This paper focuses on the fast characterization of automotive second life lithium-ion batteries that have been recently re-used in many projects to create battery storages for stationary applications and sporadically for embedded applications. Specific criteria dedicated to the second life are first discussed. After a short review of the available state of health indicators and their associated determination techniques, some electrical characterization tests are explored through an experimental campaign. This offline identification aims to estimate the remaining ability of the battery to store energy. Twenty-four modules from six different commercial electric vehicles are analyzed. Well-known methodologies like incremental capacity analysis (ICA) and constant voltage phase analysis during CC-CV charge highlight the difficulty—and sometimes the impossibility—to apply traditional tools on a battery pack or on individual modules, in the context of real second life applications. Indeed, the diversity of the available second life batteries induces a combination of aging mechanisms that leads to a complete heterogeneity from a cell to another. Moreover, due to the unknown first life of the battery, typical state of health determination methodologies are difficult to use. A new generic technique based on a partial coulometric counter is proposed and compared to other techniques. In the present case study, the partial coulometric counter allows a fast determination of the capacity aging. In conclusion, future improvements and working tracks are addressed.
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