BMW Builds Energy Storage Facility From Old Batteries



BMW doesn’t like waste. The company has already made a concerted effort to reuse old batteries from their electric cars, but their newest plan may be the most innovative yet. Teaming up with Bosch, BMW is determined to take those used batteries and turn them into a previously untapped resource.

Combining their forces, BMW and Bosch have completed a new utility-scale energy storage facility that is run on used electric battery cars. The facility itself is extremely impressive, powered by 2,600 battery modules from over 100 electric vehicles. All told, the Hamburg, Germany facility has a total power capacity of 2 MW and an additional storage capacity of 2.8 MWh. This is a sufficient amount of energy to power a two-person household for over seven months.

The facility runs on two primary tenants: electromobility and electric storage. The stored energy helps maintain the stability of the electric grid. Additionally, the stored energy provides a back-up should alternative energy sources, such as solar or wind turbine, fail to meet the demand for electricity. It will provide an additional safety net for the electricity grid, and give a second life to used electric car batteries — an unconventional and effective form of recycling. According to General Manager of Bosch Energy Storage Solutions Cordelia Thielitz,

“Electricity storage systems are a key success factor for the new energy landscape. Thanks to smart electronic controllers, these storage systems can absorb excess electricity and release it again very quickly when needed. That way they help to stabilize the electricity grid. We expect to gain valuable knowledge from the Battery 2nd Life development project, and we regard it is as an important step on the way to a more efficient and more decentralized energy system.”

It’s all part of the Battery 2nd Life Development Project. BMW and Bosch have committed to a five-year program that will see the companies studying the aging and decomposition of lithium-ion battery modules. Additionally, the project will focus on alternative energy uses for the old batteries. The storage facility is just one aspect of the multi-tiered energy program, which promises to transform BMW’s electric car batteries into a previously untapped source of energy.

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