Households typically need most electricity in the evening after the sun has set. This means the solar electricity created during the day needs to be stored somewhere. The challenge with car batteries is the need for high performance. Cars need range and rapid power delivery. This means car batteries with less than 80% of the capacity are no longer useful in cars. The Swiss company UpVolt spied an opportunity to use these old car batteries to power homes, reported SRF.
The company has been collecting old car batteries and putting them together in shipping containers and hooking them up to solar panel arrays. The system could potentially supply city districts with on-demand electricity. A large container of batteries could power 200 homes.
Such storage solutions, which give old car batteries a second life, are already widespread, says Martin Geidl, professor of electrical energy engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW).
UpVolt is still in the testing phase. It has set up container batteries on its own premises. The delivery service DPD is currently using UpVolt second life batteries to charge its electric vehicles.
If testing is successful the company will be looking for customers with buildings and solar panels to test its containers. Martin Geidl from the FHNW sees potential. Containers can theoretically be used anywhere, he said.
The company also provides e-bike battery servicing and e-bike charging points.
SRF article (in German)
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