BRITISH ELECTRONICS INNOVATORS FLY THE FLAG FOR UK TECH INDUSTRY AS THEY REVOLUTIONISE THE USAGE OF SECOND LIFE BATTERIES
A pair of the UKs most innovative sustainable technology companies are partnering with a Nigerian supplier to transform the way automotive manufacturers recycle the batteries in electric vehicles once they have reached end of life.
The two companies, In2tec Ltd and AceOn Group., have joined forces to enhance AceOn’s portable power generators and mini-grid systems to be used in remote locations without easy access to electricity, such as Nigeria and other location in Sub-Saharan Africa.
With the help of Liverpool John Moores University and the leading supplier of quality solar products in Nigeria, Nevadic Solar, along with funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s national innovation agency, they aim to utilise batteries from electric vehicles that have reached the end of their useful life, to create interchangeable powerpacks to provide electricity to remote locations.
Based in Northamptonshire, In2tec has been in the electronics industry for over 25 years, proudly providing electronics that are up to 100% recyclable. They are the market-leaders in sustainable electronics which are utilised in a broad variety of industries ranging from automotive and science to medical and entertainment.
Shropshire based AceOn specialises in the design and assembly of custom-built battery packs and the distribution of industrial and consumer batteries to the UK & worldwide market. With 30 years’ experience within the battery industry AceOn has developed a deep understanding of the different battery chemistries and have supplied 1000’s of battery packs to industries such as Medical, Electronics, Motor and Oil and Gas, Water, Railway, IoT, Aviation, Oceanographic and Defence industry.
“Working with a fellow prestigious UK based technology company allows us to once again prove that the UK is the centre for electronics innovation and the specialist development of sustainable technologies,” says Dr Mark Hudman, Development & Engineering Director at In2tec. “Developing this technology is not only beneficial for UK industry, but also retains a humanitarian perspective. Getting these off-grid systems to areas such as Nigeria, Botswana and other counties in the Sub-Saharan Africa territories gives electricity to those who really need it including hospitals, schools and homes.”
Once removed from the electric vehicles the batteries can be installed in AceOn’s new swappable powerpacks and be used for portable, mobile, mini and stationary energy systems. The HIGHESS project will facilitate steady supply of electricity to rural and unserved areas and reduce energy access gaps between rural and urban communities in where inaccessibility to affordable electricity is one of the main drivers of poverty to over 600 million people.
In2tec’s part in the project is a bespoke Battery Management System (BMS), which is mounted to the battery pack and monitors the charge and how the battery can be discharged. Utilising In2tec’s patented ReUSE® PCBA the BMS can be completely recycled at end of life or easily repaired should a single component fail on the PCBA itself using In2tec’s ReCYCLE™ technology.
In2tec’s sustainable electronics solution; ReUSE® and ReCYCLE™, is a closed-loop process allowing manufacturers to remove components from existing electronics at the end of their useful life and reuse them.
“Working with the team at In2tec has been a very easy process, we both have a similar way of thinking which despite being in adjacent industries really helps make the process seamless,” says Mark Thompson, CEO at AceOn Group . “We are two established British companies flying the flag for the UK for design, engineering and the electronics industry. Showcasing our innovative solutions and more excitingly using ReUSE electronics within our second life battery products is really taking another exciting USP for both companies whilst delivering our passion around the circular economy for e-waste and batteries.”
“We’re really excited about the possibilities AceOn Energy Storage systems can bring. It’s a fantastic demonstration of the technical skills and innovative ideas coming out of the UK tech industry. Both In2tec and AceOn are leading the way for the rest of the industry to develop sustainable technologies that bring circularity to the manufacturing process, not only reducing the levels of e-waste production but also improving the lives of those less fortunate overseas,” concluded Dr Hudman.
The project’s vision is to rapidly accelerate access to affordable off-grid electricity from clean energy sources. This project taps into the expanding global mini grid markets to offer affordable energy access for social mobility and inclusion in communities not served by main power grids.