Recycling electric car batteries to provide power to homes could mean 'an end to power cuts'
A collaborative project in North East England is developing an innovative solution to the problem of successfully exploiting the potential of used batteries from electric vehicles (EVs).
The venture explores the possibility of harnessing power in EV batteries as energy storage in a domestic or workplace environment, either for charging vehicles, providing an emergency power source or feeding power back into the grid.
“Although the performance of lithium ion batteries used in EVs dwindles in their original application after eight to 10 years, they maintain around 80 percent of their operational capability, and the challenge is to successfully harness this potential,” explained Geoff Watson, Zero Carbon Futures technical manager.
“The project between SR Technology Innovations and tadea, commissioned by Zero Carbon Futures has developed a multi-functional demonstrator unit that can store power from photovoltaic (PV) panels to power the home, charge EVs, feed back into the grid or help manage your power supply to minimize exposure to peak tariffs. The system can also be charged from the grid itself, making it a truly multi-purpose energy storage tool.”
As EV adoption becomes more widespread, the problem of finding a useful second-life for the batteries becomes increasingly important. Once commercialised, the system offers immediate benefits to vehicle manufacturers, EV and home owners, but in the medium to long term can help reduce the cost of EVs and battery hire, as battery life can be extended by three-times that of its first in-car usage.
The demonstrator kit will be utilised in the North East’s Future Technology Centre, a national centre for low carbon vehicle technologies, and the results assessed to help establish the true potential of this technology.
“The generation of green energy is of growing worldwide focus, and this could represent an efficient storage solution for small-scale solar and turbine energy,” added Dr. Colin Herron, Zero Carbon Futures managing director. “For example, power collected during the day could then be released into the home for use at night, or used to charge an EV ready for work in the morning.
Installation in line with PV panels can greatly reduce the demand on the national grid and, in the long term, offer considerable savings on energy bills in domestic and commercial application. A secondary source of energy can mean an end to power cuts, the potential for a welcome long-term reduction in energy bills and increasing integration of EVs into the home.”
The battery second-life system can be used independently of EV ownership, which maximises the potential benefits of the project once commercialised. Tim Scott, managing director of SR Technology Innovations, said: “The system is an extension of our work on hybrid vehicles and electronic control systems technologies.
"It combines a number of discrete energy solutions and the next step will be to integrate these into a smaller, single package which would be more appropriate for a domestic application and will significantly reduce the cost for the full system. The technology will become increasingly compatible as Europe increases its reliance on green energy production and more homes install photovoltaics.”
Top Stories // This Week
New five-door Mini rolls off production line in Oxford. Mini's plant in Oxford saw the production of the first new MINI five-door Hatch earlier this week.The new five-door is a first for Mini production at the Oxford plant and marks another phase in the ... Maserati show off largest ever collection of cars at Goodwood Festival of Speed. Maserati showcased its largest ever collection of cars at Goodwood Festival of Speed over the weekend as part of the Italian brand’s 100 year celebrations.Maserati took over the Stable Yard at the G... DVLA urged to register stolen car tracking products on V5C vehicle registration certificate. A major vehicle security specialist has called upon the DVLA to include details of Thatcham approved stolen vehicle tracking devices on a vehicle’s V5C registration document when the documents go on... New vehicle tracking system incorporates driver identification technology to prevent wannabe car thieves from start. Over 100,000 cars are stolen in the UK every year and around 50 per cent are taken with the use of electronic devices.Traditionally, thieves have used crowbars and axes to gain access to vehicles. B... Transport Committee publishes fourth report: ‘Driving premiums down: fraud and the cost of motor insurance’. MPs are demanding that whiplash insurance payouts made before any medical exams are carried out should be banned.It is the fourth in a series of reports from the Transport Committee on the rising co... As insurance premiums fall, business practices of some firms have encouraged criminal activity, claims Transport Co. Insurance premiums fell by an average of 16.6 per cent in the year to March 2014 and are now lower than at any time since late 2010, according to the AA. However, the Transport Committee's rece... Transport Committee attacks amateur government which quoted insurers’ figures of ’59,900 dishonest motor insurance . The government describes a whiplash injury as ‘the neck pain which occurs after the soft tissue in the spine has been stretched and strained when the body is thrown in a sudden, forceful jerk.’For g... Audi to bring Google Android Auto and Apple CarPlay software platforms into its cars from 2015. Audi is bringing the Google Android Auto and Apple CarPlay software platforms into its cars from next year. Major functions will be integrated into the Audi Multi Media Interface in the future.... Ford rockets further ahead with UK market lead in first half of 2014. Ford has increased its car, commercial vehicle and total vehicle sales for the year to the end of June, extending its lead over its nearest rival Vauxhall to over 54,000.Mark Ovenden, Ford of Britai... Motorcycle safety campaign on radio aims to make drivers more courteous. The ‘Didn’t See’ radio campaign has been launched by THINK! to encourage drivers to take longer to look for motorcyclists.A THINK! radio campaign has been launched to encourage drivers to take longe... Mobile phone distraction set to become biggest killer on British roads by 2015. Road safety campaigners are warning that mobile phone distraction will become a bigger killer on the UK’s roads than drink driving by 2015.The numbers of motorists using mobile phones to make calls,...