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SHB: a Sunlight R&D project for smarter and healthier lithium-ion batteries

R&D is at the heart of the Sunlight Group and extroversion is one of our most significant pursuits. Both these aspects of our operation are reflected in the company’s participation as an implementation partner in a wide range of innovative research projects, to which we offer our expertise, state-of-the-art equipment, and facilities.

The SHB project

The Smart Healthy Battery (SHB) projects pertains to the monitoring of the State of Health (SoH) of lithium-ion batteries used by electric industrial vehicles. Lithium-ion batteries are attractive options for e-mobility thanks to their unique characteristics: great capacity, fast charging, and long life. This is especially true for demanding industrial applications, i.e. batteries for forklifts and similar vehicles used at the intralogistics sector, operating for many consecutive hours and often in difficult conditions. 

In this context, and for the further optimization of lithium-ion batteries for industrial mobility also produced by the company itself, Sunlight Group is implementing this research project, aiming to define the expected lifetime of batteries.

The Smart Healthy Battery (SHB) research project is part of the NSRF (National Strategic Reference Framework) Operational Programme “Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, 2014-2020.”

Its implementation started in January 2021 and is expected to be concluded in Q2 2023. The first results of SHB, as well as the scientific poster of the project, were presented in November 2022 at the 9th International Conference on Microelectronics, Nanoelectronics and Nanotechnology, organized by the Greek Micro & Nano Scientific Society at the Democritus University of Thrace.

SHB and innovation

The innovative aspect of SHB relates to the use of the battery’s internal electrochemical characteristics to define its expected lifetime.

The efficiency of lithium-ion batteries relies on the quality of the cell and the effectiveness of its Battery Management System (BMS). This System ensures the operation of the battery, receiving from sensors external data on voltage, current, and temperature. By processing this data, we can assess the State of Charge (SoC) of a battery with a margin of error between 0.6% and 6.5%.

However, given the different use of batteries powering industrial vehicles, these external parameters cannot respectively assess the battery’s State of Health (SoH), which is significant in defining its expected lifetime. For that purpose, information is needed from inside the battery itself.

The goal of the SHB R&D project, therefore, is to develop a robust forecast model for the monitoring of the State of Health of lithium-ion batteries used in industrial mobility. And also to incorporate this model in the respective BMS.

Collaborating partners

The scientific teams of Sunlight Group and INEM Technologies are collaborating for the implementation of this project. ΙΝΕΜ is as spin-off company of the Democritus University of Thrace, formed in the context of the university’s Micro- and Nano-technology Laboratory (MNTL). MNTL and INEM are of the few entities in Greece focusing on the research and development of material for lithium-ion batteries on the level of battery cell. 

The Sunlight Team

The Sunlight Group Team working on this project comprises Stamatis Asimis, Sotiris Athanasiou, Konstantinos Kapenis, Diamantis Limnios, and Emrach Zoumpre.