Friday, September 30, 2016

How to Save the World With Used Car Batteries

Probably the biggest nut left to crack in figuring out our transition to a renewable energy economy is the problem of energy storage: how do we store energy for use when the sun isn't shining and the wind's not blowing?

We've seen Elon Musk tackle this challenge head on last year with his Powerwall and Powerpack home batteries. But Joe Romm at ThinkProgress pointed out last May that an even cheaper solution lies with used batteries from Electric Vehicles (EVs) like the Tesla, the Chevy Bolt and the Nissan Leaf. When the batteries of those cars degrade to the point that they no longer provide sufficient range for an electric vehicle, they still retain 80% of their storage capacity and are well suited for home or commercial energy storage.

A year ago, Toyota turned on its off-grid 85-kilowatt-hour (kWh) energy storage system built with 208 repurposed Toyota Camry Hybrid nickel-metal hydride battery packs. The batteries work with a new 40-kilowatt photovoltaic solar array system to “provide all-day, renewable power at the remote facility for the first time in its history.”

 So the growth of the EV market automatically makes it cheaper and easier to store renewable energy at home as well. A two-fer.

Link: Why Used Electric Car Batteries Could Be Crucial To A Clean Energy Future

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