GreenDataNet, BMW, Vattenfall, DoE, Aging of Li-ion batteries.
EV batteries to power data centres: The GreenDataNet project wants to keep data centres running using old EV batteries that first store and then supply extra energy during peak hours. The initiative is funded by the EU with 2.9 million euros (4m dollars) and supported by Nissan.
Second calling for batteries: With the number of EVs growing worldwide, the number of old EV batteries will increase as well. While Sumitomo in Japan already uses them to store excess solar energy, BMW is currently exploring second life applications. Together with European utility Vattenfall, they are also looking into using the old batteries as energy storage units to ensure power grid stability.
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Alternatives drives put to the (real world) test: Cars like the Honda Accord PHEV and Smart Fortwo ED are currently driving laps at the Intertek centre in Arizona, USA, before they will be driven by various fleet operators for nearly 200,000 miles over three years. The United States Department of Energy (DoE) uses the data to determine vehicle performance, durability and operational costs.
Why batteries age: German researchers have determined a major source of aging of Li-ion batteries, saying that repetitive changes in atomic arrangements can cause the breakdown of the crystal structure of a material and therefore the deterioration of battery performance.