Electric vehicle batteries to improve electrical power grid 27 January 2015


Redundant batteries from electric vehicles are at the heart of a project launched by the Second Life Batteries alliance that aims to form a large-scale energy storage system in Hamburg.

The project involves Bosch, BMW and Vattenfall, which together aim to connect the used batteries, making stored energy available within seconds and hence helping to keep electricdal power grids stable.

BMW is supplying batteries from its ActiveE and i3 electric vehicles, while Vattenfall has agreed to operate the massive storage system at its site for a period of 10 years. Bosch is in charge of integrating the batteries and managing the system.

The battery-powered electrical storage installation – involving more than 100 vehicle batteries – will be interconnected to achieve these targets will become part of the existing Vattenfall virtual power plant.

The partners make the point that lithium-ion batteries still have good capacity at the end of their life in electric vehicles, so remain valuable in providing efficient stationary buffer storage.

Already, Bosch in Braderup, Germany, has built one of Europe's largest energy storage systems to temporarily store energy from a wind farm by connecting thousands of small lithium-ion batteries to form a large-scale network.

In Kelsterbach, a community close to Frankfurt, Bosch has also installed a lithium-ion storage system at a housing complex.

"The project is important because it combines two strategically significant goals," says Bosch CEO Dr Volkmar Denner.

"In electromobility, we see a future mass market... [And] stationary energy storage systems enable people to continue making good use of used batteries," he continues.

Such decentralised storage systems allow us to make a major contribution to a secure power supply."

Current plans call for the construction of a storage unit capable of 2MW and an installed capacity of 2MWh (megawatt hours) in Hamburg.

Power will be fed into the energy balancing market to balance short-term fluctuations in the power grid.

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
BMW (UK) Ltd
Bosch Ltd

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