Second life for electric car batteries

Posted on 26 Oct 2019

Umicore and ENGIE used a battery system with 48 on the site in Olen
Installed Li-ion batteries from electric cars. This storage battery with a capacity of 1.2 MW and a storage capacity of 720 kWh is designed to absorb the frequency fluctuations on the Elia high-voltage grid.

Belgian first

The increasing sales of electric cars also ultimately lead to a larger number of used batteries. Umicore is already recycling electric car batteries, but also wanted to test whether a series of used batteries could be converted into a large battery system. Together with ENGIE, Umicore placed 48 Li-ion batteries in different containers at their site in Olen to make a gigantic storage battery. The batteries came from 48 electric vehicles of the French Post of the Renault Kangoo type. Such a battery system is a good solution for quickly absorbing frequency fluctuations on the Elia high-voltage grid. The total capacity is 1.2 MW and the storage capacity is 720 kWh. This storage battery of already used batteries is a first for Belgium.

Further expanding knowledge and expertise

However, energy storage with used batteries is more expensive than with new batteries, because much more electrical equipment - especially inverters - is needed than when connecting brand new batteries. But sustainable business is important to Umicore. “Sustainable business is not only in the products we make, but also in the way we do it. This new battery system is a source of sustainable energy for us, but allows us to further expand our knowledge and expertise in the field of rechargeable batteries in second life applications ”, says Geert Defieuw, site manager of Umicore Olen.

Read more: De Standaard


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