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REVAMP project to industrialize reprocessing of used CV batteries in Germany

High-voltage battery modules for commercial vehicles. Source: MAN Truck & Bus

Remanufacturing of variant battery modules with automated assembly and testing processes (REVAMP) is a new, recently-launched research project that aims is to increase the use rate for 2nd-use and 2nd-life batteries in Germany. 

Led by a consortium of nine partners from industry and science, with MAN Truck & Bus as chief partner, the project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) as part of the funding measure for "Research in Priority Funding for Battery Cell Production" program. 

With increased EV adoption, a strong increase in used batteries is to be expected in the future. After the first use of the battery packs in the truck, bus or van, they are either reused in the vehicle (2nd-use) or used in another application (2nd-life) such as stationary buffer storage. 

RELATED: MAN Truck & Bus working on resource-saving battery use and recycling

After that, recycling to recover the valuable raw materials remains to be the last option for these high-voltage battery packs. The REVAMP project believes that the reprocessing of battery components for a second use represents an ecological and economic alternative to existing models. 

The project calls for 'remanufacturing', which involves condition assessment and automated dismantling of battery packs, just like remanufacturing engine or vehicle components. On this basis, reprocessing, reassembly, testing and the reintroduction of the battery into the market are to be researched. 

One challenge in connection with the remanufacturing of commercial vehicle batteries is that they have different ageing states when they come back for condition assessment. The fact that the shape, structure and manufacturer of the battery can be different is said to be one of the challenges of the REVAMP project. 

Therefore, it is very important that the entire remanufacturing system is designed flexibly and can react to the different states and battery characteristics, the consortium claims. The research project is being worked on in eleven work packages. 

RELATED: Enel X, MIDAC partner to develop Lithium Battery recycling plant in Italy

The partners claim that based on methodological and theoretical principles, procedures for condition assessment and 2nd-use and 2nd-life planning are being developed. Accordingly, methods for the preparation of battery components at pack, module and cell level will be developed. A flexible, automated disassembly and reassembly will be planned and the corresponding control components will also be created. 

In addition, a digital twin is being developed to map the entire battery life cycle. This will also be used for a life cycle assessment based on key figures in order to evaluate the decisions made for the subsequent use of the batteries and also to track the sustainability goals of remanufacturing, the partners add. 

The results obtained from the REVAMP project will finally be validated in application-oriented tests and demonstrated in the eMobility technical centre at MAN in Nuremberg.

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Author : Dhiyanesh Ravichandran
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