Used Chevrolet Volt Batteries Power A Building (w/video)

2 years ago by Mark Kane 8

Used Volt Batteries Supplying Power to New Data Center

Used Volt Batteries Supplying Power to New Data Center

Used Chevy Volt Batteries Help Power Milford IT Building

Used Chevy Volt Batteries Help Power Milford IT Building

General Motors announced a pilot energy storage project at the new General Motors Enterprise Data Center at its Milford Proving Ground.

In the case of GM, ESS utilizes used Chevrolet Volt batteries  (from 5 cars), combined with solar (74-kilowatt ground-mount array) and wind power (two 2kW wind turbines).

Solar and wind power is enough to provide all of the energy needs for the office building and lighting for the adjacent parking lot.

Chevrolet Volt batteries work just fine even in oldest 2011 models, but when capacity fade finally appears, GM should be ready to give them a second-life at ESS.

For now, GM is working with partners to validate and test systems for other commercial and non-commercial uses.

Used Chevy Volt Batteries Help Power Milford IT Building

Used Chevy Volt Batteries Help Power Milford IT Building

Used Chevy Volt Batteries Help Power Milford IT Building

Used Chevy Volt Batteries Help Power Milford IT Building

“What happens to the batteries that power Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric cars when their useful life is done? Five of them are helping keep the lights on at the new General Motors Enterprise Data Center at its Milford Proving Ground.

Repurposed scrap Volt battery covers already star in a variety of applications, from bat houses to nesting boxes for endangered duck species. Now, as Chevrolet closes on the second-generation Volt for 2016, it’s time to begin tapping the energy left in batteries from first-generation models.

Because the Volt typically draws its power from a band of energy in the battery pack, there is a lot of leftover juice for stationary use. A new solar array and two wind turbines feed the administration building’s circuit breaker panel, where the five Volt batteries work in parallel to supply power to the building, delivering net-zero energy use on an annual basis.”

“The batteries also can provide back-up power to the building for four hours in the event of an outage and stores it when it’s unneeded. Excess energy is sent back to the grid that supplies the Milford campus.

The 74-kilowatt ground-mount solar array coupled with the two 2kW wind turbines generate enough power to provide all of the energy needs for the office building and lighting for the adjacent parking lot. Together, these renewable sources generate approximately 100 Mwh of energy annually, roughly equivalent to the energy used by 12 average households.”

Pablo Valencia, senior manager, Battery Life Cycle Management said:

“Even after the battery has reached the end of its useful life in a Chevrolet Volt, up to 80 percent of its storage capacity remains. This secondary use application extends its life, while delivering waste reduction and economic benefits on an industrial scale.”

“This system is ideal for commercial use because a business can derive full functionality from an existing battery while reducing upfront costs through this reuse.”

The data center administration building got LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The reuse of Chevrolet Volt batteries helped the new General Motors Enterprise Data Center in Milford, Mich., earn LEED-Gold recognition from the U.S. Green Building Council. GM’s data center in Warren, Mich., also earned LEED-Gold status. The two centers are replacing 23 GM data centers worldwide.

The reuse of Chevrolet Volt batteries helped the new General Motors Enterprise Data Center in Milford, Mich., earn LEED-Gold recognition from the U.S. Green Building Council. GM’s data center in Warren, Mich., also earned LEED-Gold status. The two centers are replacing 23 GM data centers worldwide.

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8 responses to "Used Chevrolet Volt Batteries Power A Building (w/video)"

  1. Nick says:

    This is neat.

    I wonder how much better this is compared to simply using the grid as a battery?

    1. Acevolt says:

      Here is a good explanation of the advantages of using a battery storage system:
      http://insideevs.com/solarcity-ceo-explains-benefits-of-tesla-powerwall-video/

    2. M Hovis says:

      From a raw economic standpoint, it is hard to beat a utility that offers net metering. Where net metering is offered, the utility will allow you to sell up to your annual usage. For utilities that frown on net metering, this can be an option.

      From the peak load perspective, it also provides just the thing to bust the notorious “duck curve”. Solar provides an answer for peak load demands up to around 3:00-4:00 PM. The 7kWh Tesla battery, or two, or the used EV battery packs could extend the peak load demands for 3-5 hours more. This is the real value for battery storage (for everyone).

      I really like the idea of breathing new life into a used EV battery. It is worth noting that Li batteries do not die a linear death. It is also worth noting that the cells in the extreme placement in the pack suffer the most. If some of the cells are swapped out, or around, it might change the curve a bit. This is a bit out of my league, but I look forward to the battery repurposing markets yet to come.

    3. drsurd says:

      It’s a lot better. You can store your locally produced PV power and use it to charge your EV, aviding demand charges. If the battery is large enough you can participate in FREquency regulation and other markets that the ISO will pay you for.

  2. mike w says:

    Another web site is reporting that the batteries came from demonstrator Volts that were scrapped. But yes these batteries are very useful at reducing “Demand” charges that so many electric companies are going with. Depending on the numbers these batteries could save a lot of money.

  3. shawn marshall says:

    best use of used car batteries – suggested years ago on gm-volt.com. Will be great for homeowners with small solar systems – maximizes solar system utility by storing all available production, ideally.

  4. ClarksonCote says:

    It will be exciting to see these secondary uses occurring more and more for EV batteries.

    There’s a great deal of potential to help stabilize our grid with these, further reducing power plant emissions.

  5. TomArt says:

    Excellent news!