Fraunhofer focuses on technology for reusing used EV parts

In Germany, Fraunhofer researchers in the EKODA undertaking (Successful and Economic Cycle-Oriented Dismantling and Reconditioning) purpose to build an option to scrapping utilized cars and trucks or cars and trucks that have been concerned in accidents.

Currently, employed cars and trucks and automobiles associated in incidents are usually scrapped with vitality-intensive scrapping processes, even if quite a few components are nevertheless functional. The EKODA venture permits the optimisation of the lifespans of specific automotive areas to produce a a lot more circular economy.

A staff of scientists from Fraunhofer IWU in Chemnitz, in the German condition of Saxony, are at present building and optimising an evaluation process that allows optimum re-use of electric powered car sections in advance of recycling. This aims to handle transportation industry issues such as scarcity of resources, price tag of uncooked supplies, source chain issues, vitality prices and waste disposal. The mentioned aim is to obtain “sustainable mobility by round worth creation”. One of the core systems of the EKODA venture includes computer software outfitted with AI algorithms to help productive, economically practical disassembly and processing.

It EKODA undertaking is backed by a grant initiative from the German Federal Ministry of Education and learning and Exploration (BMBF). In collaboration with the Fraunhofer IWU, the job consortium involves the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Security and Energy Technology UMSICHT in Oberhausen and what Fraunhofer IWU claims is an array of other field partners.

The course of action developed indicates that components are 1st examined in a intricate exam method. This will involve an analysis program that tends to make recommendations on how the components could be additional utilised. Batteries, transmission shafts or equipment wheels could hence close up in apps outdoors the car. The main jobs of the EKODA project in the battery sector, for instance, features the dismantling and analysis of parameters this sort of as effectiveness, state of charge and performance.

For the battery, a digicam method initially records the style, model designation, power course (in kilowatts) and serial number of the battery pack eliminated from a used or crashed vehicle and compares them with an internal databases. The include of the battery pack is then taken off semi-instantly. More analyses follow so that a measuring technique data the present-day condition of charge, the performance of the control electronics and the ailment of the particular person battery cells.

The evaluation software program designed by the Fraunhofer IWU makes use of the details to make a in-depth issue profile to make recommendations for more use. For example, a younger battery in fantastic issue could be made use of in a made use of auto, while an more mature electrical power storage device could be utilised in a “smaller agricultural machine”, for illustration. Past cellular programs, used battery cells can however be excellent for stationary energy storage apps, these as in residences or at charging stations, in the very same way the “cascade” or “ladder” reuse prioritisation program is made use of in China. Nevertheless, the use of this approach goes past establishing acceptable second-everyday living apps for made use of batteries: other automobile sections ought to also be in a position to be analyzed and place to secondary use according to the exact principle.

“A cogwheel from a defective gearbox could be reused in a refurbished electrical scooter, to title just a person illustration,” describes Dr Uwe Frieß, head of the section for physique development, assembly and disassembly at Fraunhofer IWU. The Chemnitz-based researchers are also concentrating on parts these as the car or truck human body and the push educate so that sections of an electric powered vehicle’s drive prepare, such as shafts or cogwheels built of metal or metal, can also be suited for remanufacturing. Employed shafts could be used in yet another mobility application as a result of a reshaping system, for example. “The decisive aspect below is that the unique parts are disassembled thoroughly by way of a standardised and automatic procedure, as we need to have to locate doable ways of reusing the elements right from the start off,” Dr Frieß points out.

The perform with field companions also enables using the evaluation process a action additional to seem at supply chains, repair stores and auto dismantlers so that prerequisites or requests for spare components could be integrated into the analysis system’s knowledge pool. The Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Basic safety and Power Technological know-how UMSICHT is simultaneously acquiring circular business versions. These really should be in a position to be applied effectively in a wide range of industries, and business versions will be critical in enabling performance across industries.

German industries are acknowledged for their robust know-how in recycling know-how and Germany is by now a major provider of recycling machinery globally. Now the land of engineers is steering emphasis toward the forseeably profitable industry of reuse technology – which is, of program, also an increasingly significant discipline of geopolitical worth as electricity and finite assets inexorably come to be extra minimal.