Audi and RWE are testing used car batteries as stationary energy storage devices

Audi and RWE are testing used car batteries as stationary energy storage devices

RWE has commissioned an energy storage system in Hardeke, North Rhine-Westphalia, which uses lithium-ion batteries from Audi electric cars. The 60 battery system at the site of the RWE Pumped Storage Power Plant on Hengsti Lake should be able to temporarily store approximately 4.5 MW of electricity.

The discarded batteries come from development vehicles of the Audi e-tron type. After their first life in the car, they still have a good 80 percent remaining capacity. As a result, these “second life batteries” are ideally suited for use in stationary power storage systems, RWE explains, Depending on how they are used, batteries still have a remaining service life of up to ten years and are significantly cheaper than new cells.

“High-performance battery storage systems are indispensable for the energy transition. Flexible storage technology is needed to compensate for short-term fluctuations in renewable energy and stabilize the grid,” explains Roger Missen, CEO of RWE Generation SE. The battery storage system, which RWE intends to test with Volkswagen subsidiary Audi at Herdecke, is ideally suited for this.

For 60 batteries weighing approximately 700 kg, RWE built a 160 square meter lightweight hall at the site of the Pumped Storage Power Plant in Hardeke, the battery systems were installed in October and the individual components were commissioned in November Was. What is innovative about the system is that the two modules are connected in series, which increases the operating voltage. Battery storage should initially support the frequency maintenance of the power grid, further marketing methods to be tested.

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The Second Life Battery Storage Facility in Haradeke is one of ten battery projects operated by RWE in the United States, Germany and Ireland. Also, the company is working on projects such as redox flow batteries or battery storage systems that are virtually connected to hydroelectric plants. The company plans to increase its battery storage capacity from the current 600 MW to 3 GW by 2030.

Another Volkswagen subsidiary, koda, provides used car batteries to authorized dealers as stationary storage from their vehicles. A startup in Aachen is working on turning old batteries from BMW and Tesla cars into storage systems for businesses and private homes. Old Nissan Leaf batteries serve in the catacombs at Bislet Stadium in Oslo.


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