Daimler subsidiary Mercedes-Benz Energy has turned a coal power plant into an energy storage facility. It holds close to 2,000 electric car batteries for a combined capacity of near 10 MWh available to the energy market. On top, these batteries may also return to power new smart electric vehicles.
So while the batteries serves as stationery energy storage, they are also stored and kept as replacement parts for the third generation of electric smart cars. It is this somewhat third-life for batteries that makes this facility unique and why Mercedes deems their setup a “win-win” for the energy turnaround (Energiewende).
The facility is an old coal power plant in the town of Elverlingsen and now houses a total of 1,920 battery modules, forming what Daimler calls their “live replacement parts store” for the fleet of third generation electric smarts. The stored battery modules are sufficient for at least 600 electric vehicles.
First though, the facility with an installed power output of 8.96 MW and energy capacity of 9.8 MWh, is available to the energy market. Its modular design enables the system to continuously and automatically stabilise the power grid with balancing power for example.
In return, storing batteries in this way keeps them fit to become a replacement as a battery needs regular cycling during the storage period, that is deliberate charging and discharging. This prevents exhaustive discharge which can lead to a battery defect.
Daimler has been looking to enter the energy market and therefore set up Mercedes-Benz Energy. This latest project had them join forces with The Mobility House and Getec to launch their energy storage unit.