A second life for batteries: from energy usage to industrial storage

Published by on 02.13.2020 - 3 min

Connected Energy, a specialist in award-winning energy storage solutions that give a second life to electric vehicle batteries, has comissioned its largest ever second-life battery energy storage system, the E-STOR. Using Renault batteries, these systems are a fundamental part of harnessing the circular economy to provide industrial-scale energy storage.

What does “second-life” mean when it comes to vehicle batteries?

When a battery used in an electric car comes to the end of its life in terms of powering the vehicle, it doesn’t stop there. While a battery’s first life lasts for between 10-15 years, it still has a capacity of at least 75%. This means it can be repurposed for up to another 10 years in applications such as stationary energy storage. This is what is known as the battery’s “second life”.

industrial storage of energy

Groupe Renault & Connected Energy: the start of an electric adventure

The recent commission is part of a collaboration between Connected Energy and Groupe Renault on second-life battery energy storage technology. The batteries in the E-STOR were formerly used to power Renault Kangoo Z.E. vehicles in France. They have a combined energy storage capacity of 720 kilowatt hour and can deliver 1.2 megawatt hour in power.

Amaury Gailliez, Batteries Operation & Business Director at Groupe Renault, explains why the Renault and Connected Energy partnership is just the start of an electric adventure: “The collaboration with Connected Energy, which has been ongoing for three years, is the beginning of a great story. Indeed, all customers confirm that our second-life batteries are very appropriate for these energy storage applications. It shows the relevancy of all the efforts done by Groupe Renault and its partners to transform the market for the next years.”

 
Our energy storage systems reusing Kangoo Z.E.'s batteries in second life provides a stable solution for grid operators and customers alike. The grid achieves greater stability, customers enjoy improved power quality. And we achieve this without any new battery production.
Matthew Lumsden Connected Energy CEO

Good news for grid operators, customers and the environment

Matthew Lumsden, Connected Energy CEO, believes that the global market is “moving away from a centralized energy model with large carbon-intense generation, like coal power plants. Instead we’re seeing a distributed renewables energy setup, with many renewable energy sites across countries as opposed to fewer, larger facilities. These renewable energy sources have their own volatilities that impact on grid frequency – a problem energy storage can help solve.”

This energy volatility is a real issue for operators, and subsequently for customers. The grid needs to stay at a consistent level of 50Hz in order to maintain stability; if more energy is created then the demand needs to increase. Conversely, if less is generated then the load on the network needs to be reduced.

“Our new firm frequency response E-STOR systems work with grid operators, via third party aggregators, to balance energy usage,” says Matthew Lumsden. “Our energy storage systems reusing Kangoo Z.E.’s batteries in second life provides a stable solution for grid operators and customers alike. The grid achieves greater stability, customers enjoy improved power quality. And we achieve this without any new battery production.”

Connected Energy team

Taking steps towards a net zero carbon energy system

With the development of the renewable energy market in order to meet global climate change targets, Matthew Lumsden predicts that demand for a balancing service will also increase. “Using an E-STOR this way is essentially enabling more renewables on the grid, plus our customers are getting paid for helping maintain the integrity of the energy supply.”

With the increasing number of electric vehicles on the roads, the more second-life batteries can be repurposed as renewable energy storage units, as opposed to manufacturing new batteries. Considered part of a “virtuous circle”, and a step towards a net zero carbon energy system, this not only reduces a battery’s carbon footprint, but also takes stress off electricity grids by offering more affordable, more readily available and more accessible energy storage.

A long-term strategy for the future of energy

The overall project has been led by French multinational electric utility company ENGIE, who recently co-invested in Connected Energy to provide a platform to deliver its next phase of international growth.

“ENGIE strongly believes in the technology of battery systems,” explains Cedric Osterrieth, CEO of ENGIE Generation Europe BU. “With the energy transition currently taking place, we have to think carefully about how energy can be produced in a different way and how ENGIE can accompany its customers with appropriate solutions and services. These battery systems facilitate the journey to the energy transition, for the market and for our customers, and will enable to respond as effectively as possible to the challenges of tomorrow.”

 

 

Copyrights : Connected Energy

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