Skip to main content Skip to navigation

WMG News

Used Nissan LEAF batteries given “second life” thanks to WMG, University of Warwick

Two engineers with a battery pack at WMGThe ability to reuse high numbers of Electric Vehicle Lithium Ion batteries for domestic and industrial use is becoming a reality for Nissan thanks to a new grading system developed by researchers at WMG, University of Warwick.

Once EV batteries have fulfilled their life-span for automotive applications, they are usually recycled by the manufacturer. However many automotive Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries have enough life left in them after the car is scrapped for ‘second-life’ uses both domestically and industrially.

To do this, it is necessary to “grade” the used batteries – identifying those suitable for use as spare parts, those suitable for “second life”, and those suitable for recycling of materials. This grading process is traditionally a long and expensive process.

Car company Nissan were keen to explore ways to make a much faster grading process for their used Li-ion batteries from the Nissan LEAF – allowing re-use of old battery packs or modules instead of disposing or recycling them.

They were challenged to demonstrate 1MWh of energy storage by the end of 2019.

Part-funded by BEIS (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) the ‘UK Energy Storage Laboratory’ project was launched, where 50 Nissan LEAF batteries were used to develop the existing grading process led by Nissan, WMG at the University of Warwick, AMETEK and Element Energy.

WMG’s battery technology experts in the Energy Innovation Centre developed a safe, robust and fast methodology for used automotive Lithium-ion batteries, at pack level. This methodology, which was initially developed in WMG, was successfully transferred to a pilot second-life facility, where the target of 1MWh of second-life energy storage was achieved.

In addition, the team at WMG developed ways of grading modules – the sub-components of battery packs in as little as 3 minutes – a process which previously took over 3 hours.

Graded second-life battery packs can provide reliable and convenient energy storage options to a range of customers: from electric roaming products – providing electricity for customers on the move, to home storage products – enabling customers with solar panels to store their energy generated. More crucially, the packs can be used for storage allowing increased intermittent renewable energy sources on the grid, without putting security of supply at risk.

Professor David Greenwood from WMG, University of Warwick comments:

“Automotive batteries deliver some great environmental benefits, but they consume a lot of resources in doing so. Opening up a second life for batteries improves both the environmental and the economic value we draw from those resources before they need recycling. I’m delighted that by working with the partners in this project, we’ve been able to make it much easier to access those second life applications.”

A battery pack in the labBusiness and Climate Change Minister, Lord Ian Duncan, said:

“It’s great to hear that the University of Warwick and Nissan are collaborating in pursuit of a greener, cleaner future. Reusing the batteries from electric cars could provide a valuable contribution to the UK’s green revolution - helping us lead more efficient and smarter lives as we end our contribution to climate change by 2050.

“We’ve part-funded this project to help give manufacturers more options than recycling – meaning a battery that helped a driver get from A to B could then be used to help store energy used to power a home.”

Ametek developed specialist equipment, and worked with WMG to embed the algorithms developed into a robust and industrialised machine that can be used by Nissan and other companies to grade second life batteries.

Andrew Williams, AMETEK Advanced Measurement Technology Business Unit Manager comments:

“The algorithm was developed with assistance from AMETEK EIS analyzers. We are currently implementing the algorithm in our new family of Solartron Analytical Battery Analyzer products, including our flagship SI-9300R model, which we expect will reduce market barriers for second life applications.”

The novel process is now being trialled for grading of battery modules at the second-life pilot facility, through these two processes, Nissan hopes to be able to re-use the vast majority of packs currently assembled in EVs in Europe.

Francisco Carranza, Managing Director from Nissan Energy comments:

“The number of electric vehicle batteries reaching end-of-service is set to increase from thousands to tens of thousands per annum by 2025. These batteries typically retain significant capacity and power delivery capability, and their re-use in so-called ‘second-life’ applications has been proposed as a mean to extend the battery value chain and minimise waste by deferring recycling.”

Project managers Element Energy commented:

“Reconditioning car batteries has to become business as usual - it makes sense environmentally and commercially. This project has proven a scalable process to deploy reconditioning and represents a significant milestone in the UK pathway to net zero emissions.”

For more information on this project, please see the UKESL Public Report at: http://www.element-energy.co.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/UKESL-Non-technical-Public-Report_2020.pdf

ENDS

21 JANUARY 2020

NOTES TO EDITORS

High-res images available credit to the University of Warwick at:

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/january2020/university_of_warwick_and_nissan_011.jpg
Caption: Two engineers with a battery pack at WMG, University of Warwick

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/january2020/university_of_warwick_and_nissan_029.jpg
Caption: A battery pack in the lab

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/january2020/university_of_warwick_and_nissan_033.jpg
Caption: From left to right: Dr John Harper Senior Development Manager – Ametek, Priya Raju Project Support Officer – WMG University of Warwick, Djovana Dantas Manzi Head Of Operations at Nissan Energy Service (Europe), Dr Maria Tsiamtsouri Research Fellow at WMG Univeristy of Warwick, and Dr Jonathan Sansom Lead Engineer WMG University of Warwick.

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/january2020/university_of_warwick_and_nissan_055.jpg
Caption: From left to right: Dr Maria Tsiamtsouri Research Fellow at WMG Univeristy of Warwick, Djovana Dantas Manzi Head Of Operations at Nissan Energy Service (Europe), Dr Jonathan Sansom Lead Engineer WMG University of Warwick and Priya Raju Project Support Officer – WMG University of Warwick.

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/january2020/university_of_warwick_and_nissan_058.jpg
Caption: From left to right: Dr John Harper Senior Development Manager – Ametek, Djovana Dantas Manzi Head Of Operations at Nissan Energy Service (Europe) and Dr Jonathan Sansom Lead Engineer WMG University of Warwick.

For further information please contact:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 2476 574 255 or +44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice.j.scott@warwick.ac.uk

 

Tue 21 Jan 2020, 09:25 | Tags: Partnerships Research Transport Electrification

WMG appoints Professor of Complex Programme Management

Professor Naomi BrookesWMG is delighted to welcome Naomi Brookes as its first Professor of Complex Programme Management.

Naomi brings a wealth of expertise in project and programme management to WMG. She began her career in the aerospace industry with Rolls-Royce plc. Since then she has worked in academia in both business and engineering faculties (where she has held a prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering professorship) and has founded her own consultancy practice.

She has authored over 130 peer-reviewed journal papers, book chapters and articles in project and innovation management and has conducted research projects funded by a wide variety of organisations including the UK Research Councils and the European Science foundation. Naomi's work has been used by organisations such as the OECD, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank and the World Economic Forum, and she has been an invited to speaker by organisations as diverse as Dubai’s International Project Management Forum and the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Most recently Naomi has chaired the MEGAPROJECT network, an EU funded initiative bringing together over 90 researchers from 25 countries promoting learning across large infrastructure projects. She has also worked on reducing the UK’s annual spend of over £3bn on its nuclear decommissioning programme.

Naomi has been recruited to WMG to develop a brand new research capability to complement its existing expertise in Project and Programme Management taught programmes. At WMG, Naomi will be developing her work on complex performance to identify ways to make projects and programmes more sustainable, more responsible and more cost-effective.

Mon 13 Jan 2020, 10:47 | Tags: Athena Swan Research

WMG PhD student attends prestigious Global Young Scientists Summit

Chris EllingfordWMG PhD student Chris Ellingford has been selected to attend the 8th Global Young Scientists Summit (GYSS) in Singapore from 14 to 17 January 2020.

Chris was one of only 300 participants, from across the world, and one of only five from the University of Warwick invited to attend.

GYSS gathers young researchers and scientists from across the world to encourage them to pursue their scientific ambitions. They have the chance to network with peers, as well as distinguished scientists and researchers.

The theme for this year’s event is "Advancing Science, Creating Technologies for a Better World,” with an impressive line-up of speakers including recipients of the Nobel Prize, Fields Medal, Millennium Technology Prize and Turing Award.

At GYSS Chris, as one of only 100 participants selected, will present at the poster session, and take part in lectures and panel discussions, and have the opportunity to interact with speakers in informal small group sessions. Outside of the Summit, Chris will also have the chance to visit local universities and research centres to learn more about Singapore’s research and innovation ecosystem.

Chris is currently in the 4th year of his Research Degree at WMG. He is based within the Nanocomposites team investigating "Self-healing Elastomeric Nanocomposites for Actuation and Energy Harvesting."

Tue 07 Jan 2020, 14:42 | Tags: Nanocomposites Athena Swan Research

WMG Professor appointed Director of the Institute of Digital Healthcare

Professor Theo ArvanitisProfessor Theo Arvanitis has been appointed as the new Director of the Institute of Digital Healthcare (IDH), at WMG.

Professor Arvanitis takes over the new role replacing Professor Sudhesh Kumar from Warwick Medical School.

He joined WMG in 2007, as a Professor of e-Health Innovation and Head of Research in IDH, and his research interests span the areas of biomedical engineering, neuroimaging and health informatics.

Professor Arvanitis will manage his new role alongside his current research responsibilities within WMG. He will be supported by a new IDH Advisory Board which will be appointed in the new year.


WMG Professor takes on new role as Deputy PVC (Research) for Knowledge Exchange and Partnerships

Professor Kerry Kirwan has been appointed as the new Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) for Knowledge Exchange and Partnerships, for the University of Warwick.

Knowledge exchange, industry partnerships and innovation are key components of much of the University’s research, with Professor Kirwan appointed to support this growing area.

Kerry, a Professor at WMG is also a Director of the £11m EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing (EngD), Strategic Director of the £10m Industrial Doctorate Centre and Head of WMG’s Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing Research Group. He also sits on the University’s Research Executive Group.

Professor Kirwan is actively involved in the newly emerging Knowledge Exchange Framework programme, Monash-Warwick Alliance, Warwick in Europe, the Global Challenges Research Fund, Midlands Innovation, Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) and the Innovative Manufacturing and Future Materials GRP.

Professor Kerry KirwanSpeaking about his new appointment, Professor Kirwan said: “I am delighted to take up this position and very much look forward to continuing to work with the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research to ensure we continue to grow our knowledge exchange, innovation and business and industry partnerships, and ultimately advance the outstanding research achievements of the University.”

Professor Pam Thomas, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research), commented: “Professor Kirwan will play a critical role and his skills and experience will be instrumental in furthering the development of Warwick as a leading research-intensive University with strong industry partnerships – locally, nationally and globally.”


Car batteries can be frozen for safer transportation  

Currently transporting damaged and defective car batteries is an expensive process as they need to be placed in an explosion proof box which costs thousands of pounds, however researchers from WMG at the University of Warwick in collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover engineers have been able to freeze batteries with Liquid Nitrogen.

An explosion proof box to transport a typical Tesla sized battery costs €10,000 and a furtherCar batteries can be frozen €10,000 for the UN accreditation, however, the ability to transport them in plastic containers which cost a couple of hundred pounds has been made more accessible thanks to researchers from WMG at the University of Warwick.

In the paper, Cycle life of lithium ion batteries after flash cryogenic freezing’ published in the Journal of Energy Storage, researchers highlight that cryogenic freezing does not reduce lithium ion battery’s energy capacity or affect cycle or service life, and could be transported in a safer way.

As the sales of electric vehicles increases, there is more concern for the transportation of damaged and defective lithium ion battery packs. Currently, it is an expensive process, as they are put in an explosion proof box that costs €10,000 and a further €10,000 for the UN accreditation, which EV manufacturers are picking up the bill for.

Explosion boxes are used to contain the battery in case it goes into thermal runway, an overheating condition which can lead to violent explosions and toxic gases being released. However being able to cryogenically flash freeze the batteries completely removes the risk of an explosion, and could therefore mean they can be transported safely in a plastic box.

Researchers who were part of the ELEVATE project funded by ESPRC, WMG Centre High Value Manufacturing Catapult, and Car batteries can be frozensupported by Jaguar Land Rover tested the batteries activity before they froze cells with liquid nitrogen and after, they also drove nails through the frozen cell to test the safety of them, and managed to show that their performance was not effected after freezing.

When being transported batteries will have to be kept in a lorry at -35 degrees, however the amount of packaging is significantly less than explosion proof boxes, making the process more sustainable.

Dr Thomas Grandjean from WMG, at the University of Warwick comments:

“Transporting damaged and defective batteries is an expensive and unsustainable process, however being able to freeze them with liquid nitrogen could save thousands of pounds and help electric vehicle manufacturers be more sustainable.

“We tested the batteries in the most extreme abuse conditions, such as driving nails through the cells and inducing external short circuits, proving that the freezing process is effective and safe.”

ENDS

2 DECEMBER 2019

NOTES TO EDITORS

High-res images available credit to WMG University of Warwick at:

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/december2019/batts_3_.png
Caption: A frozen battery cell with a nail through it

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/december2019/batts_5_.png
Caption: A frozen battery cell with a nail through it

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/december2019/batts_7_.png
Caption: A room temperature cell with a nail through it exploding

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/december2019/batts_6.png
Caption: A room temperature cell with a nail through it exploding

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/december2019/batts_2_.png
Dr Thomas Grandjean from WMG, University of Warwick handling the battery cell frozen by liquid nitrogen

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/december2019/untitled.png
Dr Thomas Grandjean from WMG, University of Warwick handling the battery cell frozen by liquid nitrogen

For further information please contact:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 2476 574 255 or + 44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice.j.scott@warwick.ac.uk


WMG research development conference with North America focus

WMG research development conference with North America focusWMG’s Research Office hosted a conference for around 50 academics and researchers from across the University of Warwick’s Science Faculty, on Thursday (28th November).

The conference focused on research collaboration opportunities with North America, and considered various funding options to support increased engagement in this area.

Professor Carsten Maple, Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Warwick charged with leading the strategy in North America, provided an overview of the University’s International Strategy, and Sarah Wilson from WMG’s Research Office shared insights from a recent visit to Washington DC.

The delegates then heard from Brendan Vickers, Innovate UK’s Partnership Manager for North America, who explained the Innovate UK structure and strategy, and gave an insight into potential future funding calls in this space.

Finally, invited academics shared their collaboration experiences. These included Darren Hughes who has previously conducted work at various US National Laboratories, Alon Ratner who recently visited NREL, Sandra Chapman who detailed the benefits of her Fulbright Scholarship to her space weather research, and Matthew Higgins, from WMG’s Intelligent Vehicles team, who explained more about the 5G Technology research project with National Instruments.

As one of the outcomes from the meeting, WMG will now be developing a special alumni newsletter specifically for WMG alumni based in North America who have a relationship with the University and are interested in building on this connection.

Mon 02 Dec 2019, 14:11 | Tags: Partnerships Research

Department for Transport to give keynote address at WMG’s Very Light Rail Conference

On the 28th November 2019, Steve Berry OBE, Head of Highways Maintenance, Innovation, Resilience, Light Rail and Cableways at the UK Department of Transport will give the keynote address at the Very Light Rail Conference being held at The Slate on the University of Warwick’s campus. He will speak about the potential for Very Light Rail to transform local public transport.

Steve Berry will be joined by industry speakers and academics involved in developing very light rail, including local companies TDI and RDM. They will talk about three projects that are underway across the West Midlands, and discuss why the West Midlands is leading the way in VLR.Coventry VLR

As the UK population continues to grow along with traffic congestion and vehicle emissions, new transport options are needed to create modal shift and encourage people to leave their cars at home.

At present buses and trams (light rail) provide alternatives to private cars, but bus patronage has been falling steadily for many years in contrast to tram ridership which has taken passengers out of their cars. However, tram routes are expensive to construct and can only be afforded by large city conurbations such as Birmingham. That said, Very Light Rail (VLR) may be a solution that medium sized cities could afford.

Very Light Rail is a lower cost, zero emission option for sustainable transport. The technology can be applied to branch lines as well as urban rail (trams). The Coventry VLR scheme aims to reduce the cost through the delivery of lightweight, battery electric vehicles combined with a novel track form, the first system of its kind in the world.

Coventry VLR3D visualisations of the Coventry VLR vehicle were unveiled earlier this year. The lightweight vehicle is fabricated from a combination of steel, aluminium and composite components and will be capable of carrying 50 passengers.

Unlike traditional trams, the Coventry VLR system will not have overhead cables – the vehicle will be powered by an on-board battery which will be rapidly charged at the end of the route. The vehicles will run on a novel prefabricated track form which be easy to install into the road and remove, negating the need to utility companies to relocate their equipment (which is a significant cost in light rail tram solutions).

Currently the system is being designed to meet Coventry City’s needs, but it is expected other medium sized cities across the UK, such as Leicester and Derby, may follow in due course.

Dr Nick Mallinson from WMG, University of Warwick comments:
“At WMG we’ve been working on very light rail technology with a number of industry partners for 5 years. Progress achieved to date recently convinced the Department for Transport that the time is right for a conference to showcase the work and make local authorities, transport planners and industry aware of the potential for very light rail solutions”

To see the full agenda and register your interest in the event please fill out the form at: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/mediacentre/wmgevents/vlr/

ENDS

22 NOVEMBER 2019

NOTES TO EDITORS

High-res images available at:

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/march2019/tdi123_coventry_vlr_exterior_4a_2019-03-12.jpg Credit: TDI

Please credit the following images and videos to: WMG, University of Warwick

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/november2019/9.jpeg

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/november2019/3.jpeg

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/november2019/6.jpeg

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/november2019/7.jpeg

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/november2019/8.jpeg

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/november2019/11.jpeg

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/november2019/1.jpeg

https://youtu.be/Ur0Y0JGLIXA

https://youtu.be/JQR-x2d25VU

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 2476 574 255 or +44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice.j.scott@warwick.ac.uk

 

Fri 22 Nov 2019, 11:41 | Tags: Materials and Manufacturing Research

WMG Professor recognised by UK engineering institution

WMG Professor recognised by UK engineering institutionCongratulations to WMG Professor Claire Davis who has been awarded the prestigious Hadfield (Sir Robert Hadfield) Medal and Prize by The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IoM3).

Professor Davis was presented with the award in recognition of her exceptional contribution to the steel industry and its value chain.

The Hadfield Medal is widely recognised as a distinguished achievement in relation to metallurgical practice, process development, product development, metallurgical understanding or design engineering connected with iron and steel or associated industries.

Professor Davis holds the Royal Academy of Engineering / Tata Steel Chain in Low Energy Steel Processing at WMG. Her research focuses on the development of microstructure during processing and the relationships between microstructure and properties (both physical and mechanical) in steels.

Find out more about Professor Davis’s research here.

Wed 20 Nov 2019, 16:29 | Tags: Athena Swan Steels Processing Research

Bionic hand made in 10 hours thanks to WMG, University of Warwick

A bionic hand can be made to measure in 10 hours and can grip using a moveable thumb. Designers and engineers from WMG, University of Warwick and UK industry, have been able to entirely 3D Print the device with embedded electrical circuitry to seamlessly connect sensors and actuators.

Bionic armThe IMPACT project, led by Iterate Design and Innovation Ltd, in collaboration with WMG, University of Warwick, C Enterprise (UK) Ltd and Printed Electronics Ltd, was made possible thanks to a grant of nearly £900,000 from Innovate UK, with the aim of developing a 3D printing technology with the ability to print plastic products with integrated electrical circuitry, a capability which they have demonstrated in a bionic hand.

The IMPACT hand has taken inspiration from a similar developed by Ambionic’s Ben Ryan, whose son had his forearm amputated after birth, and who decided to make him a new one.

The IMPACT team have taken this design further by embedding the electrical circuitry linking the motion controlling muscle sensors with the motors and battery into the structure of the bionic hand, thus providing a durable and aesthetic solution.

Engineers at WMG, University of Warwick have tested the durability of the printed electrical circuitry to understand how well they will endure the bending and flexing that they might experience in use.

They also developed a website so that people can interact with the manufacturers to order a 3D Printed hand, allowing them to insert the measurements of their arm, and select what colour they want their hand to be, providing them with a tailored and personalised product.

10 hours later the hand will be printed with the sensors inbuilt ready for use.

Within the project, Iterate Design and Innovation Ltd developed the design of the hand, including the integration of the electrical circuitry and sensors. Printed Silver ink trackElectronics Ltd developed the technology for printing the electrical circuitry within the 3D Printing process and C Enterprise (UK) Ltd developed the multi-axis, multi-material 3D printer that enables the hand to be realised in 3D.

Dr Greg Gibbons of WMG University of Warwick comments:

“WMG are delighted to be a partner in the IMPACT project, helping to deliver this innovative and revolutionary technology, which is undoubtedly helping put UK PLC at the forefront of 3D Printing research and development globally.”

Gethin Roberts, Project Lead and MD of Iterate Design + Innovation comments:

“The IMPACT project has resulted in the creation of an exciting new technology that has the ability to print electro-mechanical parts and assemblies, which weren’t previously possible. Through laying down conductive ink tracks within polymer structures means that parts produced are fully functional straight off the machine bed; offering huge productivity benefits.”

ENDS

14 NOVEMBER 2019

NOTES TO EDITORS

High-res images available credit to Iterate UK/Ambionics

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/november2019/arm_pic.jpg

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/november2019/silver_ink_track.jpg

About WMG
WMG is a world leading research and education group transforming organisations and driving innovation through a unique combination of collaborative research and development, and pioneering education programmes.

As an international role model for successful partnerships between academia and the private and public sectors, WMG develops advancements nationally and globally, in applied science, technology and engineering, to deliver real impact to economic growth, society and the environment.

WMG‘s education programmes focus on lifelong learning of the brightest talent, from the WMG Academies for Young Engineers, degree apprenticeships, undergraduate and postgraduate, through to professional programmes.

An academic department of the University of Warwick, and a centre for the HVM Catapult, WMG was founded by Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya in 1980 to help reinvigorate UK manufacturing and improve competitiveness through innovation and skills development.

For further information please contact:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 2476 574 255 or +44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice.j.scott@warwick.ac.uk

Thu 14 Nov 2019, 09:53 | Tags: Materials and Manufacturing Research

Older news