A lithium-ion battery which is used to power an automobile, degrades over time. But when no longer suitable for use in a vehicle, those batteries typically have 60 to 70% of their useful life remaining.
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed an innovative control system for repurposed electric vehicle battery packs to store electricity for home use and are scaling up the technology to a large, power grid-level project. .
Using the software and power electronics hardware developed Oak Labs, the second-use battery system is designed to reduce a home’s purchases from the utility to zero during critical peak demand periods when the cost of electricity is at its highest.
The home instead uses electricity generated or stored from on-site renewables. The net benefit is a much lower electricity bill taking advantage of real time rate structures.
The system developed by the Oak Ridge researchers relies on cloud-based communications that allow for remote control. Included in the system is a flexible inverter that converts power for either household use or utility transmission together with controls that synchronize the system with the grid and ensure safe startup and shutdown.
However, don’t look for any of this on the shelves at your local store any time soon…
Reference- IEEE website, Eureka Alert website, Clean Technica