing sector, the role of Dry Rooms with energy-efficient dehumidifiers becomes even more crucial than before to deliver highly efficient and error-free batteries as the end products.  

But one of the primary concerns at this point for the country is to furnish highly advanced infrastructure that will push customers to buy electric vehicles. Since lithium battery application is fast growing across diversified industries there is a need for large-scale production of lithium batteries. The need of the hour is to develop and manufacture long-lasting battery technology and develop the overall infrastructure support required.

While coming up with the infrastructure it is very crucial to keep in mind that batteries consist of several chemical components that are hygroscopic in nature. These chemical components show a high affinity for moisture. Hence, lithium batteries are affected by uncontrolled temperature and humidity. Considering that India has significant weather variations from region to region at different times of the year where heat reaches up to 40 degrees Celcius in some regions, environment control during battery production is much needed.

Maintaining the right humidity value is imperative during battery assembling and manufacturing. Given that moisture acts as a major deterrent, it intervenes with the prospects of growth of the industry. For which battery manufacturing must be carried out in a stable environment with less than 1% humidity.

Therefore, to address the issue of humidity, the manufacturing of batteries must be carried out in highly controlled environmental conditions with less than 1% humidity. This obligates the need for Dry Rooms that are supported by Environment Control Dehumidification System and ensures the RH is maintained at less than 1% and less than 10% during lithium cell manufacturing and battering assembling, respectively. The moisture control equipment in the Dry Room maintains an extremely low dew point, reaching up to -80 degrees Celsius for the ideal processing of hygroscopic and moisture-sensitive materials.

If the menace of humidity is left unattended then it can impair the quality by the manufacturing of reduced quality batteries with inferior performance and can cause safety concerns due to its high chances of explosion. The poor quality of the battery can further deteriorate the performance and efficiency of the vehicle and also intervene with its prospects of acceptance according to industry standards.

Green Dry Purge (GDP) technology has played an essential role in achieving the required environment for Li-ion battery manufacturing. It finds application across the world in manufacturing quality, safe and long-lasting batteries. GDP dehumidifiers maintain ultra-dew points and are known for their world-class moisture control, cost-effective and highly energy-efficient technology amongst the manufacturers.

High technology often entails working in precisely controlled environmental conditions to not compromise on the quality. For which the production of lithium batteries cannot be carried out in the absence of highly monitored dehumidification. Dehumidification or moisture control plays an instrumental factor in controlling the environment of the Dry Rooms without which battery manufacturing is not feasible.

With lithium and alternative battery being in high demand but at the same time highly vulnerable to produce, the manufacturers are at the forefront driving the high requirement for Dry Rooms in India and dehumidifiers across the globe. The vast experience, technical know-how, and successes in providing low dew point dehumidification equipment across the Globe including China have only helped in strengthening the confidence. Throughout the world, auto companies are investing in battery development with alacrity and this will strongly bolster the demand for lithium-ion batteries in the years to come.  

This necessitates the need to push local manufacturers in lithium battery production. As the government is determined to make India an EV first nation by 2030, the local manufacturers are highly optimistic and gearing up to meet the demand of the industry and contribute their share in Self-Reliant India. With dehumidification products and solutions playing an active role in India’s EV push, collaborating with local players for battery manufacturing/assembling and environmental control solutions will be instrumental in making reliable, quality, and safe lithium batteries in India.

As the safety of the vehicle will always be the primary concern of the consumers, manufacturers cannot turn blind eye to the dehumidification systems in the automobile sector. Moreover, the increasing demand for EVs is further scaling the demand for dehumidification systems and solutions. Not just battery manufacturing but from structuring the EV to beautifying the vehicle, keeping it lightweight environment control solutions are required at every step of vehicle manufacturing.  

Desiccant dehumidification products and solutions are playing a very pivotal role in ramping up EV adoption in India and energy storage mission too. Partnering with local players for battery manufacturing/assembling will be instrumental in making reliable and highly efficient lithium batteries in India and across the world.

Also Read: Climate action: Positive impact from renewable energy and electric vehicles

(Deepak Pahwa is Managing Director of Bry-Air.)

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.)


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