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Nissan Powers Amsterdam Stadium with Second-life EV Batteries

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【Summary】Secondary uses for EV batteries include demand charge management and integration with solar-powered systems, such as LED street lamps.

Michael Cheng    Jul 11, 2018 6:00 AM PT
Nissan Powers Amsterdam Stadium with Second-life EV Batteries
author: Michael Cheng   

The lifecycle of batteries found inside EVs are capable of flourishing beyond transportation. Second-life units can be utilized after they no longer have the capacity to power electrified cars efficiently. Secondary uses for EV batteries include demand charge management and integration with solar-powered systems, such as LED street lamps.

Nissan, a leading EV producer, aims to capitalize on second-life batteries from its EV lineup by introducing programs designed to incorporate power cells with city grids, commercial buildings and homes.

Johan Cruijff Arena

In Amsterdam, the carmaker recently showcased its resourcefulness in using second-life batteries from Nissan Leaf EVs to power the Johan Cruijff Arena. The company installed a massive energy storage system, which consists of 148 Nissan Leaf battery packs. Capable of generating 2.8 megawatts per hour, the units store energy harvested from over 4,200 solar panels on the stadium's roof.

"Thanks to this energy storage system, the stadium will be able to use its own sustainable energy more intelligently and, as Amsterdam Energy Arena BV, it can trade in the batteries' available storage capacity," said Henk van Raan, Director of Innovation at the Johan Cruijff Arena.

"The Arena is assured of a considerable amount of power, even during an outage. As a result, the stadium will contribute to a stable Dutch energy grid."

It is important to highlight that EV batteries are usually swapped out after degrading 70 to 80 percent in order to maintain performance. Furthermore, most EVs on the road today have an expected lifecycle of about 8-10 years (according to the Center for Sustainable Energy).

Taking these factors into consideration, second-life units can still be viewed as a reliable energy storage option. To ensure safety and quality assurance, standardization is required, such as compliance with UL 1974.

Second-life Battery Programs

In addition to building new energy systems out of second-life batteries, Nissan is moving forward with a wide range of programs that target mainstream consumers. Under ‘The Reborn Light' program, the car manufacturer wants to unleash solar-powered lights in cities. The company will use battery-powered outdoor lighting systems to illuminate parks, remote areas and busy locations.

For the industrial sector, Nissan has partnered with Eaton, an establishment that specializes in power distribution systems. Formed in 2015, the duo will use the collaboration to explore new ways to store energy. Plans to integrate second-life batteries with Eaton's uninterruptable power supply (UPS) products are currently being implemented.

Like Tesla's Powerwall, Nissan offers energy storage solutions for residential spaces. Customers have the option to purchase a unit with a new power cell or a second-life battery. The sustainable energy products are being produced with Eaton under Nissan xStorage.

Interestingly, the automaker also sells solar panels, which can be bought separately or bundled together with batteries. The cutting-edge products are available for pre-order in Germany, Norway and the UK.

"These systems will really facilitate the wider adoption and deployment of renewable generation; giving people greater control over their energy supply and consumption," cited Cyrille Brisson, Vice President Marketing at Eaton Electrical EMEA.

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