Fraunhofer IFAM adopts a system research approach in this area, whereby individual technologies and components are always considered and developed in relation to the whole system, for example an electric car. At a component level, the scientists are developing novel metal-air batteries for, in particular, the synthesis and processing of new active materials. In addition, thermochemical energy storage systems are being developed based on innovative hydrogenatable metal alloys. Electrical drive technology is focusing on the development, control, assembly, and testing of electrical machines, in particular for drive applications. Adhesive bonding technology, surface technology, and coatings extend the expertise for matters such as the joining, contacting, insulation, and protection of electrically conducing materials.
As many electrical components are being developed for cars, an understanding of systems for electric cars and electromobility is vital. Our know-how in this area includes the design, efficient control, assembly, and testing of vehicles, concept vehicles, and their components, especially electric and hybrid drive systems. In order to improve operating reliability, individual components such as the electric drive train are being qualified by “hardware in the loop” simulation of operating performance on a test stand. Here, experience is utilized from the fleet of electric vehicles being operated in the Bremen/Oldenburg model electromobility region. We pass on our know-how by giving training courses in electromobility. These courses specifically target customers in Germany and China.
An example of the multidisciplinary approach at Fraunhofer IFAM is the cast coil. This innovative product, which was originally developed at Fraunhofer IFAM, involves expertise in casting technology and electric drive technology plus the development of special insulating coatings.
The incorporation of the former Bremer Energie Institut into Fraunhofer IFAM as the new Energy Systems Analysis department represents a logical expansion of the Electrical Components and Systems core competence. The matter of charging infrastructure for electromobility shows, by way of example, that not only technical challenges but also economic and regulatory boundary conditions must be taken into account.