Gita Subramony for Zondits, July 10, 2015. Image credit: Jeff Glucker
Chevy Volt batteries are finding a second purpose after they’ve reached their end of useful life powering the electric automobiles. The batteries can be repurposed to provide energy storage for stationary applications such as buildings. General Motors is now using old Volt batteries to provide battery storage solutions for one of their data centers. The data center combines solar arrays, wind turbines, and the recycled Volt batteries to generate around 100 MWh of energy in a year.
Used Chevrolet Volt Batteries Help Power New IT Building
3BL Media, June 16, 2015
What happens to the batteries that power Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric cars when their useful life is done? Five of them are helping keep the lights on at the new General Motors Enterprise Data Center at its Milford Proving Ground.
Repurposed scrap Volt battery covers already star in a variety of applications, from bat houses to nesting boxes for endangered duck species. Now, as Chevrolet closes on the second-generation Volt for 2016, it’s time to begin tapping the energy left in batteries from first-generation models.
Because the Volt typically draws its power from a band of energy in the battery pack, there is a lot of leftover juice for stationary use. A new solar array and two wind turbines feed the administration building’s circuit breaker panel, where the five Volt batteries work in parallel to supply power to the building, delivering net-zero energy use on an annual basis.