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Reproducibility of Small-Format Laboratory Cells

Luc, Paul-Martin; Buchwald, Fabio; Kowal, Julia

For the research and development of new battery materials, achieving high reproducibility of the performance parameters in the laboratory test cells is of great importance. Therefore, in the present work, three typical small-format lithium-ion cells (coin cell, Swagelok cell and EL-CELL ECC-PAT-Core) were tested and compared with regard to the reproducibility of their performance parameters (discharge capacity, internal resistance and coulombic efficiency). A design of experiments (DOE) with the two factors separator type and anode–cathode ratio (N/P ratio) was carried out for all cells. For the quality features discharge capacity, internal resistance and coulombic efficiency, the coefficient of variation is used as a measure of reproducibility. The statistical evaluation shows that in 83% of all cases, higher reproducibility is achieved when the Freudenberg separator is used instead of the Celgard separator. In addition, higher reproducibility is achieved in 78% of all cases if the anode and cathode are the same size. A general statement about which test cell format has the highest reproducibility cannot be made. Rather, the format selection should be adapted to the requirements. The examined factors seem to have an influence on the reproducibility but are more insignificant than other still-unknown factors. Since the production of small-format test cells is a manual process, the competence of the assembler seems to prevail. In order to mitigate the influence of as many unknown variables as possible, assembly instructions are proposed for each cell type.
Published in: Energies, 10.3390/en15197333, MDPI