Prototype that can test and sort used battery cells for reuse developed 

EV battery

An automated system that can detect the health of individual cells taken from end-of-life battery products, such as those used in EVs, and sort them according to their state of health has been successfully developed in the UK.

Cells with a state of health that is above 70% can be repurposed for further use.

The group of creators say the system, which relies on a combination of robotics, software and automation, has the potential to significantly reduce the unnecessary waste of the raw materials used to build batteries.

Following funding from Innovate UK, the project has been underway since May 2021, drawing on the “expertise” of four different organisations.

Aceleron is the firm responsible for designing and building the only batteries that can be taken apart for servicing, repair and upgrade, reducing battery waste and creating a battery with the chance of an infinite lifespan. Innvotek Ltd specialises in the automation of inspection, maintenance and the digitisation of processes.

As we increasingly turn to electricity to power our lives, the issue of battery waste is of serious concern.

MEV is an ultrasonics specialist company that provides equipment and expertise in operating systems and bespoke application software. Brunel Innovation Centre supplies academic research that can be transferred into industrial applications and developed the ultrasonic inspection technique.

The group says it hopes to secure further funding to refine the technology and develop more systems so that more useable cells can be repurposed in future.

Cell testing prototype.

Aceleron’s CTO and co-founder, Carlton Cummins, said: ‘“The average EV battery uses over 3,000 individual cells. When that battery reaches the end of its life, we estimate that at least half of the cells will still have a state of health higher than 80%.

“As we increasingly turn to electricity to power our lives, the issue of battery waste is of serious concern and this new system has the potential to preserve cells that would otherwise have been discarded.

“With Lithium shortages being forecast as soon as 2035, this machine has enormous potential to preserve what is left – and ensure that we maximise the use of the raw materials used to make battery products.”

Send this to a friend