Toyota & Jera to install major 2nd Life energy system in Japan
Toyota, in collaboration with Japanese utility Jera, has commissioned a large-volume energy storage system based on end-of-life batteries from electrified vehicles. The storage system uses retired batteries from hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery-only and fuel cell cars.
Called Sweep Energy Storage, the system currently has an energy content of 1,260 kWh and can deliver up to 485 kW of power. The announcement states that the system will “feed around 100,000 kWh of electricity into the public grid by the middle of the decade.”
The system was designed in the research and development department in such a way that used vehicle batteries can be used regardless of their capacity. This feature also makes sense in view of the sources of used batteries mentioned by Toyota, since lithium-ion batteries as well as nickel-metal hydride batteries and lead-acid batteries are used. A hybrid battery is hardly comparable in its properties and size to the battery from a BEV – yet they can be used together in the second-life application.
Another special feature: since onboard inverters from vehicles are also reused in the system, it can also output alternating current. Other battery storage systems can do this as well, but these require additional, new equipment to convert the direct current from the batteries into alternating current for the power grids or energy consumers.
Both partners are also developing an environmentally friendly recycling process for the lithium-ion batteries used in electrified vehicles. However, details of this are not given in the Toyota announcement.