Working together for longer battery life: JT Energy Systems acquires a stake in NOVUM

Hamburg/Dresden - JT Energy Systems, a joint venture between Jungheinrich and Triathlon Batterien GmbH, is taking a stake in Dresden-based AI company and battery specialist NOVUM. As part of their close technological cooperation, the partners are jointly extending the service life of lithium-ion batteries. The use of AI-based analysis tools makes used vehicle batteries fit for second and third uses and thus makes an important contribution to greater sustainability.

“Lithium-ion batteries often last longer than the vehicles in which they are used,” says Reinhild Kühne, CEO of JT Energy Systems. “In the future, we will be even better able to exploit the battery’s full potential to reuse it meaningfully in a second and third life.” To do this, Novum’s artificial intelligence-based test systems precisely analyze the condition of built lithium-ion batteries down to the cell level. “We know exactly how high the remaining capacity of a battery is after just 90 seconds,” explains Mandy Schipke, CEO of NOVUM. “This allows us to calculate how long the respective battery can still be used in different application scenarios. Experience has shown that there are still cells in many previously discarded batteries that are good and safe for further use.”

To this end, after an initial examination at module level, which provides information on the general battery condition, another test is carried out at cell level. Based on this analysis, the cells are categorized into quality classes according to their condition. Fully intact cells can be reassembled into vehicle batteries, which are offered as low-cost used batteries for renewed use in vehicles. Less efficient cells are used in stationary batteries and large-scale storage systems. In this way, only a very small proportion of used cells that have already reached their actual end of life and can no longer be used for any other purpose will ultimately have to be recycled.

“This additional station in the life cycle makes lithium-ion batteries much more sustainable and ecological overall,” Reinhild Kühne emphasizes. “NOVUM’s globally unique expertise in this area was one of the key reasons for our strategic investment in the experienced AI company.” Signatures for the investment took place in December 2021. In the future, the partners would like to further reduce CO2 emissions in the production and recycling of lithium-ion batteries through co-development. “The cooperation with JT Energy Systems offers us a unique field of application for optimizing our product,” explains Mandy Schipke. “At the same time, JT Energy Systems also benefits from the jointly acquired knowledge. As a cooperation partner, we can already set new standards in the battery industry today.”

The new test systems can be applied to all battery types and are therefore particularly versatile and scalable. “The artificial intelligence independently learns how to handle new battery types,” explains Mandy Schipke. “We also get maximum flexibility from a patented measurement method that requires no prior information about the battery. We can even classify batteries from crashed vehicles where there is no longer access to the battery management system and safely reuse them in the sense of a resource-saving recycling economy. Previously, such batteries always had to be disposed of completely.”

The test data collected by the system is stored in a cloud. With each additional data set, NOVUM’s artificial intelligence gains in information quality. The cloud connection will also enable new services in the future: For example, if Jungheinrich’s service department connects to the cloud, it can perform battery analyses directly at the customer’s premises and decide whether the battery needs to be replaced or not. All that is needed is a small, portable service device. Determining the residual value of used batteries is also possible in the same way. “Our test systems are driving the development towards more sustainability, recoverability and transparency in the handling of used batteries. We are very pleased that together with NOVUM we are making an important contribution to the success of the energy transition,” explains Reinhild Kühne, Managing Director of JT Energy Systems.

About JT Energy Systems GmbH

JT Energy Systems was jointly founded in 2019 by Hamburg-based intralogistics specialist Jungheinrich and battery manufacturer Triathlon. The joint venture produces energy systems for electric vehicles with industrial applications. From Freiberg in Saxony, the company serves the rapidly growing demand for innovative and sustainable energy and battery systems. The company has particular expertise in the repair and reconditioning of used lithium-ion batteries.

About NOVUM engineering GmbH

NOVUM was founded in Dresden in 2014 and has already received several international awards for outstanding battery monitoring — including the Digital Energy Award, the Future Mobility Award and the title of best high-tech start-up in Europe. The company uses artificial intelligence to improve the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of batteries in the areas of home and large-scale storage, electromobility, and battery-powered devices. Thanks to the battery quick tests added in 2020, 2nd-life projects can now also be fully accompanied from battery diagnostics to profitable operation in large-scale battery storage systems. NOVUM technology is protected by over 20 patents, can work online as well as offline, and can compensate for missing data with its own survey methods.

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About Jungheinrich

Jungheinrich, founded in 1953, is one of the world’s leading solution providers for intralogistics. With a comprehensive portfolio of material handling equipment, automated systems and services, Jungheinrich offers its customers tailor-made solutions for the challenges of Industry 4.0. Headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, the Group is represented in 40 countries worldwide by its own direct sales companies and in around 80 other countries by partner companies. Jungheinrich employs 18,000 people worldwide and generated consolidated net sales of €3.81 billion in 2020. The Jungheinrich share is listed on the MDAX.


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