Audi has opened a stationary energy storage facility with a capacity of 1.9 MWh on the EUREF campus in Berlin. The lithium-ion batteries in second use come from development e-tron vehicles and tests various interaction scenarios between electric cars and the energy grid.
Audi has brought several partners on board, including The Mobility House. The company is already working on V2G and Smart Grid projects and has been on the EUREF campus for quite some time. The location is fulfilling Germany’s climate goals for 2050 since 2013 and is a testbed for applications and start-up hub.
For the 1.9 MWh installation, the carmaker got to work with TMH as well as Belectric. For now, the partners are selling one-megawatt hour to the Berlin medium-voltage grid, meaning once they win the bid, they have to keep said energy available for the week or day. The remaining 0.9 MWh serve as a safety net and also to power the campus itself. According to Audi, the storage could supply the entire 5.5-hectare office and science campus with electricity for almost two hours independently.
In the long run, the idea is to store energy from renewables and overloads from the grid and flexibly react to short-term power fluctuations in the network.
Another application is quick charging stations in the immediate vicinity, where electric cars such as the e-tron can charge up to 175 kW. To cover the high power demand as cost-effectively as possible and to avoid overloading the local power grid, the battery storage unit also acts as a buffer. Through intelligent integration into the power grid, the energy storage system can absorb excess electricity from wind power and photovoltaic systems or the campus’ own combined heat and power plant. We could see how those compensations for grid fluctuations work during our visit on site as part of the electrive New Mobility Tour. The programming comes from The Mobility House, and a spokesperson told us that the primary aim is not merely power control “but building a business case” in software. Audi’s Reiner Mangold, responsible for sustainable product development, added that he considers second life applications for EV batteries “essential to making electric cars affordable” and for the car industry to survive.
In addition to research into interfaces for intelligent integration into the energy grid of the future, the battery storage system on the EUREF campus is designed to provide further insights to incorporate into future projects. At the beginning of last year, Audi and its partners launched a pilot project with households in the Ingolstadt area and the Zurich region as part of a research project that combines photovoltaic systems with stationary battery storage systems.
Additional reporting by Nora Manthey.