In late 2019 an industrial "second life" battery system was commissioned at the Umicore site in Olen, Belgium. The system consists of 48 used batteries from electric cars, and now forms one large storage battery of 1.2 MW or 720 kWh. The system is designed for performing FCR (Frequency Containment Reserve).On October 8, 2019, an industrial "second life" battery system was commissioned at the Umicore site in Olen, Belgium. The system consists of 48 used batteries from electric cars, and now forms one large storage battery of 1.2 MW or 720 kWh. The system is designed for performing FCR (Frequency Containment Reserve).
Now that electric vehicles are gaining popularity, the question arises as to what will happen to all batteries once the cars are no longer being used. Umicore can recycle these batteries, but they can also be reused as an energy storage system. This is the first co-ordinated system to be run by Kiwi and will be doing FCR. This is our first fully containerised system and a great example of a technical circular economy project. Our E-STOR system using second-life batteries will provide energy for Umicore to recycle more batteries.
The batteries will correct imbalances based on the mains frequency. The batteries automatically detect any frequency fluctuations and respond to them within a few seconds. But if there is suddenly a decreasing demand for electricity, then the batteries must absorb energy very quickly. At that time the batteries will charge. If there is suddenly a rising demand, the batteries will return their stored energy.
Another application of the batteries is the addition to renewable energy in order to always have enough energy. With a lot of wind and sun, the electricity that is not immediately taken away is stored in the battery. And with little wind and sun, if there is not enough electricity, the stored electricity is used. For some time, network operators have been looking for such support services that can maintain or restore balance on the network.