2nd life batteries in disaster scenarios

16 Dec 2022 — University of Évora and Red Cross successfully test 2nd life batteries in a catastrophe scenario

The University of Évora, the Portuguese Red Cross (PRC) and the company Betteries successfully tested, on the 27th of October, a new 2nd life lithium-ion battery system in an emergency scenario, at the Foz do Tejo Delegation (PRC). This was part of efforts to promote the energy transition and increased resilience of the equipment used at disaster scenarios.

The Portuguese Red Cross emergency exercise took place at the Delegation of Foz do Tejo, Seixal (Portugal), and included a triage post, an advanced medical post (AMP), two ambulances, field canteen and a command and communication post. In this scenario, the 2nd life battery system supplied the entire installed infrastructure with electricity.

2nd life batteries are those that have reached the end of their useful life in electric cars, but still retain a useful capacity of 70-80%. They can have a second life in new portable or stationary applications, and they can be combined with photovoltaic systems and supply electricity to the grid or to off-grid systems.

The batteries tested are pioneering and can used as a mobile or modular solution that is robust, suitable for outdoor use and user-friendly – “click and go”. The testing enabled the system’s capabilities to be validated in a real case and in disaster scenarios.

During the test day, response teams rehearsed drills such as inflating field tents and using emergency medical equipment powered by 2nd life batteries instead of by gasoline generators. This new equipment allows the use of electricity from a renewable source, e.g. solar energy, and eliminates logistical difficulties associated with supplying fuel to generators in emergency or catastrophe scenarios.

The Renewable Energies Chair of the University of Évora collaborates with Betteries AMPS, as part of the POCITYF project, in the testing of this product, both in disaster scenarios and in residential applications. The aim is to develop technological solutions for the decarbonization of different sectors of the economy.

POCITYF is a project funded by the H2020 Research & Innovation Programme, which aims to make cities greener, smarter and more sustainable by promoting the energy transition. It is coordinated by EDP Labelec and includes over 46 organizations from 13 countries, including the University of Évora and Betteries AMPS GmbH.