With the growing trend toward e‑mobility, the question of what happens to used batteries is becoming increasingly urgent. But the current situation brings not only challenges, but also opportunities. A new market is emerging, with plenty of scope for young companies. The companies Circunomics and NOVUM have therefore concluded a cooperation agreement with effect from May 1, 2023. Goal of the collaboration: offer an attractive end-to-end solution — from battery diagnostics and the straightforward sale of used batteries to the monitoring of new large-scale storage facilities with used batteries.
Necessity is the mother of invention. And it is not for nothing that there is a character in the Chinese written language that is supposed to stand for “crisis” and “opportunity” in equal measure. What is meant is a crisis that is just building up. A colorful wave of spent batteries of various types, the dimension of which has hardly reached the public discussion so far. Only the new e‑vehicles roll into the spotlight, each one more chic and innovative than the next.
Meanwhile, the handling of battery returns remains completely unresolved. At least away from the individual solutions that are now causing headaches for many manufacturers. Uniform processes and standards? Wrong! Even the announced battery pass is still in its infancy.
On the other hand, a unique opportunity: a new marketplace that the usual “big players” have not yet decided for themselves. An exciting moment that demands commitment and innovative spirit from companies. And political wasteland that requires decision-makers to keep pace in order to set the necessary course.
Two companies that have long been shaping this new market are Circunomics and NOVUM. NOVUM as an innovation leader in the field of battery diagnostics as well as large-scale storage monitoring and Circunomics as a specialist for data analysis and the sale of used batteries.
“Our goal is to get batteries into as many life cycles as possible before disposal,” explains Felix Paul Wagner, founder and CEO of Circunomics in an interview. “NOVUM already offers companies, such as JT Energy Systems in Freiberg, a great way to reuse used batteries in vehicles or their own battery storage systems. But many companies don’t even have that much demand for the thousands of returns they already receive today. We offer a virtual marketplace for their resale.”
Buyers include anyone who wants to build energy storage systems and act as sustainably as possible: Energy companies, municipal utilities and energy storage manufacturers who want to put a solar system on their roof.
As cooperation partners, Circunomics and NOVUM want to make this process even more efficient and secure in the future. Mandy Schipke and Felix Paul Wagner do not see the fact that the two companies’ offerings in the field of AI-based data analysis overlap slightly as an obstacle. “One of our most important unique selling points is the fact that we can use patented NOVUM technology to easily collect battery data ourselves within seconds if it is not supplied by the manufacturers,” explains Mandy Schipke from NOVUM. “This gives us the opportunity, for example, to determine if a battery is already showing abnormalities that indicate it could heat up, fail or even explode.”
If a battery is used by the buyer in a second or third life, its health can again be monitored by this technology. Vehicles and battery storage are thus optimally protected against failures as well as fires. In addition, batteries can often be used longer with the help of NOVUM.
Felix Paul Wagner is convinced: “Our offerings complement each other perfectly. Together, we can offer an end-to-end solution for all companies that want to make their handling of batteries as efficient and sustainable as possible.”
Photo: Felix Paul Wagner, CEO at Circunomics ( Credit: Circunomics)