As the global automotive market steers steadily towards electrification, the Electric Vehicle (EV) battery industry is expected to reach 18 million new shipments in 2024. Market data underscores a consistent growth in shipments across all vehicle categories, with cars constituting the bulk of the shipments each year.
To satisfy increasing demand and demonstrate long-term profitability, the key lies in upholding precise and repeatable manufacturing conditions, leading to a tangible reduction in failure and defect rates. As an industry leader in controlled environments and their associated systems, Terra provides several solutions to support clean and efficient EV battery operations. Specifically, Terra's expertise spans several EV applications including:
Terra's climate-controlled environments include custom, prefab, and traditional builds that are designed to maintain precise levels of particulate, temperature, humidity, and pressure differentials. Importantly, Terra's modular climate-control environments offer battery dry rooms & battery test chambers that range from 100 sq. ft. research rooms up to 75,000 sq. ft. production facilities.
Dry Rooms and cold rooms for modern battery processing maintain precise humidity levels of less than 0.5% relative humidity for lithium battery manufacturing at ambient temperatures of 21°C (70°F). Achieving such low levels of humidity may require dew points that exceed -40°C for lithium batteries. For automotive hybrid batteries, these rooms can be designed for dew points as low as -70°C.
Depending on the facility, an EV facility might include a cascade of divergent areas that cater to the unique processing, testing, curing, drying, or storage requirements.
Burn-in Chambers rapidly cycled from ambient temperature up to +85°C at 10°C per minute to allow thermal cycling during accelerated aging tests and thermal stress studies.
Custom Walk-In Temperature Chambers achieve a temperature accuracy of ± 0.5°C and operational ranges of -40°C to +85°C. Advanced control technology empowers these chambers to execute simultaneous ramping and soaking of test applications, facilitating unmanned testing.
Cold Cleanrooms encompass a 4” wall and ceiling panel fortified with a minimum R-30 insulation, ensuring exceptional thermal efficiency. Its airtight modular construction ensures a controlled environment. Temperature uniformity is maintained within a range of ±0.5°C, while precise temperature control is upheld within a range of ±1°C. The temperature range spans from an impressive -40°C to +85°C, with ramp rates of up to 5°C per minute.
For mission-critical operations, EV battery manufacturers might specify ISO 5 or ISO 6-rated cleanrooms that demand anywhere between 90 - 200+ air changes per hour (ACH). Sealed double-wall enclosures with insulated panels allow for remarkably low humidity levels and make it easier to maintain precise temperature values with less energy use.
Under dynamic operation, Terra's dry room solutions can support ISO cleanroom classifications down to ISO 5 (Fed. Std 100) and up to ISO 8 (Fed Std. Class 100,000). ISO 5 cleanrooms must maintain a particle count of 3,520 particles/m³ for particles ≥0.5 µm in average diameter. In comparison, ISO 8 cleanrooms must maintain no more than 3,520,000 particles/m³ at ≥0.5 µm diameter.
For areas that require a high degree of cleanliness, ceiling-mounted HEPA fan filter units provide a constant top-to-bottom stream of laminar flow air. Variable speed motors allow for dynamic adjustment of the CFM output and easier calibration of room-to-room air change rates.
Terra's explosion-proof fan filter units and fume hoods are built to achieve NFPA requirements for fire and electrical safety. Explosion-proof fume hoods are required if a flammable chemical’s concentration exceeds 25% of the LEL (Lower Explosion Limit) or LFL (Lower Flammability Limit). Additionally, Terra offers a broad selection of fire-rated pass-throughs, fire-rated doors, and reverse-flow fan filter units for negative pressure systems.
Contact a Terra Specialist to discuss your dilution and volumetric air flow rate to determine if an explosion-proof hood is required with respect to each chemical’s LEL and LFL.
Terra's cleanrooms and enclosures are offered in several formats and styles, with the major differences falling between hardwall and softwall cleanroom systems. Softwall enclosures offer moderate particulate control and encompass a free-standing frame, integrated T-grid ceiling with HEPA fan filter units, and plastic strip-shield panel enclosures. Softwall systems are economical, lightweight, easy-to-install systems, however, they are not effective for precise control of climate and air pressure.
Modular hardwall assemblies offer the highest degree of customization and ensure precise and efficient climate control flexibility for precise systems
EV battery facilities may require a combination of positive and negative pressure containment systems to enable the coworking of hazardous and non-hazardous materials. Positive-pressure cleanrooms maintain a higher air pressure than surrounding areas, which prevents dirtier, lower-pressure air from flowing into the cleanroom from the outside environment.
Terra's air shower and tunnel systems are deployed in several large-scale EV battery plants. These systems are coveted due to their capacity for multi-door configurations when connecting several rooms, or for custom floor plans that require 90º turns or U-shaped chambers. These air showers, although tailored to specific requirements, are derived from Terra's well-regarded family of standard air shower products.
At your request, Terra can preinstall sensors, alarms, and detectors for integration with your existing building management systems. Other air shower add-ons include SD-PVC panels, explosion-proof designs, and integrated ionizers for static-sensitive components.
In a previous blog post, Terra outlined several glovebox and environmental control technologies that complement the intricacies required during the testing, research, and manufacturing of battery cell processes.
Battery manufacturers operate under stringent prerequisites for temperature regulation, humidity, and specific gas mixtures. Recognizing these challenges, several leading battery producers have requested Terra's tailor-made isolators and glovebox systems. Critically, Terra distinguishes itself by offering in-house engineering services and custom-manufactured designs that don't require compromises between expansive chambers, distinct door mechanisms, process gas management, or any other design intricacy, regardless of its scale or complexity.
Terra's glovebox and isolator designs include prebuilt and custom-engineered solutions to support safety, productivity, and compliance. Build out your ideal configuration of components, add-ons, and materials including monitoring systems, vacuum controllers, and gas mixture instruments for nitrogen, vacuum, or argon-aided environments.
As a general overview, Terra's gloveboxes enable the precise control of temperature, humidity, and air mixture within a small-format environment. Moisture and humidity represent significant threats to battery cell deterioration, including primary mechanisms for cell deterioration, reduced electrochemical performance, and failure, both immediate and latent. Adding to the complexity, battery materials can also react with oxygen in the ambient environment, which requires additional measures to ensure that sensitive components are maintained in atmosphere-controlled environments during the most vulnerable stages of production.
Stainless steel gloveboxes offer the best moisture impermeability for EV battery gloveboxes, making them ideal for ultra-low moisture/oxygen applications such as organometallic chemistry, hydrophilic chemical handling, lithium battery production, microelectronics manufacturing, and hemoglobin research. Glovebox systems are configurable in several formats with innumerable add-ons and accessories that support clean, dry, and safe handling.
Smart® Controlled Atmosphere Gloveboxes offer automatic adjustment of nitrogen purge for low-humidity control down to 0% RH and maintain sub-10 % RH with 78% less nitrogen than manual flow meters.
Insulated Temperature Control Gloveboxes provide thermal stability and minimize environmental drift when testing the ionic conductivity of electrolytes
IsoDry® RH Control Systems for Terra's gloveboxes and desiccators are designed for fast and uniform moisture removal via gas dilution fans that efficiently mix nitrogen gas through the cabinet. The cabinets also feature an automatic humidity control system that continuously monitors user-specified RH set-points inside the cabinet, making it ideal for applications that permit chambers to share the same air throughout the cabinet.
Terra's DewWatch allows environmental monitoring between -80 and +20 degrees C at a threshold of 0.5 PPM to 23,000 PPM. The system integrates with Terra's Dual Purge™ System for completely automatic nitrogen purging.
Terra's Trace Oxygen Analyzers are perfect for high-precision oxygen detection inside a glovebox or similar enclosure. These oxygen analyzers allow the evaluation of oxygen levels down to one part per million (ppm) for radio frequency (RF) sealing.
AtmosPure Re-Gen Gas Purifiers produce an ultrapure inert atmosphere for materials sensitive to moisture and/or oxygen by circulating an inert gas and removing oxygen and moisture inside the box.
Terra Universal’s Process Gas Heater provides a safe and accurate way to enhance a variety of sensitive operations requiring a heated process gas. Its programmable controller ensures safe, clean heating and provides over-temperature protection.
Contact Terra to discuss your unique needs and integrations for custom door swings, interlocks, additional glove ports, and more. No project is too big, no detail is too small.
Terra's self-balancing ionizing equipment is affixable to almost any Terra system, offering vital protection against damage and disruptions caused by electrostatic discharge. Self-balancing systems are an important feature of ionization equipment. Without them, the equipment requires tedious and recurring maintenance to prevent emitter point erosion and overcome changes in voltage or the ambient environment.
EV battery manufacturing facilities necessitate a host of ancillary equipment to ensure that the manufacturing environment meets benchmarks for allowable particulate levels, temperature, and humidity. Additionally, battery cell production requires special attention to battery-associated hazards and risks including reactive materials, chemical processing, fume exhaust handling, electrical safety, and potential fire hazards.
EV facilities with ISO-rated cleanroom environments adopt similar gowning and equipment standards that are found within semiconductor, aerospace, and material research environments.
Terra provides a broad selection of equipment, furniture, and task equipment to support safe, simple, and secure facility protocols.
Shop Terra Universal Online to view pricing and buy now. For assistance with configuration, large purchases, and application expertise Contact a Terra Specialist.