Batteries are electrochemical energy storage devices. During charging, they convert electrical energy from the power grid into chemical energy through a redox reaction, which is in turn released as electrical energy during discharge. The first battery — in the form of the Voltaic column — was invented by Alessandro Volta in 1800.

Battery types

Lead-acid batteries and increasingly lithium-ion batteries are the most common, but there are also alkaline batteries, nickel-metal hydride batteries (NiMH), silver oxide batteries, zinc-carbon batteries, zinc-air batteries and others. The production of batteries requires many different valuable and often, unfortunately, toxic materials, including lithium, cobalt, nickel, manganese, copper and lead. However, the size and shape, as well as the structure, and components of batteries vary greatly depending on the manufacturer and model.

There is also a distinction between primary batteries, which can be discharged only once, and secondary batteries, which can be charged and discharged many hundreds of times. All types of batteries can be easily checked for their situational state of charge (SoC), state of health (SoH), capacity and various other characteristics within seconds by using NOVUM technology.

Structure and functionality

The basic structure as well as the principle according to which batteries work are always the same: A battery consists of several cells. These each have two electrodes, the cathode at the positive pole and the anode at the negative pole, between which there is a charge difference.

Between the electrodes is a liquid or solid electrolyte made of various chemicals, which ensures that electrically charged particlesthe ions — can move between the electrodes and create a current flow in the battery. In addition, each battery has a separator, which is permeable to charged particles, but ensures that the electrodes do not come into contact with each other and a short circuit occurs.

If the poles of a battery are electrically connected to each other, the ions can migrate from the negative electrode through the electrolyte to the positive electrode, thus balancing the charge difference between the electrodes. The battery discharges in this process. Once this chemical reaction is complete, no more electrons can be released and the battery is completely discharged. To recharge a battery, a current is sent through the battery that returns the electrons to the negative electrode. This reverses the chemical reaction and recharges the battery.

Battery properties

While some battery characteristics are fixed with production, others may change over time due to material fatigue, wear and tear, and other physical impacts. Two batteries of the same type produced on the same day may therefore have a completely different capacity or expected life after a certain period of time.

For companies and private individuals, this entails uncertainties and risks. However, with the help of NOVUM’s AI-based technology, many battery properties can be clearly determined in seconds.

State of Charge (SoC): The state of charge is intended to describe how much energy can be taken from a battery. The problem is, the one state of charge of a battery does not exist. This is because various factors, such as temperature, current, wear condition and production quality, affect the chemical reactions in the battery. However, the standard SoC value of many battery systems does not take this into account and should therefore always be viewed with caution.

NOVUM technology delivers reliable results compared to this. With our AI, the state of charge can be described depending on the situation. It is given as a percentage, where 100% means fully charged and 0% means empty.

+ Decreases with battery use, but also in passive state.

+ Can be described with NOVUM technology depending on the situation

+ depending on temperature, current, wear condition and production quality

State of Health / State of Wear (SoH): The abbreviation SoH stands for State of Health and usually describes the ratio of the current capacity to the original capacity of the battery in percent.

+ Decreases due to aging of the battery

+ Can be determined at any time within seconds with NOVUM technology

+ Deterioration of the State of Health can be delayed by gentle use

Capacity: The capacity of a battery describes the maximum amount of energy a battery can store at the current time. It can be determined using NOVUM technology and is usually expressed in ampere-hours (Ah).

+ Decreases due to aging of the battery

+ Can be determined at any time within seconds with NOVUM technology

+ Capacity reduction can be delayed by careful use

Aging tendency: The aging tendency of a battery describes the extent to which a battery reacts to environmental influences. The aging tendency is defined differently depending on the manufacturer and individually described as quality in the spectrum good to poor.

+ Is set with the quality of materials and conditions of production

+ Can be determined at any time within seconds with NOVUM technology

+ Does not change due to gentle use

+ End-of-line test with NOVUM technology is recommended for checking and optimizing the aging tendency or production quality

Aging: Aging describes the process in which the performance of a battery — as with all electrochemical systems — decreases. A distinction can be made between calendar aging, cyclical aging and erratic aging.

+ Also occurs in the passive state and is accelerated by use and physical effects.

+ The aging of a battery is reflected in the State of Health (SoH) value, which can be determined at any time within seconds using NOVUM technology. In addition, the data can often be used to identify previously undetected causes of conspicuous aging of certain batteries or battery types (e.g. errors in production or use).

+ The deterioration of the State of Health can be delayed by gentle use.

Expected life: The expected life describes the period of time during which a battery will remain functional for a given usage. We give them in years and months and warn our customers in particular if a battery is going to fail in the next six months. Our customers can choose whether we predict the expected lifetime with the current usage of their battery or use other usage profiles for this purpose.

+ Decreases with aging of the battery

+ Can be determined at any time within seconds with NOVUM technology

+ Extends or shortens due to different use

Residual value: The residual value of batteries is particularly relevant for companies that want to resell used energy storage systems in the interests of economic and ecological sustainability or reuse them in rental fleets instead of disposing of them. Using our comprehensive and up-to-date data, NOVUM’s AI can provide an estimate of the residual value of individual batteries in the currency of your choice during battery diagnostics.

+ Decreases due to aging of the battery

+ Can be determined at any time within seconds with NOVUM technology

+ Depends on the use case (2nd life in the vehicle or in stationary storage)