A new 15 megawatt-hour energy storage system is being constructed by Daimler AG (with its subsidiary ACCUMOTIVE) and enercity (Stadtwerke Hannover) in Herrenhausen, Germany, according to recent reports.
Interestingly, the energy storage facility will utilize around 3000 new electric vehicle (EV) battery packs to create its storage capacity — functioning, in addition to energy storage, as a spare parts storage facility for EV battery systems.
Owing to the 15 megawatt-hour (MWh) storage capacity, the installation will be one of the biggest in Europe after completion. The facility will be placed on the German primary balancing energy market after completion.
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Daimler launched the third-generation smart fortwo electric drive in 2012; the next generation of the electric city car is now at the ready. Automakers prepare for the eventuality of battery failure, and have suitable replacements available. Partners Daimler, ACCUMOTIVE and enercity are now forging a unique path in terms of the efficient use of these available, but hitherto unused, resources. Through the “living storage” of the replacement batteries, they are creating a business case that, in this form, can only be achieved together by an automotive manufacturer and a power supply company.
…The innovative storage concept has a further advantage, tha partners point out. To be usable in the event of being needed as a replacement in a vehicle, a battery requires regular cycling during its storage period — ie specific charging and discharging for the purpose of preservation. Otherwise it would suffer from deep discharging, which can lead to battery defects.
In addition to the storage costs, the classic and potentially long-term storage of replacement batteries would therefore involve extremely high operating expenditure. The innovative approach adopted by the partners balancing power demand from the grid automatically ensures the required cycling of the batteries.
Interesting points. A rep from Daimler’s R&D Communications, Future Powertrain, division, Madeleine Herdlitschka, commented that, since use in grid-balancing is very different from use in EVs, “If you use it ‘softly’, you don’t have to fear losses.”