Through its award-winning E-STOR technology, Connected Energy is offering a highly innovative solution to this conundrum through use of ‘second life’ EV batteries.
This can be used, for example, to store energy generated from on-site renewable generation resources such as solar panels and wind turbines, and then release it as it’s needed at a later time. The system also allows the batteries to be charged via low-cost off-peak electricity tariffs, enabling users to reduce their energy costs.
The batteries used are Renault EV batteries, chosen by Connected Energy because Renault, as EV market leader with 23,000 units sold in Europe in 2015, has expertise in the technology, its lifecycle and impact on the environment.
The first E-STOR product is nominally rated at 50kW/50kWhr which could typically be used to support one rapid charger or a cluster of fast chargers but the system is fully scalable and higher capacity units will follow.
In practical terms, as well as allowing more efficient use of energy, the system can also enable installation of rapid electric vehicle charging in sites where electricity supply would traditionally only allow slower rates. Instead of charging vehicles via a high-capacity supply directly from the grid, E-STOR allows multiple batteries to be charged at a slower rate over a period of time, ready to release their energy and charge a car when an EV driver needs it.
Renault offers two concrete solutions with its electric vehicles and their batteries through E-STOR. First to the grid, by providing energy storage that prevents power grid overload and balances supply and demand. Second to the environment, because batteries not fitted for automobile use, but that still have considerable remaining capacity, can have a longer life and lower carbon footprint before they are actually recycled.
In June 2015, E-STOR was named winner of the innovation category in the prestigious British Renewable Energy Awards 2015, hosted by the Renewable Energy Association.