TWAICE: Digital twins for batteries

Medium close-up of the three founders of NÜWIEL, which offers smart cargo trailers for bicycles, enabling environmentally friendly last-mile delivery.

The TWAICE team completed the second batch and was again able to impress the jury at the pitch day in September 2018. That is why the start-up will also be taking part in the third accelerator phase.

Lithium-ion batteries are currently the go-to product in electromobility, despite having a number of disadvantages: production costs are relatively high; wear and tear is a problem; and there is still room for improvement in terms of safety. Michael Baumann and Stephan Rohr have set out to tackle these aspects with their Munich start-up, TWAICE. They develop digital twins for batteries which can be used to lengthen the lifetime and warranty of batteries.

Sustainable technology innovation – for insurers, too

The TWAICE technology combines hardware to collect data with software used to optimise batteries. By extending battery life, fewer resources are required. This has a positive impact on the climate. Furthermore, the technology offers valuable insights for the production of more efficient batteries and can thus make an important contribution to the promotion of electromobility. TWAICE also makes greater use of renewable energy by offering additional uses for batteries, such as night-time storage.

Milestones and portrait of the TWAICE founders

The basic concept of the technology came about during the four years Michael Baumann spent working on his PhD at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and, as of 2018, is available as a “software as a service” to battery manufacturers and operators of electric vehicle fleets. Stephan Rohr also completed a PhD at the TUM and was most recently team leader of the “Components of electric vehicles” research group at the TUM’s Institute of Automotive Technology, having previously worked at a consulting firm.

Where Munich Re and ERGO see potential

TWAICE applies concept of virtual models – “digital twins” – to energy storage. By using data from sensors and analytical and data models, TWAICE not only closes the gap between product development and application, but also offers up new opportunities, such as predictive maintenance and extended warranties.

It was the sustainable approach of the TWAICE business model that won over the Munich Re and ERGO experts. It is no secret that battery use is growing. If the TWAICE technology can help to considerably increase battery life, this will be of major benefit for the environment and will contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Munich Re and ERGO staff are keen to see how the technology can be scaled up.

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