Electric cars occupy a special place in vehicle recycling. For instance, when an E-car had an accident and caught fire in the immediate vicinity of the SEDA headquarters in Austria three years ago, it made it absolutely clear how much unprepared the entire handling and recycling chain was for the proper disposal of an electric vehicle. At that very point SEDA came up with a solid concept and launched its innovative products for transportation, storage, dismantling and recycling of electric vehicles, which is actually based on three pillars:
Risk management and high-voltage training for staff is of high priority for SEDA. Therefore, SEDA provides such special training courses for vehicle recyclers at its own e-car recycling centre in Kössen in cooperation with the Academy of the German Motor Trade. Practical courses take place 4 times a year (you will find our course planner here)
The condition of damaged vehicles is always pre-analysed by specially trained staff in terms of potential danger and, if necessary, those vehicles are kept in quarantine. The reason for it is that damaged batteries can self-ignite anytime long after the accident. As a rule, such quarantine lasts 72 hours before the vehicle processing can be resumed.
SEDA’s container Q-Tainer can be used for transportation of dangerous vehicles and as a quarantine area. The container prevents fire, if any, from spreading and the container can be cooled down. Toxic gases are kept inside and neutralized with the help of mineral filter technology.
To prevent fire spread when transporting a vehicle in a critical or non-analysed condition, SEDA also offers an ergonomic and patented solution for tow trucks and trailers. The safety fire-proof blanket is an integrated part of the trailer, which deals with possible sparks during transportation. This universal module can be tailored and inbuilt into any type of trailers or towing cars quickly and effortlessly. The safety fire-proof blanket is the best solution for towing service, fire brigades and car workshops.
At the very beginning of the processing of an electric vehicle, as long as the battery is still inside, the attention should be paid to the fact that only HV-trained specialists may proceed with the processing and only in a confined area. For safe dismantling a special set of HV-tools and protective equipment, such as insulating gloves and safety goggles, are indispensable, as we should never discard the idea that the battery may eventually turn out to be in a critical condition. Dismantling aims at the removal of the battery modules from the vehicle’s battery pack, their examination in order to determine if they can be used again or they have to be disposed of in the process of raw material recycling.
Here is SEDA E-Car Recycling Station: a 2-column lifting frame that is properly supported on the rims. It has especially been designed for the dismantling of large batteries, which may take up almost the whole space underneath the car and for which Tesla here is a vivid example. The first step is to switch off the power in the vehicle, meaning that a 12-volt battery has to be disconnected and the main switch turned off. Then the relays inside should open and the modules can be removed.
The battery is then dismantled from the vehicle and placed onto a special lifting table. A current Tesla battery with the biggest range weighs around 700 kg. SEDA offers pneumatic and manual lifting tables with a load capacity of up to 1,400 kg. The lifting table transfers the battery to the SEDA dismantling table with an integrated extinguishing pool under the work surface. The battery is pushed along the rollers of the work surface into the parking position. In case of danger the battery or its separate modules are immediately dumped into the extinguishing pool.
For the ideal storage, it is recommended to use a discharging device to perform partial or total discharging of the modules. Discharging of Li-Ion batteries is an important part of the recycling as it helps reduce the risks for its further handling. In addition, transport costs are reduced because of simplified legal requirements for transportation. After appropriate discharging, the batteries in a critical condition must be stored according to all safely requirements. The transportation of lithium ion batteries is a dangerous process, therefore a BAM approval of the transport box is required.
Here we show two variants for storage and transportation:
The SEDA Strainbox and the SEDA BAT-Box are both transportation and storage boxes with an integrated filtering system for lithium-ion batteries in a critical state. Should the batteries be damaged, the box will filter and neutralize toxic gases and prevent the escape of solid stuff, liquids and flame from the box. The integrated temperature management prevents any critical increase in temperature on the outer walls.
For the storage of large number of batteries, SEDA offers the HV battery container. A separate container has got 8 floodable compartments for defective batteries or for batteries with non-analyzed and non-determined dangers. If a battery reacts and the temperature in the container rises above 68°C, the nozzles open, water floods the compartment and further reaction of the cells is suppressed. An additional warning system (optional) enables remote monitoring of the battery temperature.