Batteries: second parts can be good
They were considered amortised after just 8 or 10 years, although they were at 70% to 80% of their capacity. But as Leonardo DiCaprio said in the film that garnered him an Oscar, electric car batteries are the new reawakening. The end will come in the form of recycling but meanwhile they can live a second life as productive as the first: lighting football stadiums, providing energy for a data centre, feeding the public lighting system of a city or being the backdrop that lights a household or even a whole city when necessary.
A study by the consultancy IDTechEx calculates that in barely a decade, for 2029, approximately 3 million electric batteries will be available to have a second opportunity each year, which represents approximately 108 GWh in storage capacity and many possibilities.
Although most of these possibilities are still to be explored, there are a few examples that show that in the case of batteries second parts can be good or even better:
The Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam houses Ajax for its home games and the biggest energy storage system located in a commercial building in all of Europe. To develop this, the equivalent of 180 batteries was recycled from the Nissan LEAF model to create a massive storage system which, combined with 4.200 solar panels located on the building’s roof enable storing sufficient energy to provide electricity for 7000 households for one hour.
The Japanese city of Namie will install a new public lighting system fed exclusively by solar panels and used batteries of the model Nissan LEAF in a project baptised as "reborn light"; General Motors has used batteries from the model Chevrolet Volt to provide backup energy for its data centre in Michigan and Renault has just launched the project Advanced Battery Storage, the largest storage system elaborated using electric car batteries in Europe, which will be operational in 2020, with a power of 70MW and storage capacity of 60MWh.
The initial modules in this project will start to be stored in 2019 in locations in France and Germany and for 2020 it is expected that this figure will reach 2000 connected batteries, sufficient to light 5000 homes for a whole day.