Dr 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 LEAD: Gateway Testing & Dismantling
The Gateway Testing & Dismantling stream of work within the ReLiB project models the actual processes which will be required for a recycling facility to safely and efficiently receive, assess and process vehicle batteries for reuse or recycling at significant scale.
It is understood that manual dismantling of battery packs is an onerous and potentially hazardous activity. We are therefore exploring the use of artificial intelligence and robotic manipulation, not simply to dismantle packs, but to include sensory capability and intelligence as part of the robotic system to recognise parts and fixings from packs which they may never have seen before and manipulate these in the way a human operator would.
We are also working to develop accurate and fast assessment methods to understand the condition of cells, integrating advanced measurement and sensor technologies, cells will be graded and feedback from re-use and materials characterisation activities in order to recommend them for re-use or to warn the downstream materials processes that a battery may be dangerous to operate.
Every aspect of the work stream has a safety element and the WS1 team are engaging with industrial, other academic and even emergency response partners in order to develop industry wide standards and good practice where the input from the project has been extremely warmly received.