Second life batteries are an area to be investigated by car manufacturers, and not just them. The experts developed a safe methodology for lithium-ion batteries. According to research carried out by the University of Warwick in Great Britain, it has been confirmed that a large number of electric lithium-ion batteries could be reused.
Once the batteries of electric vehicles (EVs) fulfill their primary mission, they are usually recycled. However, many Li-ion batteries have a long lifespan even after the car’s life cycle and can be used a second time in both domestic and industrial applications.
To do this, it is necessary to classify used batteries. Thus, those suitable for use as spare parts should be identified, those suitable for the use of a ‘second cycle’ and those suitable as material for recycling. This process, according to the data of companies involved in recycling, is a long and costly affair.
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In this effort the Japanese automaker Nissan was willing to explore ways to implement a much faster process of “sorting” used lithium-ion batteries than the Nissan Leaf, allowing it to reuse of old arrays or battery units against the solution of their disposal or recycling.
The project, named ‘UK Energy Storage Laboratory’, was partly funded by the BEIS (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) programme and 50 Leaf batteries were used to develop the existing classification process under the guidance of Nissan, the team of the University of Warwick and other companies.
The battery technology experts developed a safe methodology for used car lithium-ion batteries, developing sorting modes in just 3 minutes, a process that previously lasted more than 3 hours.
Classified second life batteries arrays can provide reliable and convenient energy storage solutions in a range of applications, such as household photovoltaic systems.