There are close to 20 million EVs now around the world. EV batteries do not need replacing every three years as some FUD peddlers would want people to think. Most automakers now give battery warranties of at least 8 years or some six figure mileage, whichever comes first. After the batteries have done all that loyal service as a traction battery in a vehicle, they also find a second life in stationary applications. Second life battery cells coupled with advanced battery managed systems (BMS) and inverter technologies provide a route to cheaper, more sustainable stationary storage for various applications. Relectrify from Australia is one of the lead players in this sector.
Relectrify’s ReVolve® battery system combines Relectrify’s BMS+Inverter technology with nine second-life electric vehicle batteries to store over 120 kWh of energy. Relectrify’s BMS+Inverter technology is cell-level control software incorporated with unique inverter hardware. This technology revolutionizes battery storage, increasing the battery lifetime by as much as a third, and reducing power electronic costs by up to 30 percent compared to existing conventional battery offerings. Relectrify’s technology has been validated by a number of technical projects and pilots, including American Electric Power, Counties Energy, and IBM Research.
Relectrify supplies its world-first BMS+Inverter technology to companies in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and now Japan for simple integration into their existing systems, or works to co-develop products using proprietary cell-level control architecture. Relectrify recently announced the commissioning of the first product featuring Relectrify BMS+Inverter technology (ReVolve®) with Chubu Electric Power (Chubu) in Japan. The ReVolve® is the first unit containing Relectrify’s BMS+Inverter technology to be operational in Japan. The product was assembled and commissioned locally by Aichi Electric Co., Ltd. (Aichi), an affiliated company of Chubu from components supplied by Relectrify in Australia.
“We’re looking forward to collaborating with Relectrify and using their transformative BMS+Inverter technology,” said Chubu Business Development Division General Manager Kazuaki Ishikawa. “Developing a large-scale storage battery system that is safer, less expensive, reusable, and has a longer life than conventional battery offerings is essential for achieving carbon neutrality, and we hope that this pilot will help us discover that possibility.”
Chubu is Japan’s third largest electric utilities provider in terms of electric energy sold. As part of the company’s Zero Emissions Challenge 2050, an initiative aimed to attain net zero CO2 emissions for the entire business, Chubu plans to maximize and combine its solutions expertise with innovative technologies, like Relectrify’s.
“With the support from Relectrify, we were successfully able to complete the assembly work. We are very excited about this demonstration test,” said Aichi System Development Center Deputy General Manager Tasuku Kuwahara. “Chubu and Aichi are energized by the progress to date and are looking forward to the trial and test period.”
Chubu and Relectrify are seriously considering to jointly trial and test the performance of the ReVolve®, with a view to incorporate more value-adding features to the ReVolve®. The two companies have started a discussion to advance their collaboration using Relectrify’s BMS+Inverter technology with the development of a range of products using new cells.
“The commissioning of the first system in Japan using Relectrify’s cell-level control is the proof needed to show how Relectrify’s technology can offer value to our partners like Chubu,” said Relectrify VP of Partnerships Juergen Barth. “We know that our technology will help our partners expand their business and better tackle the challenges they face due to decarbonization of their systems.”
I really like this model. With the transition to electric mobility accelerating and more EVs start to find their way to more places around the world, the cells won’t have to be reshipped anywhere, but will be reassembled and repurposed locally. Players like Relectricfy can find local partners around the world to work with and to incorporate their BMS+Inverter technology.
Images courtesy of Relectrify
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