Steering towards a circular economy
Est. reading time: 5 min
In essence it is all about saving resources and CO2
Lithium batteries traditionally have been designed for specific purposes like Electric Vehicles, backup for solar PV panels or energy storage systems, gadgets, etc. While being used, their capacity slowly reduces over their lifetime and are typically discarded when most of their capacity is still available, which is a premature stage to recycle them. Recycling only makes sense when the lithium batteries cannot be repurposed or reused. Lithium batteries can be used for a period of 8-20 years depending on their applications. The more stressful the application is, the shorter is the expected life span.
But operating life can be extended significantly by reusing batteries for a second life. Lithium batteries can be considered CO2 neutral when used in clean applications. For example, EX and solar systems offset the emissions from the production. Is a second life given to those batteries, their carbon footprint becomes even smaller or in other words positive.
» We asked ourselves - what if we could design a Lithium battery which serves its purpose in campervans, boats, ESS and then transitions to lesser intensive applications like solar backup before being recycled. «
One battery for every use case
Extending the useful life of Lithium batteries
Once the available battery capacity has fallen below the acceptable capacity for the first time application, it is bought back from the customers to be installed for less demanding stationery applications across Europe, Asia and Africa. For stationery applications like solar, multiple of such second life batteries can be used to reach the needed battery capacity. And because space and weight is not an issue in stationery applications, this is no problem as against installing additional heavy batteries in mobile applications. In such a configuration, the batteries in their second life can last as long as 10 years if designed well for an appropriate application.
To be able to be used for second life applications, batteries need to be designed for the purpose. We have built state of the art prediction algorithms, which accurately measure the health of the batteries, which is important to build safe, long lasting and reliable second life lithium batteries.
Recycling more at the end of life
After the battery capacity is down to 60%, the battery is finally collected back and sent for recycling. The electronics has been designed to completely discharge the battery before being sent for recycling, this makes the handling of lithium batteries safe. Charged lithium batteries pose significant fire hazard when sent for crushing as it is. The plastic casing is designed for ease of dismantle. The revenue that was generated from second life application will be used to subsidize the cost towards logistics for collection from customers and delivery to recycling centers.
Traceability to enable Circularity
A key aspect of a circular economy is the ability to map and trace minerals, materials, components and final solutions throughout their life-cycle. Apart from building transparency across the value chain, it also enables matching the batteries for a second life and collecting for recycling from the customers across the globe. We enable everyone to become part of responsible use of our valuable resources on our planet.