What happens to electric bus batteries when they retire? A new research project in Sweden is resurrecting old bus batteries for a new purpose: storing solar energy in apartment buildings.
An “energy warehouse” at an apartment complex in Gothenburg consists of 14 batteries that previously served the city’s electric buses. When linked together, they create a 200 kWh stationary pack that stores energy from solar panels on the complex’s roof. The use of storage helps cut down the facility’s power consumption peaks, and allows the apartment complex to sell excess energy back to the national grid. Furthermore, energy can be bought from the grid at its cheapest price and stored for later use.
“We know that electric bus batteries have good potential for other applications such as energy storage after the end of their life in public transport,” said Ylva Olofsson, Project Coordinator at Volvo, one of the companies conducting the research project. “What we are examining here is exactly how good that potential is. Use of the batteries in an energy warehouse gives them an extended service life which in turn means better resource utilisation and less environmental impact.”
Source: Volvo Buses