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AMETEK supports research consortium to achieve fast grading of used batteries

Monday, October 14, 2019

AMETEK Lends Support for Research Consortium, Enabling Rapid Grading of Batteries for Second Life Applications 

Growth in the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the roads in Europe continues to climb and as the batteries within them reach their respective end of service horizons, manufacturers face a dilemma – how to sort and prepare automotive battery packs for second life applications.  Nissan has identified a prospective solution, evident in a market opportunity to create a new revenue stream for recycled Lithium-ion battery packs once used in LEAF models. With one challenge addressed, the next presented itself – assessing the feasibility of returning these packs to the market in new energy storage use cases. 

In recognition of the potential such a recycling program would have, Nissan led the establishment of a consortium, the UK Energy Storage Laboratory project, to establish a scalable approach for grading batteries.  The project was funded by the UK WMG’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and managed in partnership with WMG, AMETEK and Element Energy.

Experts at WMG’s Energy Innovation Center established a safe, robust and fast methodology for grading used automotive Lithium-ion batteries at the pack level.  WMG then transferred the methodology to Nissan’s second-life facility in the UK.  Professionals from WMG provided training to Nissan Europe in use of the methodology to assist the enterprise in achieving its target of generating 1MWh of second-life energy storage by the end of 2019. 

Further advancing the methodology, researchers at WMG developed novel algorithms for grading battery modules for use in systems supplied by AMETEK.  The results are dramatic — a reduction in the time required for grading from four hours to less than five minutes per module.  With a proven accuracy of ±3.2% in State of Health (SoH), AMETEK has moved to patent and commercialize the technology which is now available in the company’s SI-9300R battery analyzer system. 

In terms of impact for the EV industry, the progress mentioned here represents the first time that the pack grading methodology has been demonstrated for volume manufacturing outside of a laboratory environment.  Nissan is evaluating its application in supporting re-use of the majority of packs currently assembled in EVs across Europe. 

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