RWE and Audi launch 4.5 MWh Second Life energy storage system

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RWE and Audi launch 4.5 MWh Second Life energy storage system-second

RWE and Audi go new paths as part of the energy transition: RWE has commissioned an energy storage in North Rhine-Westphalian Herdecke, which uses used lithium-ion batteries from Audi electro cars. With the help of 60 battery systems, the storage facility on the site of the RWE pumped storage power plant at Hengsteysee will be able to temporarily store around 4.5 megawatt hours of electricity.

The discarded batteries provided for the project come from Audi e-tron development vehicles. After their first life in the car, they still have a residual capacity of more than 80 percent. This makes these second-life batteries ideal for use in stationary power storage. Depending on how they are used, the batteries still have a lifespan of up to ten years. They are also significantly cheaper than new cells. And that’s what Second Life stands for: The CO2 emissions generated during the production of the batteries are distributed over two lives (in the car and as an electricity storage device) in a sustainable manner.

“Audi has set itself the goal of CO2-neutral mobility. We are working with all our might to achieve this ambitious project. Our electric offensive with more than 20 fully electric models by 2025 is an important step. However, our claim goes far beyond the vehicle, which is why we are promoting the development of sustainable mobility through cooperation with partners from the energy industry. The cooperation with RWE is intended to show the possibilities for resource-saving use of used high-voltage batteries and their intelligent integration into the energy grid of the future. In addition, we are already thinking about the time after this usage phase and are pushing for effective battery recycling.“ – Oliver Hoffmann, Board Member for Technical Development Audi

For the 60 batteries, which weigh around 700 kilograms, RWE built a 160 square meter lightweight hall on the site of its pumped storage power plant in Herdecke. The installation of the battery systems inside was completed in October. The commissioning of individual components started in November. RWE is expected to market the storage capacity of its Second Life battery storage system from the beginning of 2022 – initially to support the electricity grid as part of frequency control. After that, it is planned to flexibly test other marketing methods.

“Efficient battery storage is essential for the energy transition”

The findings from the reference storage facility in Herdecke should help RWE to build and operate larger storage facilities based on electric car batteries in the future. A new technology is used for this, in which two modules are connected in series. This increases the operating voltage and reduces costs, according to RWE in a recent press release.

The prospects for this special combination of security of supply and sustainability are excellent: e-mobility is gaining momentum. Therefore, in the future, large quantities of corresponding high-voltage batteries will reach the end of their automotive life cycle. Experts predict that the market for second-life batteries in Europe will increase to 8 gigawatt hours by 2030 and even to 76 gigawatt hours by 2035.

“High-performance battery storage is essential for the energy transition. Flexible storage technologies are needed to compensate for short-term fluctuations in renewable energies and to stabilize the grid. Battery storage is ideal for this. Together with Audi, we are testing in Herdecke how high-voltage batteries that have been decommissioned from e-cars behave as stationary energy storage devices when connected together. The continued use of such ‘second-life’ storage is a sustainable alternative to brand-new batteries. The experiences from this project will help us to identify the applications in which we can operate such battery systems most economically.“ – Roger Miesen, CEO RWE Generation

The Second Life battery storage facility in Herdecke is one of ten battery projects that RWE is implementing in the USA, Germany and Ireland. At the same time, the company is working on other projects such as redox flow batteries or battery storage systems that are virtually linked to hydroelectric power plants. By 2030, the company will increase its battery storage capacity from the current 600 megawatts to 3 gigawatts. In addition to RWE, a number of other companies have already set up stationary second-life battery storage systems.

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2 thoughts on “RWE and Audi launch 4.5 MWh Second Life energy storage system”

  1. I would have preferred to set up Second Life decentrally to the HPC, in order to also reduce the peak connection power of the HPC, than centrally at any point. Is not necessary to centralize.
    Imagine if an HPC location would generally get lower electricity costs because it stabilizes the grid and does not fundamentally destabilize it.

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  2. All electric cars that are not driving should be connected to the grid at their stand and should be equipped with a bidirectional inverter. Before that, the electricity centers are afraid. The stands would then be a gigantic power storage of the people.

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