Saturday, June 1, 2013

Generating Power from Old Automotive Batteries

By David Greenfield, Director of Content (of Automation industry shows are rarely lacking in cool, new technologies to showcase. And while several intriguing new products were on display in Orlando, Fla., at ABB’s Automation & Power World 2013, one of the displays I found most interesting was at the ABB Energy Storage Module (ESM) booth.

ESM was presenting a community energy storage (CES) system comprised of two enclosures that separately house the ABB ESI-S inverter and five GM Chevy Volt batteries. The batteries, which have been in use in the Volt for 8 to 10 years, are capable of holding only 70 percent of their full charge, thereby making them less viable for automotive use. But that remaining capacity, which can discharge power over the span of several hours, has definite benefits as a stationary storage application.

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