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Australian Battery Technology Firm Relectrify Achieves World-First Certification For Cell-Level Control In Commercial Battery Product

As at the end of December 2022, there were over 27 million EVs cumulatively sold around the world over the past decade or so (excluding 2- and 3-wheelers). More than 13 million EVs are expected to be added to the global fleet this year, meaning that by the end of this year, there will have been about 40 million EVs added since some OEMs really started to focus on mass production of electric cars in the modern era.

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 in a vehicle, they also find a second life in stationary applications. Some battery packs can also become available on the second-life market much early than their planned lifecycle due to various reasons, including retrieval from accident-damaged vehicles.

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 patented BMS+Inverter technology replaces conventional battery management systems and inverters with a single electronics system that allows for granular control of individual cells to generate grid-compliant alternating current (AC) directly from a battery pack.

Relectrify has just announced that its ReVolve energy storage product, featuring its patented cell-level control technology, has achieved certification to comply with stringent international safety standards and specific grid connection codes. Relectrify will now supply its world-first BMS+Inverter — combined battery management system and inverter — technology to customers for grid interactive operation.

The ReVolve product combines Relectrify’s BMS+Inverter technology with battery packs from nine Nissan LEAF electric vehicles to store over 120 kWh of energy. Its certification marks a global first for a commercial and industrial scale storage product using cell-level control to be certified to the internationally recognised IEC standards. The ReVolve product is also the first integrated stationary battery energy storage product using repurposed second-life EV batteries to be certified for on-grid deployment in Australia.

Relectrify says its technology revolutionizes battery storage, increasing the battery lifetime by as much as a third, improving safety, and reducing power electronic costs by up to 30 percent compared to conventional battery systems. The technology is suitable across residential, industrial, and grid storage applications and has already been applied to a wide variety of battery types — new lithium-ion cells, second-life lithium-ion cells, and non-lithium electro-chemistries.

Peter Jones, Managing Director of the Nissan Casting Australia Plant, says, “At Nissan Casting Plant Australia, we are proud to be introducing Relectrify’s ReVolve technology to our Nissan NODE circular economy project. Relectrify’s unique technology provides an innovative solution to utilise second-life EV batteries from the Nissan LEAF and I’m looking forward to having the Nissan NODE project fully operational at NCAP in the near future.”

The BMS+Inverter technology has already been deployed and validated by a number of technical projects, including with American Electric Power (AEP), Counties Energy New Zealand, Chubu Electric Japan, and Nissan. With the certifications, the company has proven that its technology can work safely and in accordance with strict global technology standards, creating a clear pathway to the surging energy storage markets in Europe and the United States.

“As an early adopter of Relectrify’s BMS+Inverter technology in a pilot program for a network scale battery system, we are thrilled to see that the Relectrify team has gained certification for grid connection,” Moonis Vegdani, Group Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer of Counties Energy, says.

“Relectrify’s novel storage technology is designed to assist with integrating various types of distributed energy resources in a much safer, less expensive, and time efficient way, while also meeting our sustainability objectives as we transition as a business to ultimately achieve carbon neutrality. Together with Relectrify, we look forward to bringing this technology to New Zealand this year.”

Relectrify worked with a leading US-based certifications institute to complete the battery validation to the broad range of standards, ensuring that the company’s energy storage technologies meet performance, reliability, and safety criteria. The first-of-its-kind ReVolve technology required deep collaboration over many months between the test institute team and Relectrify’s engineers.

The ReVolve product passed several sets of standard tests to gain certification:

Performance: IEC 62477-2 and IEC 62477-1 are the standards for power electronic converter systems (PECS) and equipment; AS/NZ 4777.2 specifies the expected operation and behaviour of inverters on the Australia and New Zealand grid.

Safety: IEC 62619 is a safety requirement for secondary lithium cells and batteries for use in industrial applications and the IEC 60730 safety standard defines the test and diagnostic methods that ensure the safe operation of embedded control hardware and software. IEC 62109-1 applies to technical safety for power conversion equipment for use in photovoltaic systems. IEC 62109-2 covers the particular safety requirements relevant to DC to AC inverter products as well as products that have or perform inverter functions in addition to other functions.

Batteries: IEC 62040 is an international standard that applies to stationary batteries for use in certain applications and environments relevant to the Relectrify ReVolve.

EMC: AS61000-6-3 ensures compliance with electromagnetic compatibility emissions standards.

“We’re extremely proud to receive this strong validation that our technology is ready for wide-spread integration and global impact,” said Valentin Muenzel, CEO and cofounder of Relectrify. “The ReVolve demonstrates that our BMS+Inverter technology meets performance, safety, and grid compliance needs, supporting the technology’s integration in collaborative projects with leading global battery companies for residential, industrial and grid-scale applications.”

Relectrify recently received growth investment led by Toyota Ventures with the express purpose of extending Relectrify’s BMS+Inverter technology into battery products across the globe. The certification of the ReVolve product independently validates the safety and grid compliant operation of Relectrify’s technology, accelerating the opportunity for the company and its partners to jointly develop new battery systems to bring longer-lived and more cost-effective energy storage solutions to market.

As the penetration of renewables such as solar grow around the world, its really great to see more options for affordable stationary storage applications being developed.

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