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Energy Storage


Enabling development of new battery chemistries at verifiable scales

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has tens of thousands of square feet of laboratory space dedicated to accelerating the development of the next generation of energy storage technologies. PNNL's state-of-the-art facilities enable a holistic development program—from materials discovery and in-situ characterization of materials interactions during operation to the fabrication of functional and verifiable prototypes ready for industry handoff.

Battery Facilities
Materials Development Laboratories Redox Flow Battery Laboratories Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory Redox Flow Battery Laboratories Redox Flow Battery Laboratories Battery Testing Laboratory Advanced Battery Facility

Advanced Battery Facility

The Advanced Battery Facility at PNNL is a semi-automated battery manufacturing lab where users can create batteries.

The Advanced Battery Facility was built to bridge the gap between fundamental battery research and commercial-scale battery development. It provides an ideal system for exploring a broad range of chemistries and materials. The capabilities within this facility provide real-time feedback for the development and validation of new battery chemistries—from raw material to pouch cell—including lithium-sulfur, lithium-metal, sodium-ion, magnesium, and the next generation of lithium-ion batteries with silicon-based composite anodes and novel cathode materials.

This state-of-the-art facility contains a complete process line capable of preparing, fabricating, and validating pouch cells—from powder materials to battery testing. It is an ideal system for exploring a broad range of chemistries and materials at a commercially-relevant scale.

Our facility is housed in two adjoining labs—a dry room complete with a semi-automatic system for film casting and pouch-cell assembly, and an ambient lab for powder handling and mixing.

The Advanced Battery Facility includes:

The Advanced Battery Facility

The electrode coating machine in the Advanced Battery Facility cooks electrode slurry on long pieces of metal foil, which is later cut into credit-card sized sheets.

  • A 600 square-foot dry room.
  • A 600 square-foot ambient lab dedicated to developing anode materials, slurry, and electrolyte and performing pouch cell lifetime testing.
  • 1 ampere hour (Ah) standard pouch cell capacity, adjustable between 100mAh-2 Ah.
  • Ability to develop and validate new chemistries.

Finally, we use the Advanced Battery Facility to validate consumer-developed or commercial materials.

For more information, download our brochure.

Redox Flow Battery Laboratories

Redox Flow Battery Laboratories

The Redox Flow Battery Large-scale Lifetime Testing Laboratory enables testing and performance measurements of battery stacks.

The three redox flow battery laboratories at PNNL have greater than 2,000 square feet of equipment and space for testing redox flow batteries on the bench scale and for large-scale demonstrations.

Each lab supports a different phase of research for these power grid-enhancing batteries, beginning with fundamental research and ending with testing large-scale battery stacks. The three labs include:

  • Redox Flow Battery Developmental Laboratory
  • Redox Flow Battery Assembly Laboratory
  • Redox Flow Battery Large-scale Lifetime Testing Laboratory

Approximately ten stations are available for single cell testing along with numerous analytical tools for chemical, thermal, mechanical, and electrical evaluation. Electrolytes can be prepared, tested, and analyzed within the laboratory using techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Two large-scale hoods are dedicated to testing large-scale stacks (~800 cm2 active cell area) and for measuring the performance of stacks as a function of current density, flow rate, temperature, and time. In addition, laboratory space exists for assembly and fabrication of cells for stack testing and evaluation.

Battery Testing Laboratory

Battery Testing Laboratory

Our Battery Testing Laboratory features a suite of electrochemical testing equipment.

Our battery testing capabilities include electrochemical testing equipment and more than 1,000 channels of battery testers. Our equipment includes:

  • High-precision battery tester
  • High-power battery tester with BTS firing circuits at 50A/36V or 100A/36V
  • Multiple potentiostats
  • Frequency response analyzers
  • Lock-in amplifiers
  • Multiple glove boxes

Materials Development Laboratories

Our materials development labs consist of both dry and a wet lab space—suitable for smaller scale research, coin cell development and testing. Equipment featured in these labs includes:

  • Multiple fume hoods
  • Multiple potentiostats
  • Multiple glove boxes
  • Mini electrode coating machine
  • Furnace

Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory

Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory

The Scanning/Transmission Electron Microscope will impact the design of new materials for energy production and storage.

EMSL is a DOE Office of Science User Facility sponsored by DOE's Office of Biological & Environmental Research. The instruments located at EMSL are available for use by the global research community through a variety of proposal opportunities, at typically no cost. Two such instruments are essential components of energy storage research at PNNL, as they enable analytics and modeling. They include:

  • Environmental Transmission Electron Microscope: ETEM allows evaluation of structural and function materials, including in situ observation of microstructural evolution during battery operation. A high-speed charge coupled device camera captures dynamic processes during sample system operation.
  • Scanning/Transmission Electron Microscope: S/TEM enables researchers to probe the microstructure and chemical composition of energy materials, metals, and alloys. The instrument capabilities include electron energy loss spectroscopy, allowing chemical and electronic structure analysis.

Learn more about submitting a proposal.

Systems Engineering Building

Systems Engineering Building

Located in the SEB, the Electricity Infrastructure Operations Center makes it possible to design, test, and evaluate tools and concepts in a setting that mirrors current industry conditions.

The SEB provides state-of-the-art laboratory space and equipment that further advances basic and applied research in electricity markets, generation, transmission, distribution, and end use, including buildings-grid integration. Research occurring in the SEB also includes electric vehicle charging and large-scale energy storage.

Energy Storage

Program Areas