Cap'n, that is a great idea. Even if it is only an interim solution, it keeps the batteries useful even after their first use is done. This also makes it an inexpensive way to transition the electric grid to a more distributed system, which is important to the use of wind and solar.
What really encourages me is the clever ways which engineers find to resue and extend. In the Wall Street Journal yesterday there was an article about a company that is extracting additional iron ore from mine trailings using magnets. If there is value in a device or material then an engineer will find a way to take advantage of it.
This is a great idea. I am an avowed skeptic, but this is something I can agree on. Owning an electric car, knowing I could re-use the batteries at home for energy storage, makes economic sense. Now I can start to calculate payback not only in gas mileage, but home energy use as well.
Like to see more information and exploration of what happens to these batteries when the vehicle ceases to be drivable.
Agree that this is really a fantastic idea. So much better to reuse these types of batteries past their expiration date in a car rather than have them end up in a landfill somewhere. It's really inspiring to see researchers really working to find new and invent ways to use and reuse energy sources.
Just remember, these things are very high voltage. My mechanic is afraid to work on electric assisted cars for that reason. It is one thing to work with 110/220, but 700 volts or whatever they are? You have to know what you are doing, plus how many inverters work with high DC voltages?
The article says the GM demo was done with an ABB "energy storage inverter" which sounds by the name at least to be targeted at this specific app. My neighborhood could definitely use one of these modules near the local transformer.
Naperlou, for the moment, the effect of this may be virtually non-existent because there are so few lithium-ion electric car batteries out there. There aren't many EVs out there, and the few batteries that are available for this purpose will probably be in the vehicles for another six or seven years. At some point, though, this idea will be a viable one. It means the batteries won't have to be recycled for an additional 10-15 years after their vehicles lives are finished.
As a free market advocate, the time frame you mention does not bode well for continued private research. In this case, I do support government helping (short-term) to bring this technology to market. The more we can keep these batteries in use, the less likely we will have to deal with potential recycle contamination nightmares.
It also makes sense if a car buyer can cost justify the more expensive batteries across 10 to 15 years (powering their home as well as their commute).
Yes, and I'll use the tyres and fill them with dirt for home constructions and the glass for my skylight while I sit on the comfy seats. Get real. Recycled car parts is an idea with very few uses in the real world.
When the time comse that I really need to use old car batteries for power, I 'll simply steal yours...along with your baked beans and ammo.
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