From new electric vehicles to eco-friendly renovated factories, Ford Motors is doing a lot to green its business. Just last week, the company flipped the switch on its newly installed 500 kWh solar power system at its Michigan Assembly Plant. What’s really cool about the new system is that it includes a 50 kWh facility where Ford is testing how they can reuse EV batteries for energy storage. If the system proves successful, it will become the basis for Ford’s expansion of solar power to other facilities.
Installed and created by Xtreme Power, the battery system will provide 750 kWh of energy storage. It will be combine with the Xtreme’s dynamic energy storage management system. The batteries have a chemical capacitor that makes them better than lithium ion batteries in terms of energy storage, efficiency, life cycle, and cost.
Solar power storage is necessary to ensure a constant stream of electricity, and batteries are one of the simplest ways to do so. EV batteries have a lot of life left in them after they’re no longer usable in a vehicle, so it makes perfect sense to reuse them for stationary storage. In 2003, the Sandia National Laboratory studied the potential for using old EV batteries as storage and they found that there are no technical barriers to using the batteries a second time.
The authors also noted that, at the time, there was a used battery solar energy storage system currently running in Mexico. Given how far clean technologies have come in the last eight years, it’s hard to believe that Ford won’t find success with its EV battery storage system.
Photo credits: Ford Motor Company