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Our second life EV battery story at Connected Energy

Connected Energy has second life EV batteries at the heart of its battery energy storage journey – hear our individual team members’ stories…

29/02/2024

The European Union’s recent Battery Regulation has placed the spotlight on the full life cycle of batteries. The new law ensures that batteries are collected, reused, and recycled in Europe, supporting a shift to a circular economy.

At Connected Energy, we’ve been championing the reuse of EV batteries for over ten years – driven by our mission to reduce their carbon footprint.  We asked some of our team to tell us about their work across a series of articles…

Roger Tudor, Software Engineer

On pioneering the second life software model:

“Looking back to the early days of that first project, we used multiple types of batteries and our role was to develop a control system that would communicate with them separately whilst ultimately treating them as a single asset through a central controller, giving us a wealth of experience and creating what really was the first prototype of our product today.”

Read the full article here >>

Nathan Evans, Senior Mechanical Design Engineer

On staying ahead of the BESS curve:

“My combined experience has given me so many transferable skills that I can apply to designing innovative solutions that will accommodate batteries within our system safely and efficiently. No two days are usually the same, I’m sometimes given a very high-level brief, or I’m set a specific challenge, and I have to come up with a creative way to produce a safe and robust solution for storing batteries in our racks, ensuring I meet the demands of the business.”

Read the full article here >>

Jonny Cogman, Head of Supply Chain

On developing a successful supply chain:

“Our supply chain all started with our first major OEM partner, Renault. It was a very straightforward relationship in the beginning – they supplied the batteries and we got to work. But now we have a much more intricate partnership, it’s much more of a collaboration, working together to enhance battery performance within our E-STOR as well as working on future plans. It’s an approach that I believe we can take forward with other OEMs now that they are proactively looking to engage with the second life movement.”

Read the full article here >>

Frazer Wagg, Head of Data Services

On using AI to enhance performance and safety:

“Just as we are driven by maximising the value of the resources within a battery, we have identified a way to maximise the data in our possession. The result is the development of a technical solution to drive forward the use of second life batteries as energy storage, helping to promote sustainability, efficiency and cost-effectiveness in battery reuse.”

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Alex Charr, Chief Operating Officer

On building relationships with battery partners:

“This is where Connected Energy comes in, by helping OEMs to see the opportunities and the business case. Rather than seeing an excess of electric batteries as a costly, overlooked issue, we can help give them purpose, a second life. Connected Energy was very forward-thinking in this regard. For the last ten years, the company has proven the concept, perfected all the elements of our system’s solution – from safety to software – and now we’re able to ramp up for when batteries are available at a much larger scale.”

Read the full article here >>

Tania Saxby, Operations Manager

On investigating third-life battery usage:

“We are working on the RECOVAS project, alongside car manufacturers, recyclers, and other battery experts, to scale up the reuse, remanufacture and recycling of EV batteries from their end-of-life state.”

Read the full article here >>

What are second life EV batteries?

As the world strives towards net zero, we have no choice but to change the way we do things. For us, that means disrupting the current throwaway economy and seeking better ways of doing things; reusing existing materials rather than continuing to damage the planet. That’s why all our battery energy storage systems use second life EV batteries.

By extracting the value from the finite resources already embedded in them, we double their working lives. We are driven by helping to solve the challenges of the energy trilemma by disrupting the throwaway economy. Bringing huge environmental benefits to our partners and our customers.

What is battery energy storage?

Battery energy storage systems (or BESS as they are sometimes known) are systems that can capture and store energy – either from the grid or from renewables such as solar and wind power – and then use that power when it is needed.

Their use on a commercial scale has grown over the last few years, primarily due to two key reasons: the proliferation of solar PV for commercial premises and the growth of electric vehicles which has led to an increased electricity demand needed for charging.

Who is Connected Energy?

While working on several electric vehicle and charging infrastructure trials, our awareness of grid connection costs and concern about the disposal of end-of-life batteries sparked the pioneering idea. Could an electric vehicle battery be repurposed as a stationary energy store?

Since 2013 our team has been driven to prove the concept of repurposing EV batteries as a commercially sustainable energy store. Strong partnerships across the globe have enabled us to develop our E-STOR products, which are now powering businesses across the UK and Europe. The rest, as they say, is history.

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