Nissan Motor Company and Green Charge Networks are looking at ways to use the former’s second-life batteries, that is, working batteries removed from automotive applications, in commercial energy storage.
The companies are jointly looking at US and international markets to take the initiative forward.
According to a statement, a lithium-ion battery from a Nissan LEAF still holds a great deal of value as energy storage, even after it is removed from the vehicle.
In Japan, the US and Europe the company has conducted multiple research projects to use LEAF batteries outside the vehicle through 4R Energy, a joint-venture with Sumitomo formed in 2010.
Under the latest collaboration, the companies hope to find openings in markets where incentive programs are currently not offered. The LEAF battery units supported by the intelligent software of Green Charge are expected to give the second-life energy storage unit the cost advantage over traditional units.
“Engineering teams from both companies have worked together for more than a year to ensure safety, reliability and performance of this offering for commercial customers,” the statement said.
The statement adds that the first combined storage unit will be installed at a Nissan facility this summer.
The unit which would have multiple second life Nissan LEAF batteries will be configured to offset peak electricity demand. These would create energy savings and, in turn, also benefit the utility grid.
Wind and solar installations can also use the systems to reduce their environmental footprint and enhance energy savings.
“This partnership is extremely important to the distributed energy storage industry,” Vic Shao, the CEO of Green Charge, said. “This partnership is ultimately about power efficiency — reducing our carbon footprint, stress on the grid and energy costs.”
Ajith Kumar S