Landeshauptstadt Dresden - 19.07.2023 09:11:53 Uhr 27.05.2024 14:43:49 Uhr

Predictable batteries: NOVUM engineers extend life cycles of rechargeable batteries

NOVUM Engineering

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Nominee Portrait Innovation Award 2023: NOVUM Engineering

The car is slow to start, the laptop won't boot up. Who hasn't experienced it: Batteries with a weak age can make life difficult for us. But there is often more to batteries than meets the eye. The Dresden-based company NOVUM engineering has developed a novel process that uses AI to check batteries in order to use them more efficiently and for longer. This saves a lot of time, money and emissions. For its development, the company won the State’s prize for Innovation this year.

Batteries are a black box for many. Because until now, their state of charge has only been estimated. No one knows exactly how long they will last or when they will break. As a result, batteries are often used inefficiently. According to the German Federal Environment Agency, batteries require up to 500 times more energy to manufacture than they later make available. If they are used incorrectly or are subject to severe temperature fluctuations, performance is further compromised. Under the right conditions, however, they can be used for much longer and recycled for a second or even third life cycle. This is highly relevant not only for private consumers, but also for industries. Efficient batteries are a key issue in e-mobility, for example. The aim here is to use the expensive batteries, which require a lot of energy to produce, for as long as possible.

But how long do rechargeable batteries actually last? How large is their capacity really? And how much energy is still contained at the end of a life cycle? Engineers at NOVUM engineering can now determine these questions precisely and in seconds with their innovative process. They have developed a process that is unique in the world to date for making reliable statements about the condition, capacity and service life of batteries. And they can do this for all types of batteries and battery storage systems of any size, from smaller lithium batteries to LFP batteries installed in cars, mobile homes or motorboats, and even large-scale storage systems in industrial companies.

Smart monitoring uses patented technology and AI-based processes to completely scan and monitor batteries. The AI needs just 90 seconds to test the condition of batteries used in industry, for example. The data collected in the process is uploaded to the NOVUM cloud and analyzed using neural networks. In this way, the state of charge can be determined precisely for the first time. Monitoring takes place on site or remotely via data transfers, as required. For example, a fleet management company can have its vehicle batteries conveniently checked via a mobile service tool.

With the precise assessment of the batteries, so-called predictive maintenance, operations can adjust their usage behavior and derive the ideal use of the battery. This saves a lot of energy, emissions and costs. Large-scale storage systems can be operated more economically and fast-charging processes for small electrical appliances can be optimized. Used batteries are given a second or even third life cycle thanks to diagnostics. This can save up to 90 percent of recycling costs.

Battery storage and its optimization are essential for the energy transition - and NOVUM engineering has found a way to make batteries more predictable and durable. The company has already received several awards for its innovative process, including High-Tech Startup Europe 2017 and, most recently, first place at the Saxony Innovation Award 2023.