ECO STOR has designed a solution that repurposes used electric vehicle batteries to provide affordable energy storage for commercial buildings. “Our company is positioned between two megatrends: the enormous growth of renewable energy and the electrification of transportation. This is creating a huge market for low-cost energy storage, which our technology is able to provide,” says Trygve Burchardt, CEO of ECO STOR.
The rapid adoption of solar and wind energy is increasing demand for energy storage. However, most energy storage solutions are very costly. There is a large unmet need for affordable options, especially for distributed energy production from rooftop solar installations on commercial buildings.
Meanwhile, the popularity of electric vehicles (EV) continues to grow, as does the number of batteries needing replacing. In Norway alone, it is anticipated that over 100 000 batteries will be replaced in coming years. Today most of these batteries are sent for recycling, but they could still be used for less demanding applications.
When the capacity of an EV battery drops below 70 per cent, the driving distance becomes too short and the battery must be replaced. ECO STOR has developed a small-scale, modular energy storage system that takes full advantage of these batteries’ 10 to 15 years of remaining life.
“We are creating a complete EV battery value chain. We want to be a one-stop shop by using the full potential of this beautiful product,” says Burchardt.
ECO STOR’s solution uses the entire battery system, avoiding costly disassembly and reassembly, new wiring and electronics, and maintaining stringent automotive standards for handling, shipping, outdoor storage and safety.
The company’s proprietary method allows users to diagnose the health of the used EV battery. Based on this, the battery can be repurposed. A simple control unit is placed onto the EV battery and provides a communication link between the battery, an energy management system and the inverters that connect the battery to the grid.
In larger commercial buildings where multiple used batteries are connected, the control unit monitors and adjusts the individual batteries according to the diagnostic information.
ECO STOR’s system is modular. Each module consists of one or two by two EV batteries and provides 15kWh to 30kWh. There is no limit to the number of modules that can be connected, so the battery bank can be adjusted to the energy storage needs of the individual building.
ECO STOR’s system significantly cuts the cost of small-scale energy storage. The solution also reduces the life-cycle carbon emissions of EV batteries and creates a circular economy for them.
“EV batteries start out with high CO₂ emissions because of the way they are produced, especially in Asia,” explains Burchardt. “But our energy storage solution turns this situation from negative to positive. It reduces the need for new battery production, optimises the use of renewable energy and facilitates recycling of spent batteries.”
“This is circular economy thinking at its best,” he adds.
Battery-based energy storage is becoming more and more attractive due to increasing integration of intermittent and distributed renewable energy production, and the global market is expected to reach USD 8.54 billion by 2023.
Because ECO STOR is headquartered in Norway, home to the largest EV fleet in the world per capita, the company is in a unique position to bring low-cost energy storage to customers worldwide.
Two recent commercial projects of note are a 150kWh-capacity battery solution for Skipet in Bergen, an office building made of wood, and a 150kWh storage system for Holmlia School in Oslo. Both buildings are equipped with solar panels, and the ECO STOR solution provides energy storage and peak shaving to maximise energy efficiency.
ECO STOR recently established a German subsidiary, ECO STOR GmbH, that offers grid-connected energy storage solutions using new batteries. The Norwegian company also delivers grid-connected systems and an energy storage solution for solar rooftop installations on private homes.
ECO STOR recently signed an MoU with Nissan, Norsk Gjenvinning and Agder Energi to reuse EV batteries in energy storage and recycle spent batteries.
Affordable small-scale energy storage system
Gives used EV batteries a second life
Easy to customise for commercial applications