NETZSCH is honored to announce that the new Isothermal Battery Calorimeter IBC 284 developed based on National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s technology has been named among this year’s most significant innovations by R&D Magazine.
Known in the research and development community as “the Oscars of Innovation”, the R&D 100 Awards provide a mark of excellence known to industry, government, and academia as proof that the product is one of the most innovative ideas of the year.
The need for better performing and safer batteries created a market opportunity for instrumentation designers in battery development. With this in mind, NETZSCH approached the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a leader in battery calorimetry technology, to develop a better way to detect heat loss in electric-vehicle batteries.
“With forecasts of more than half a million hybrid and electric cars this year – and with manufacturers needing to meet the regulated increased fuel efficiency – we saw a real gap in the marketplace for accurate testing of the larger battery systems” stated Dr. Gilles Widawski, President of NETZSCH Instruments North America, LLC. “The IBC 284 allows auto manufacturers to address safety and efficiency issues long before drivers have to rely on battery packs to get them back home. NREL has been working on battery thermal testing and calorimetry for over 15 years and the R&D Award is a fantastic recognition of their work.”
The new instrument is designed to test the performance and safety of Large Format Li-Ion Batteries used extensively in electric vehicles, airplanes, and military applications, as well as stationary power back-up and storage applications. The instrumentation is able to safely and accurately characterize heat output and efficiency of the batteries under varying temperature, pressure, load and use conditions, providing precise and critical information previously unavailable. Temperature has a strong impact on the performance, safety, and life of batteries. Temperature control is necessary to successfully operate lithium ion batteries, particularly for electric drive vehicles, which will play a critical role in lowering dependence on imported oil and air pollution.
The IBC’s patent-pending innovations—complete thermal isolation, the ability to test large cells and batteries, and the features needed to test high energetic batteries safely—provide a level of accuracy and functionality not seen in other calorimeters. The ability to precisely measure heat generation helps to optimize battery thermal-management systems and to both extend battery life and improve safety at an affordable cost.
The NETZSCH team included Peter Ralbovsky, Jean-Francois Mauger, and Gilles Widawski. NREL’s Isothermal Battery Calorimeters team included Matt Keyser, Ahmad Pesaran, John Ireland, Dirk Long, and Mark Mihalic.
51st Year of Awards for Innovation
Since 1963, the R&D 100 Awards have identified revolutionary technologies newly introduced to the market. Many of these have become household names, helping shape everyday lives.
Winners of the R&D 100 Awards are selected by an independent judging panel and the editors of R&D Magazine. The publication and its online portal serve research scientists, engineers, and other technical staff members at high-tech industrial companies and public and private laboratories around the world.
Winners will be recognized at the R&D 100 Awards Ceremony to be held in Orlando on Nov. 7, 2013. A full list of this year’s winners is available at