Laser processing for alternatives energy devices: Advanced battery and fuel cell applications
Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) have become a rapidly expanding global market, because they combine the benefits of high fuel economy and low emissions with the power, range, and convenience of gasoline and diesel powered vehicles. The HEV drivetrain is a combination of the internal combustion engine of a conventional vehicle with the battery and electric motor of an electric vehicle. Future HEV's can incorporate two energy sources - an energy conversion unit such as an internal combustion engine or fuel cell and an energy storage device such as batteries or ultracapacitors . To this end, considerable progress has been made in the development of both advanced batteries and fuel cells with regard to efficiency and power output, however efficient mass production remains a critical issue that must be resolved to further reduce the manufacturing cost and to meet the market demands for many applications. Laser processing offers effective solutions in many stages of the as sembly of these devices. This paper focuses on cutting and welding applications for the assembly of advanced batteries and PEM fuel cells. Materials that have been investigated are copper and aluminum foils as well as stainless steel. Examples for high speed cutting of foils and joining of similar and dissimilar materials using high brightness fiber and disc lasers will be given.