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Batteries solar-toyota

Published on May 12th, 2014 | by Andrew Meggison

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Dutch Toyota Dealer Uses Prius Hybrid Batteries To Store Surplus Solar Power

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May 12th, 2014 by  

Originally published on Gas2.

solar-toyota

A Dutch Toyota dealer has set up an impressive solar array to power his store, and plans to use Toyota Prius hybrid batteries to house the surplus energy.

While the plans use the Prius batteries are still tentative, the Louwman Hague Toyota store does have approximately 1,000 solar panels on the roof of the dealership, generating clean energy to keep the lights on. Similar efforts have happened here in the U.S., most recently a Honda dealer in New Jersey that uses zero net energy thanks to its solar array.

What is most interesting about this story is potential use of refurbished Prius batteries. As green as hybrid and electric cars are, one of the biggest issues is what to do with the spent battery packs. There are recycle programs in action, but a better second use is a project like this, where the depleted-but-still functional batteries can provide a cheap means of storing excess power from the solar array. That way, when the sun is obscured, the store still has plenty of power.

As hybrid and electric cars begin to take a larger bite out of the automotive market, the demand for re-purposing their battery packs in a green and sustainable way will increase.  This Dutch Toyota dealership is without a doubt an indication of things to come.

Source: Autoblog Green

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About the Author

Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor's Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master's Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison



  • http://www.shapeways.com/shops/greendimension Tony Reyes

    It could get tricky to try and combine multiple degraded batteries that are in different stages of health.

    • http://vertimpulse.com Kevin Forrest

      Yes, I agree the balance issues may be challenging as the less efficient batteries with the lower voltage potential may pull the other batteries down. Prius batteries, IIRC, are pretty high voltage, and most inverters only need about 50 VDC to put energy back on the grid. Maybe the degradation won’t be as bad, or maybe you don’t hook them up in parallel or series and just let them all feed their own inverters like Enphase?

      • Bob_Wallace

        Each battery would likely have its own inverter. The inverters would match line voltage, weaker batteries would contribute fewer amps.

  • http://vertimpulse.com Kevin Forrest

    Very cool idea…energy storage is just as important as the generation source. Renewable generation + storage = base load, at least once we have enough storage.

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