Prof Simon Lambert is a member of academic staff in the Electrical Power research group of the School of Engineering at Newcastle University (UK). For over ten years he has worked on the characterisation of electrochemical energy storage systems and electrical integration technologies such as battery management and charger systems.
He has managed research programmes in collaboration with EV OEMs such as Renault, Daimler and Nissan resulting in having developed and fully industrialised, non-destructive testing techniques for quality control and detecting aging mechanisms of Li-ion batteries.
He is currently one of the lead investigators in the Recycling of Lithium-ion batteries project (ReLiB) which is one of four flagship Faraday Institution research programmes in the UK.
WORK STREAM 1: Pack to Cell
Autonomous disassembly with integrated, hierarchical testing
The cost of dismantling and testing can currently account for 60% or more of the EoL value of EV battery packs. Furthermore, the potential for fire, chemical and electrical hazard (especially for older packs of uncertain history or abuse) means that automation is far safer than disassembly by human operatives.
This work stream is dedicated to the development of quick and efficient automated disassembly of full vehicle packs and integrated hierarchical testing. The work stream ethos assumes that a decision has already been made at the vehicle or pack level that the pack in its entirety cannot be used for second life as it is and must be disassembled, either fully for recycle or partly to recover any reusable modules. The WP is framed around the UoB robotic facility at Tyseley and aims to deliver a largely autonomous disassembly line representing the ReLiB process from pack to cell scale. The process also includes a hierarchical, multi-scale, multi-metrology testing regime at strategically important points during the disassembly process.
The robotics team at Birmingham will use the robotic facilities installed at Tyseley to develop automated disassembly operations at multiple scales. The team at Newcastle will support automation of dismantling, including integration of required testing. They will also support materials flow and access to materials from used battery packs, and build on work to cross-reference non-destructive and post-teardown characterization of cells. At pack level, automation will continue to focus on the mechanics of disassembly, while module and cell level dismantling will aim to integrate advanced electrical, thermal, acoustic and XRD metrology to ensure safety. UCL will join as a new partner in the project to develop a library of X-ray CT scans of different cells with the aim of developing automated image collection, digital disassembly protocols, and an autonomous an in-line testing process for assessing the safety of cells during automated dismantling