Coal-fired power station becomes battery storage plant

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 21 Jun 2018

Daimler along with partners Mercedes-Benz Energy, Getec Energie and technology company The Mobility House have started an innovative battery storage plant. The unit consisting of a total of 1,920 battery modules bundled in Elverlingsen plant in South Westphalia, Germany creates a ‘live replacement parts store’ for the fleet of third-generation electric Smart cars.

The stored battery modules are sufficient for at least 600 vehicles, and have an installed power output of 8.96 MW and energy capacity of 9.8 MWh. The company states that the plant is available for the energy market, for instance it can supply power to the grid for primary balancing. The modular design enables the system to continuously and fully automatically stabilise the power grid with balancing power.

With its partners, Daimler is connecting the third large storage plant made of car battery systems to the grid. Together with the 12.8 MWh, the second life battery storage plant that opened in Elverlingsen in 2016 and the 17.4 MWh replacement part storage facility in Hanover, almost 40 MWh of energy will soon be available on the grid.

Added value at the beginning of battery life
Daimler states that the ‘active’ storage of the lithium-ion battery modules at the Enervie power station site in Elverlingsen is like a fountain of youth for the battery systems used for electric mobility. To be usable as a replacement, a battery needs regular cycling during the storage period – deliberate, battery-conserving charging and discharging. This prevents exhaustive discharge which can lead to a battery defect.

At the same time the partners are reacting efficiently to the growing demands to compensate grid fluctuations and are presenting a business case, as the systems provide a service on the German market for primary balancing power before they are potentially used in EVs from Daimler. The company states a maximum reaction time of 30 seconds is required to ensure grid stability. The storage system in Elverlingsen can react much faster – within milliseconds.

From coal to lithium
The ‘live replacement parts store’ based on electric car battery systems was constructed in Elverlingsen on the site of a former coal-fired power station that was built in 1912 that was recently shut down. Daimler states that the large storage plant is therefore a symbol for the transformation in the storage and use of energy – away from fossil electricity grid supply and towards a sustainable extension of the e-mobility value chain that reduces CO2.

The Mobility House aims to advance energy turnaround and to make a zero-emission future possible. The cooperation partners are working towards an electric mobility breakthrough with innovative charging and energy storage solutions, where existing and new technologies enable the integration of electric vehicles into the power grid as aggregated swarm batteries of moving electric cars or as stationary accumulators from vehicle batteries.


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