The imminent surge in electric vehicle adoption has led some to wonder if used EV batteries might find second lives in other applications. For example, Nissan batteries have been utilized at a French data center for energy storage. Another potential use is for off-grid lighting.
Yet another potential value-add is being explored by Hitachi Europe Ltd., Mitsubishi Motors and ENGIE, though this one is for batteries operating in EVs. Have you heard of vehicle to building energy storage? Technology might be used to send excess solar power from an office building to be stored in an EV battery which is connected to it. When electricity is needed by the building, it can be discharged from the EV battery, which acts as temporary energy storage. The pilot is being tried out at ENGIE’s Zaandam, Netherlands, office building.
The bi-directional VX2 charger is provided by Hitachi, along with technology that allows electricity to be shared between the EV and the building or grid. (The charger can also charge the EV.) The EV used in the system is an Outlander PHEV SUV provided by Mitsubishi. ENGIE provides the smart building set up to integrate the pieces, including solar or another renewable energy, into one system.
“This project demonstrates how our IoT and digital capabilities can help customers make buildings energy-neutral, increasing their energy efficiency and reducing costs, by optimizing EV charging infrastructure. Our technology can also help to create new business cases across the EV value chain, including vehicle to grid technology, which enables flexibility with their energy distribution,” explained Ram Ramachander, Chief Digital Officer at Hitachi Europe.
Synergies between various companies like the collaboration taking place in this project are intriguing and can yield new ideas and practices.
Image Credit: Mitsubishi
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