CSIR-Central Electrochemical Research Institute
(A premier R&D Institute in Electrochemistry)
Fuel Cells Overview

Electrochemical Power Sources Division:

A Team of Scientists and Research Scholars working in the fields of Electrochemical Power Sources (ECPS) focus on research activities relating to development of different energy storage systems and offers consultancy as well as remedial measures for problems referred by battery industries. The team  has expertise in the field of lead acid batteries, [deep discharge lead-acid batteries for photovoltaic applications, maintenance free lead- acid batteries for UPS and defence applications], Nickel-iron batteries for AC coaches and railway signalling, Magnesium-Organic batteries for low temperature operation up to -40ºC, Nickel-metal hydride and Magnesium-silver chloride  batteries for electronics, electric vehicles and navy applications. The team concentrates on the development of different types electrode materials as anode, cathode and polymer electrolyte for Lithium-ion and Li-ion polymer batteries used in electronics and electric vehicles.  By using skills at various CSIR laboratories, indigenously developed 3.6 V, 650 mAh 18650 Li-ion cells using proprietary electrode materials have successfully developed under CSIR-TAPSUN Network Programme. Unlike conventional batteries, redox flow systems are promising to offer affordable energy storage options for solar and wind energy generation. A design of 500 W Zinc-bromine redox flow battery has been developed and could be scaled up to 10 KW stack in the near future.  A new technology is forecasted for design of super-capacitors in the field of energy storage using Lead foam based material. A unique facility called Battery Performance Testing and Evaluation Centre [CSIR-BPTEC] has been established in 2014 exclusively for supporting the battery industries, which has got NABL accreditation. Apart from R&D activities, the division offers knowledge up gradation through industrial training and skill development workshops. The group includes 14 Scientists, 4 Senior Technical Officers, 13 Research scholars ( JRF & SRF ) and 12 Project assistants working for the development of electrochemical energy storage devices. Many research scholars have completed Ph.D in these areas and also doing Ph.D on advanced materials for futuristic systems like Li-S, Li-Air, Li-Se, Na-ion and Na-S batteries.  In addition, B.Tech students of this institute and M.Sc., M.Tech and M.Phil students of various universities carry out their project work under the supervision of our scientists. 


Fuel cell

The fuel cell group at Central Electro-Chemical Research Institute (CECRI, carries elemental and functional research work on electrode materials for energy storage and conversion systems; (i) Redox flow batteries with low cost and long cycling performance(ii) super-capacitors (hybrid super-capacitors and Li-ion super-capacitors) through a novel materials design and optimization of preparation parameter variables. CECRI’s efforts are centred on low cost electrode materials/separators, improving the cell performance by reducing Br2 crossover and light weight electrode fabrication to increase the energy density. Recently, CSIR-CECRI has demonstrated 500 W ZnBr2 redox flow battery. Development of higher stacks of ZnBr2 redox flow battery is under progress. Further, the group team up with other national laboratories, institutes and universities to acquaint knowledge in their perspective field to achieve the goals.

This group also explores the various materials including different carbon, graphene based compounds, metal oxides and conducting polymer to develop high power density super-capacitors. Recently, a new class of lithium ion hybrid super-capacitors (Li-HSCs) that combine the high energy density Li ion insertion/extraction materials with high power density super-capacitor active materials to increase energy and power density simultaneously have become more popular.


Lead Acid Battery


CSIR-CECRI is the pioneering institute in lead acid battery research and development. Till now CSIR-CECRI has given know-how for more than 30 licenses all over the country in lead acid battery manufacturing technology. Many MSME lead acid batteries industries have been established and running successfully for more than two decades with CECRI know-how technology (eg. Jas Battery Calicut, AVM Batteries, Pudukottai, Gowell Industries Hyderabad, etc.). CSIR-CECRI has been an integral part towards development of advanced lead acid battery systems for electric vehicle applications. CSIR-CECRI has active research collaborations with TVS Motors, Kinetic engineering, MNRE and Reliance Industries towards development of advanced lead acid batteries for electric vehicle, solar and stationary applications.

CSIR-CECRI has created NABL accredited CSIR-BPTEC (Battery performance testing and evaluation centre) in 2014, a unique facility for assisting battery industries in quality management. Batteries are subjected to different types of tests as per national, international and in-house specifications with the start-of-the art equipment. Till now more than 200 industries including Exide Industries, Amararaja Batteries, NED Energy, Mahindra Reva, Microtek, Amco, have benefitted from the facility. The introduction of new materials with higher performance parameters gives various designers freedom and flexibility to incorporate new functionality in present product or to create new products.