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Project Profile

Background
An immature battery technology appears to be the crucial obstacle for a large diffusion of electric mobility in Germany. One core argument are the high costs of eCar batteries which cause electric vehicles to be about three times more expensive than vehicles with a compression ignition (CI) engine. The still small number of produced electric vehicles conversely impede realizing economies of scale to full extent. This deadlock prevents the comprehensive diffusion of electric mobility.

Decreasing Total Cost of Ownership
Consequently, an essential precondition for the electric mobility’s diffusion is the decrease of the eCar batteries’ Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Thereby costs reduction potentials have to be identified and used in all life cycle phases, from development to reuse. In the phase of reuse after the batteries’ first-life cycle (so-called End-of-(First-)Life, EOL) the existing concepts seldom exceed the disposal required by law (BMU 2011, 2012a-c). However, generally at least a second application of eCar batteries (Second-Life concept) after the first use is economic and can generate additional payments in a secondary market. Thus the TCO of electric vehicles can be considerably reduced and the deadlock can be solved.

Second-Life Concepts: A growth market
The importance of Second-Life concepts has increased for the past years. Reasons for this are the high costs of resources and the recycling of lithium-ion batteries and the still available capacities after the first application (figure 1). The end of life cycle in the major application range of the lithium-ion cells – concerning electric mobility – is generally already defined by a 20% loss of the original capacity. However, the batteries’ further use is especially attractive for stationary applications, as the energy density is less important for a local saving in this area of application than the saving costs.

Fig. 1: Schematic Diagram of the lithium-ion battery’s aging (AE) and potential areas of application in a secondary market (P3 Society of Engineers).

Because of the currently increasing number of electric vehicles, it can already be calculated with a significant volume of batteries for Second-Life concepts in the year 2020. According to predictions 20 GWh lithium-ion batteries will be available for Second-Life concepts in Europe until year 2030 (figure 2).

Fig. 2: Lithium-ion batteries’ potential for Second-Life Concepts (P3 Society of Engineers).

Energiewende as incitement of reusing eCar batteries
Due to the ‘Energiewende’ the requirement of central but also decentralized energy storages will rise considerably.  For example decentralized battery storage of photovoltaic installations offer the possibility for the user to become independent of energy supplying companies and contribute to the energy network relief.  Additionally, the declining promotion in the context of the ‘Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetzes’ (EEG) causes decentralized storage options to appear financially unattractive so that this market becomes interesting for a second use of energy storages of electric vehicles.

Technical and economic solution options for reusing eCar batteries
Object of the project EOL-IS is – based on the chemical and technical features of eCar batteries – to develop service innovations for the phase after the eCar batteries’ EOL, to find the best Second-Life concept for each single battery and to conduct this with accurately fitting hybrid bundles of services. Thereby the physical and chemical features and the battery’s history of usage, its condition and further economic, ecological and judicial information are considered. From an economic perspective innovative Second-Life concepts are developed and evaluated. With an economic point of view processes and instruments of the service research are further developed for the practice field electric mobility.

Decision Support Systems as central solution contribution
To realize this object a decision support system is developed which suggests an optimal further application strategy of a specific battery and configures adequate hybrid bundles of service. Additionally, specific and professional requirements for the creation of battery management systems are developed in the project EOL-IS so as to generate the relevant data during the battery’s first life.

The entire research process in the requested project refers to the paradigm of a design-oriented research which can have been identified as the  “Design Science Research“ of Simon (1996), March and Smith (1995) and Hevner et al. (2004) for information systems.

Detailing of Subprojects

Hellmann Process Management

The recycle service provider, Hellmann Process Management (HPM), has the subproject’s goal to develop a concept of reverse logistics of used eCar batteries and advancing entrepreneurial business models in terms of recycling or rather the reuse of eCar batteries. 

P3 Energy & Storage

P3 Energy & Storage (P3 E&S) is in charge of the joint project EOL-IS coordination. The subproject’s goal of P3 E&S is to define requirements of the data administration in battery management systems, so that the next generation of battery management systems can meet the requirement of eCar batteries to can be used after their first life-cycle in automobiles. Interfaces of battery management systems, which enable the electronic readout of the relevant data, are defined and an applicable concept of digital condition record and identification of eCar batteries is developed. Subsequently, the requirements are specified concerning the data structure of an eEOL pass providing a complete overview of the eCar battery’s data. Additionally, P3 E&S identifies the conditions  of reasonable recycling used batteries and creates suitable services correspondingly.

Westphalian Wilhelms-University Münster

The Westphalian Wilhelms-University Münster (WWU Münster) works on the subprojects in a cooperation of two departments. On the one hand the department Münster Electrochemical Energy Technology (MEET) develops new battery evaluation procedures to determine the eCar batteries’ condition. And on the other hand the department of information systems develops a catalog of modular services which can be combined with the battery to hybrid bundles of services, otherwise also analyses recycling services which can be applied if the battery’s condition preclude a reuse. The services, defined in the catalog, are evaluated comparatively to technical, economic and ecological aspects. In front of this background a software-based decision support concept is designed to find the best reuse scenario of each single battery which then is software-technically implemented and evaluated. Supportive findings refers to the documentation of data administration requirements in battery management systems (subproject P3 E&S), resulting from services and the support of HPM to develop the concept for the reverse logistic (subproject of HPM) of the eCar batteries from the perspective of battery technology.

References

  1. Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit (BMU 2012a): EcoBatRec. Demonstrationsanlage für ein kostenneutrales, ressourceneffizientes Processing ausgedienter Lithium-Ionen-Batterien der Elektromobilität, Internet: http://ecobatrec.de/index.html (Accessed on 03.12.2012).

  2. Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit (BMU 2012b): Recycling von Lithium-Ionen-Batterien. Abschlussbericht zum Verbundvorhaben, Internet: http://www.pt-elektromobilitaet.de/projekte/foerderprojekte-aus-dem-konj... (Accessed on 03.12.2012).

  3. Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit (BMU 2012c): LithoRec II. Recycling von Lithium-Ionen-Batterien, Internet: http://www.lithorec.de/index.php?id=30&L=0 (Accessed on 03.12.2012).

  4. Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit (BMU 2011): Lithium-Ionen-Batterierecycling Initiative. Entwicklung eines realisierbaren Recyclingkonzepts für die Hochleistungsbatterien zukünftiger Elektrofahrzeuge. Abschlussbericht zum Verbundvorhaben, Internet: http://www.pt-elektromobilitaet.de/projekte/foerderprojekte-aus-dem-konj... (Accessed on 03.12.2012).

  5. Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung ISI (2012): Roadmapping „Lithium-Ionen-Batterie LIB 2015“, Internet: http://www.isi.fraunhofer.de/isi-de/t/projekte/at-lib-2015-roadmapping.php (Accessed on 03.12.2012).

  6. Hevner, A.R.; March, S.T.; Park, J.; Ram, S. (2004): Design Science in Information Systems Research. MIS Quarterly, 28, 1, S. 75–105. Simon

  7. March, S.T.; Smith, G.F. (1995): Design and Natural Science Research on Information Technology. Decision Support Systems, 15, 4, S. 179–212.

  8. Simon, H. (1996): The Science of the Artificial. 3rd Edition. MIT Press, Cambridge.


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