New EV Batteries Must Include Vital Changes

For many years batteries have been self-destructive, either slowly or explosively, as a direct cause of the reactions they are designed to create: chemicals interacting to produce heat and current. Disposing of that heat is only one challenge to battery management. In autonomous vehicles (AVs), more sensors, operating at differing voltages and speeds, add not only heat but a widely varying load on the battery as the vehicle maneuvers without a driver.

New batteries that use materials and perform chemical reactions still in research will need even stronger, more precise battery management technology, according to an article that also notes the vast differences in power and efficiency between batteries and fossil fuels. The author said that regulations cannot solely be relied upon to enforce safety rules for battery management, which must become more accurate and reliable as batteries become more powerful.

Even the most well-made battery units are unpredictable for life and speed of decline in performance; a battery that degrades long before its volatility is gone is potentially explosive. Autonomous vehicles present an opportunity and challenge to these designers: batteries must be protected from errors and cyber attacks through wireless networks, which demands more powerful security for these networks. Battery controllers, like others in the vehicle, will report to the internal system and outside monitors through wired and wireless contacts.

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Vanadium Flow Battery Energy Storage

Vanadium flow and vanadium-lithium energy storage projects are being launched by Cellcube and RedT respectively. They aim to provide baseload energy, stabilise the grid and shift energy production to meet demand. It is believed they will be a lightweight solution with an extended service life compared to current available technologies.

Source articles here and here.

EVgo Announces Grid-Tied Public Fast Charging System With Second-Life Batteries

EVgo is America’s largest public fast charging network and working with BMW, Princeton Power Systems and Kisensum they have been able to create a second-life for BMW i3 car batteries.

They store energy generated during peak solar hours and then use this to fast-charge EVgo customers electric vehicles during peak periods. EVgo plans to develop more energy storage facilities across their network, believing it is a key technology for affordable DC fast chargin.

Full article here.

Smart Charging to Enable 11 million EVs by 2030 With Limited Impact on Grid

With an increasing dependence on electricity for heating and with increased numbers of electric vehicles, there will be a pressure to meet demand during peak periods. However, through the use of smart charging it is estimated that the impact on the grid could be as little as 8GW by 2040.

Demand will be shifted out of peak periods and after 2030, vehicle-to-grid (V2G) will begin to offer additional levels of support. The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – working with the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK – awarded nearly £30 million to over 20 V2G projects back in January.

National Grid UK system operator director Fintan Slye said that “Smart charging and V2G actively support the decarbonisation of electricity, providing flexibility to the energy system. Our scenarios suggest that by 2030 there could be as many as 11 million EVs on the road and by 2040 this could increase to 36 million. Coupled with the electrification of heating, total electricity demand will increase significantly as we progress towards 2050. However, with smart charging and V2G technologies the actual increase in peak demand over that period could be actually as little as 8GW in 2040”.

Read the full article here.

What’s Possible For Used EV Batteries? Daimler Energy Storage Units Provide Second Life Power

Second-life batteries can provide backup power for homes and businesses, and utilities can dispatch peak power from these distributed batteries to relieve expensive fossil fuel-burning power plants, which can compensate for any decreases in renewable energy supply. To be usable as a replacement, a battery needs regular cycling during the storage period, deliberate, battery-conserving charging and discharging. This prevents exhaustive discharge, which can lead to battery problems.

Batteries from electric and hybrid vehicles have a limited lifespan and once this is reached they can end up in landfill.  An alternative to that is being developed through a joint venture between Daimler AG, its subsidiary Mercedes-Benz Energy, GETEC ENERGIE, and technology company The Mobility House.

Finding ways to reuse the technology is becoming more urgent as the global stockpile of EV batteries is forecast to exceed the equivalent of about 3.4 million packs by 2025, compared with about 55,000 this year, according to calculations based on Bloomberg NEF data. This joint venture has bundled a total of 1920 battery modules in a plant in Elverlingsen in South Westphalia to create an energy storage facility. The stored battery modules are sufficient for at least 600 vehicles. With installed power output of 8.96MW and energy capacity of 9.8MWh, the battery storage plant is available to the energy market, for example, for supplying primary balancing power. Its modular design enables the system to continuously and fully automatically stabilize the power grid.

Full article here.

Highview Power opens world’s first Liquid Air Energy Storage Plant (5 MW/15 MWh)

Professor John Loughhead OBE FREng FTSE, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) formally opened Highview Power’s 5 MW Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) Plant on Tuesday 5th June 2018.  The plant is located at the Pilsworth landfill gas site in Bury, near Manchester, and is the first operational demonstration of LAES technology at grid-scale, representing twelve years’ work by Highview Power.

Professor John Loughhead said: “We welcome the accomplishment of Highview Power, working together with their project site partner Viridor, to successfully build and operate this grid-scale liquid air energy storage technology demonstration plant.”

Gareth Brett, CEO at Highview Power, said: “Support from Government, our partners and our supply chain, has enabled Highview Power to successfully design and build the world’s first grid-scale LAES plant here in the UK. The plant is the only large scale, true long-duration, locatable energy storage technology available today, at acceptable cost. The adoption of LAES technology is now underway and discussions are progressing with utilities around the world who see the opportunity for LAES to support the transition to a low-carbon world.”

After the launch, demand response aggregator KiWi Power will be able to draw energy from the LAES plant to power about 5,000 average-sized homes for around three hours. The plant will demonstrate how LAES can provide a number of reserve, grid balancing and regulation services. Yet the opportunity is far greater: LAES technology can scale to hundreds of Megawatts in line with the energy demand of urban areas the size of small towns up to large cities. This means that LAES plants could easily store enough clean electricity generated by a local windfarm to power a town like Bury (around 100,000 homes) for many days, not just a few hours.

LAES technology makes use of a freely available resource, the air, which is stored as a liquid and then converted back to a gas, involving an expansion process that releases stored energy, and this drives a turbine to generate electricity. In addition to providing energy storage, the LAES plant at Bury converts waste heat to power using heat from the on-site landfill gas engines.

No exotic metals or harmful chemicals are involved and the process does not release any carbon emissions. The plant comprises mostly of steel, which has a lifespan of between 30 to 40 years, in comparison with 10 years for batteries. At the end of life, a LAES plant can be decommissioned and the steel recycled. LAES plants can be located at the point of demand which makes them highly flexible and able to supply energy to help urban areas keep the lights on.

Highview Power says it is now in “advanced negotiations” with utilities for units ten times the size.

Read the full report here.

International Energy Agency forecasts electric vehicle growth from 3 to 125 million by 2030

The International Energy Agency (IEA) released its annual report, Global Electric Vehicle (EV) Outlook 2018, today, which summarises the status of  EV sales, charging infrastructure and policies around the globe and also examines a series of scenario outlooks to 2030.

Today’s status:

  • The world’s fleet of EVs grew 54 percent to about 3.1 million in 2017.
  • Government policy will continue to be the linchpin for EV adoption.
  • Only a handful of countries have significant market share.
  • Private chargers continue to outnumber publicly accessible infrastructure.
  • Batteries are increasingly affordable.

“The uptake of EVs is still largely driven by the policy environment,” the IEA said in the report. “The 10 leading countries in EV adoption all have a range of policies in place to promote the uptake of electric cars.”

Policies in place today will make China and Europe the biggest adopters, in the IEA’s view. In China, credits and subsidies will help EVs grow to account for more than a quarter of the car market by 2030. Meanwhile, tightening emissions standards and high fuel taxes in Europe will boost the vehicles to 23 percent of the market.

As for the United States, the IEA sees EV deployment growing at two speeds. While it sees “rapid market penetration” in places like California and other states with zero emissions plans, relatively low taxes on fuels and the Trump administration’s intentions to scale back vehicle emissions standards could hold back growth.


  • The number of EVs on the road around the world will hit 125 million by 2030.
  • The outlook for EVs is bright, but requires ambitious targets.
  • Most people will charge their EVs at home or work.
  • The future of EVs hinges on demand for scarce materials.
  • EVs can help avoid substantial CO2 emissions.

IEA’s 22-year outlook still leaves plenty of room for fossil fuel-powered vehicles. Forecasts put the world’s total car count at roughly 2 billion somewhere in the 2035 to 2040 window.

However, the IEA also sees a pathway to 220 million EVs by 2030, provided the world takes a more aggressive approach to fighting climate change and cutting emissions than currently planned.

While battery costs are falling, the IEA acknowledges that government policy remains critical to making EVs attractive to drivers, spurring investment and helping carmakers achieve economies of scale.

Source article.

World’s largest battery and car-charging network planned for UK

New energy start-up, Pivot Power, has unveiled plans to build 2 GW of battery storage and rapid vehicle charging docks across 45 sites around the UK. This will be the world’s largest battery and vehicle-charging network and could roll out across British roads through a new £1.6bn scheme due to start in Southampton next year. The major 2GW boost to British power supplies would provide the equivalent of two-thirds of the installed capacity of the Hinkley Point C new nuclear power plant in a quarter of the time and at a fraction of the cost.

Pivot Power aims to connect dozens of 50 MW batteries directly to the transmission network which will connect enough new electricity capacity to power 235,000 homes over the next 5 years. The first 10 grid scale batteries are expected to be commissioned within 18 months, the first being a £25m project on the south coast.

The company has secured financial backing for the initial phase of its plan from specialist investment house, Downing LLP, for the first phase of the mega-project.

Source article: Telegraph

Source article: The Energyst

REstore’s New Virtual Power Plant uses Tesla Powerpacks

Centrica Business Solutions’ flexibility provider REstore has launched a 32-megawatt virtual power plant (VPP) on the site of an old coal mine in Belgium’s only national park. The plant uses 18.2 MW/ 22 MWh Tesla Powerpacks connected to the distribution grid.

The project took six months from inception to operation; the battery installation took about five weeks. The VPP has been providing primary frequency regulation to the Belgian transmission system operator since April 2018 and stacking value with additional participation in the real-time balancing market.

A combination of fast response, flexible operation and intelligent software makes battery systems a good technology choice for frequency regulation. The Powerpacks can provide rapid power in response to changes in system frequency, considerably faster than fossil fuel plants are capable of, or offer longer-duration, more energy-intensive service for longer deviations in system frequency.

The 32-megawatt VPP is managed and bid into the market by REstore’s FlexPond patented technology, ensuring the provision of bidirectional flexibility. The plant can be easily expanded by adding more distributed devices.

Source article.