Reusing EV Batteries for Energy Storage

Sumitomo Corporation has developed and installed what the company says is the world’s first large-scale power storage system which utilizes used batteries collected from electric vehicles (EVs). This commercial scale storage system, built on Yume-shima Island, Osaka, will begin operating this month.

4R Energy Used EV Battery Storage projectOver the next three years, the system will measure the smoothing effect of energy output fluctuation from the nearby “Hikari-no-mori,” solar farm, and will aim to establish a large-scale power storage technology by safely and effectively utilizing the huge quantities of discarded used EV batteries which will become available in the future. This project has been selected as a model project for “Verification of the battery storage control to promote renewable energy” for the fiscal year 2013 by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan.

Battery Business Development Department General Manager, Norihiko Nonaka said, “We are pleased to be a part of such an important verification project that can both utilize used EV batteries, and provide a large-scale power storage facility, which are important issues that need to be addressed for the future of renewable energy.”

Sumitomo Corporation created the joint venture company, “4R Energy Corporation,” in collaboration with Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. in September 2010, to address the secondary use of EV lithium-ion batteries. The used EV batteries that will be recycled into this large-scale storage system have been recovered and have gone through thorough inspection and maintenance at 4R, to confirm safety and performance. This prototype system (600kW/400kWh) consists of sixteen used EV batteries. The company is also working on developing new applications for used EV batteries.

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