Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: MG-6.3-2015 | Award Amount: 16.22M | Year: 2016
Supply chain visibility supported by easy access to, and exchange and use of relevant and abundant logistics-related information is an important prerequisite for the deployment of pan-European logistics solutions that are needed to increase efficiency and productivity, and to reduce environmental impact. Although there is a proliferative development of logistics-related data stores, information channels, information management systems and data mining facilities, with both international and intermodal focus, this multitude of solutions exhibits a high degree of fragmentation, due to differences in user requirements, data models, system specification and business models. This legacy situation severely hampers the optimal use of logistics-related information. To overcome this fragmentation and lack of connectivity of ICT-based information systems for logistics decision making, AEOLIX will establish a cloud-based collaborative logistics ecosystem for configuring and managing (logistics-related) information pipelines. This digital business ecosystem will create visibility across the supply chain, enabling more sustainable and efficient transport of goods cross Europe. An essential element of the approach is to ensure that for logistics actors connecting to and using the ecosystem in undemanding and has a low level of complexity. We envision the ecosystem enabling the integration of supply-chain-related transport business processes through logistics software solutions for cloud-based connectivity and interaction, in order to support more efficient collaboration in the logistics supply chain than exists today. By enabling low-complexity and low cost connectivity of local ICT platforms and systems and thereby scalable, trusted and secure exchange of information, AEOLIX will improve the overall competitiveness of goods transport in the supply chain, while simultaneously targeting sustainability from environmental, economic and social perspectives.
News Article | February 2, 2016
« New UMTRI paper reviews major advantages and disadvantages of battery-electric and fuel-cell vehicles | Main | HELLA to begin production of Gen4 24GHz radar sensors in mid-2017 » Daimler AG, with its wholly owned subsidiary ACCUMOTIVE, and enercity (Stadtwerke Hannover AG) will begin construction of a new stationary energy storage system (ESS) this year; the facility also functions as a spare parts storage facility for electromotive battery systems. Around 3,000 new battery packs, destined for the current smart electric drive vehicle fleet, are being pooled to create the ESS at the enercity site in Herrenhausen. With a storage capacity totalling 15 MWh, the installation is one of the largest in Europe. After completion, the energy storage facility will be marketed on the German primary balancing energy market. The storage facility is already the third major project for Daimler AG in this business sector. Daimler launched the third-generation smart fortwo electric drive in 2012; the next generation of the electric city car is now at the ready. Automakers prepare for the eventuality of battery failure, and have suitable replacements available. Partners Daimler, ACCUMOTIVE and enercity are now forging a unique path in terms of the efficient use of these available, but hitherto unused, resources. Through the “living storage” of the replacement batteries, they are creating a business case that, in this form, can only be achieved together by an automotive manufacturer and a power supply company. By marketing the storage capacity on the German market for primary balancing power (PRL), the business model makes an important contribution to stabilization of the power grid and to the economic efficiency of electromobility. In the event of increasing fluctuations in electricity feed-in from renewable energies such as wind and solar energy, such storage facilities help to ensure optimum settling of a mains frequency that has to be kept constant. The ESS can balance the energy fluctuations with practically no losses—a task that is currently undertaken predominantly by fast-turning turbines at the fossil power plants. enercity is responsible for marketing the storage facility on the primary balancing power market. Battery health. The innovative storage concept has a further advantage, tha partners point out. To be usable in the event of being needed as a replacement in a vehicle, a battery requires regular cycling during its storage period—i.e. specific charging and discharging for the purpose of preservation. Otherwise it would suffer from deep discharging, which can lead to battery defects. In addition to the storage costs, the classic and potentially long-term storage of replacement batteries would therefore involve extremely high operating expenditure. The innovative approach adopted by the partners balancing power demand from the grid automatically ensures the required cycling of the batteries. Further, noted Madeleine Herdlitschka, from Daimler’s R&D Communications, Future Powertrain, the use case in stationary storage for grid balancing is completely different from the use case in a car—e.g., temperature, vibration. “If you use it ‘softly’”, she said, “you don’t have to fear losses.” The battery management system employed by Daimler subsidiary ACCUMOTIVE ensures that the batteries are always in optimum condition in terms of temperature and charge level so that they meet the high standards required in terms of quality and service life. Daimler’s stationary storage business. Daimler entered the stationary battery storage business in 2015 with its subsidiary ACCUMOTIVE and has been developing its activities in this sector since then. The company offers solutions for both industrial and private applications. Mercedes-Benz energy storage facilities for private households can be ordered now and will shortly be installed for customers in cooperation with selected sales partners such as energy service provider EnBW or SMA Solar Technology AG. Just a few weeks ago, Daimler held the ground-breaking ceremony for the world’s largest second-use battery storage facility in Lünen, Westphalia—a joint venture between partners Daimler AG, The Mobility House AG and GETEC. Further major projects are scheduled to start in 2016.
News Article | November 9, 2015
In June, German automaker Daimler AG announced the launch of a new stationary storage business, leveraging its fully owned EV battery maker subsidiary Deutsche Accumotive. The automaker sells batteries to residential and commercial customers in partnership with the German utility EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG. Last week, Daimler announced an expansion of its battery business with a 13-megawatt-hour battery storage unit at a recycling plant in Lünen, Germany that uses “second-life” EV batteries -- batteries that are too depleted to reliably propel a car, but still have a significant amount of remaining capacity. Daimler claims this is the largest deployment of second-life EV batteries in the world. The project is a joint venture between Daimler AG, energy services companies Getec Energie and The Mobility House, and the environmental management company Remondis. Daimler is working with these partners to map out the entire battery chain, including manufacturing, vehicle range and performance, stationary applications in energy markets, and recycling the batteries at the end of their usable life and feeding valuable raw materials back into the production cycle. The 13-megawatt-hour battery system recently passed certification testing with the ISO, and is slated to begin regular operation early next year, according to Michael Mohnhaupt, president of U.S. operations for The Mobility House, a German startup founded in 2009 to support grid integration of EVs and vehicle batteries. The Mobility House will own and operate the Daimler battery unit in the wholesale energy market. The revenues are split among all parties. There is strong demand for high-performing batteries in Germany, where renewable energies are expected to provide 33 percent of the country’s gross electricity consumption in 2015, a large portion of which comes from intermittent renewables like solar and wind. Other countries in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere are also looking for batteries to help stabilize their grids. “Car companies don’t know the energy markets well and are scared because energy markets are so diversified. France is different from the U.K., which is different from Germany. Each U.S. state differs from the other,” said Mohnhaupt. “They don’t want to manage all of this on a regional level; they’re used to thinking global.” “For automakers, the goal is to make electric vehicles cheaper, and one way to make them cheaper is to give the battery a second life,” he continued. “If the battery has a value after its life in the car, you can see additional value instead of dismantling it and paying someone for doing it.” Three or four years ago, car companies were concerned that EV batteries wouldn’t even last the life of their eight-year warranty, said Mohnhaupt. Now, having conducted more testing, Daimler estimates that the Lünen battery plant can operate efficiently for at least another 10 years. Car companies are getting a lot more familiar with the electric grid. “Trust me, five years ago, no one in the auto industry knew anything about it,” said Simon Ellgas, senior advanced technology engineer at BMW of North America. But that’s changed, said Ellgas, who spoke last month at Greenbiz’s Verge conference. Electric-vehicle manufacturers are actively exploring ways to use second-life batteries -- and increasingly, new batteries -- as a solution for low-cost grid energy storage. In June, Nissan became the first EV maker to move beyond pilot-testing second-life batteries with the launch of a full-scale commercial business alongside the California-based startup Green Charge Networks. The same month, General Motors announced a new project testing used Volt batteries. And this week, Daimler announced its new battery project. For BMW, the latest breakthrough is new data showing that its used batteries can perform reliably in demand response events. The preliminary results come from an 18-month pilot project in partnership with Pacific Gas & Electric. Under the program, PG&E manages 100 kilowatts of demand from BMW, made up of repurposed BMW Mini E batteries in a stationary unit and a charging program for up to 100 BMW i3 vehicles. As in a typical demand response event, PG&E sends BMW an alert when there’s a shortage of electricity on the grid. BMW then sends a signal to each vehicle and pauses charging to reduce load. In this case, the vehicle batteries do not push any electrons onto the grid. If the vehicles aren’t able to respond, either because they’re not plugged in or the customer declines to participate, the second-life battery system, located at BMW’s Mountain View office, kicks in to reduce load. Since July, PG&E has sent BMW 26 demand-response events, and the automaker delivered on all of them. Depending on the time of day, the vehicles met between 10 percent and 75 percent of the capacity needed. So in every case, the system relied on the second-life batteries. “The system is performing very strongly, and we’re learning a lot about how we want to modify a program structure to make this a larger-scale program,” said David Almeida, principal program manager of electrification and EVs at PG&E, speaking at Verge. Under the current setup, PG&E pays BMW for its demand-response services, and the automaker transfers the payment on to the customer. Ellgas expects participating customers to make roughly $540 over the course of the 18-month pilot. So by participating in smart charging, an EV owner could expect to recoup the premium they paid for purchasing the car over its lifetime. “We want to offset additional costs to make EVs more affordable -- that’s the overall mission,” said Ellgas. While there’s money to be made using EV batteries in energy markets, savings ultimately depend on how affordable the second-life battery packs are. Right now, that remains a big open question. “No one has a reworked battery cost,” said Dan Bowermaster, program manager for electric transportation at EPRI, recently told GTM. Ellgas insists that automakers have an advantage over dedicated battery manufacturers. “If the auto industry is good at anything, it’s economies of scale and squeezing cost out of a system,” he said. Arcady Sosinov, CEO of FreeWire, told GTM this spring that his startup is buying repurposed Nissan batteries for $100 per kilowatt-hour. Automakers, however, have been reluctant to reveal pricing. Car manufacturers are still testing how well second-life batteries perform in various grid applications. They also have to come up with new processes for removing, testing and reconfiguring the batteries before putting them in the field. Getting it right will offer a lucrative opportunity. Tesla expects up to 90 percent of its energy storage business will be selling large Powerpack batteries for grid use, as opposed to the consumer-facing Powerwall. “We want to get a foot in the door of this market,” said Ellgas. "We are also looking into using new battery packs for stationary storage applications."
News Article | September 13, 2016
« BMW, Volkswagen and ChargePoint complete EV express charging corridors on the East and West Coasts | Main | Renesas to acquire Intersil for ~$3.2B; looking to lead in automotive, industrial, IoT system solutions » The world’s largest 2nd-use battery storage is starting up. The 13 MWh project is now nearing completion after a construction time of just under one year; a total of 1,000 battery systems from second-generation smart fortwo electric drive cars are being grouped into a battery storage in Lünen, Westphalia. Partners in the project are Daimler AG, The Mobility House AG and GETEC. The first power units are already in the grid. The 13 MWh battery storage will put its full capacity at the disposal of the German energy market before the end of this year. The output will be available to the winner of the weekly auctions among the network operators for primary controlling power range, with fully automatic energy storage and feed-in. As energy is increasingly fed in from fluctuating, renewable energy sources such as wind farms or solar power stations, high-capacity battery storages are the key to stabilising power networks. According to figures from the German Ministry for the Economy and Energy (BMWi), 40 to 45 percent of power consumed in Germany is to be generated from renewable resources by 2025, increasing to 55 to 60 percent by 2035. The lifecycle of a plug-in or electric vehicle battery does not end after the vehicle’s operating life. If used in stationary power storage, the systems are fully operational even after the service life guaranteed by the manufacturer—with slight capacity losses only of secondary importance. Cost-effective use in stationary operation is thus possible for at least an estimated ten years longer. Reusing the modules from electric cars in a battery storage doubles their economic value and also demonstrably improves their eco-balance. With the project in Lünen, the four partner companies cover the entire battery added value and 2nd-use chain: From the manufacture and configuration of the battery systems by Daimler subsidiary ACCUMOTIVE and the corresponding range of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles from Daimler AG to the installation and marketing of the stationary battery storage to the energy markets by The Mobility House and GETEC, and finally the recycling of these battery systems at the end of their lifecycle and the return of the valuable raw materials to the production cycle, which will be the remit of recycler REMONDIS.
News Article | November 9, 2015
As electric cars come towards the end of their life, they create a set of problems that you simply don't get with petrol cars - namely, getting rid of the batteries. Automotive giant Daimler is doing its bit to tackle the problem by partnering with The Mobility House, GETEC and Remondis to create a 13-MWh battery storage unit out of second-life battery systems from electric and plug-in hybrid cars... Continue Reading World's largest second-use battery storage unit prepped for grid connection Section: Automotive Tags: Batteries Renewable Energy Daimler Related Articles: Daimler to offer Mercedes-Benz energy-storage system New Smart Fortwo Cabrio lets you tear the roof off New Mercedes AMG C 63 models include the fastest Mercedes C-Class ever Mercedes adds traction to its van line with the Vito 4x4 Renault targets city streets with reinvention of the Twingo car2go appearing in Toronto, Calgary and Miami in coming weeks
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: REGIONS-2011-1 | Award Amount: 2.83M | Year: 2012
The project aims to create an open European platform of excellence in the area of supply chain management and logistics in connection with hubs and gateways. Its purpose is to enable research-driven regional clusters throughout Europe to collaborate and exchange experiences for increasing sustainability and competitiveness of logistical services and (intermodal) transport operations. The consortium consists of five clusters that represent essential areas of logistics (deep-sea hubs, airports, land-hubs and short-sea hubs). In the project the needs of the stakeholders will be analysed, a strategy for international cooperation will be elaborated, and adequate plans for joint action will be initiated and implemented. In addition, training activities will be carried out. The project will pursue its objectives especially through extensive dissemination and exploitation activities.
News Article | December 1, 2015
Renault recently ran a testing round of a new smart-charging system — by the name of The Mobility House — in Germany. The testing round involved 11 Renault ZOE owners (who were also employees of the French company) testing out the system at their places of residence in Germany. “The Mobility House” smart-charging system works by automating electric vehicle charging schedules so that they line up with the times when electricity costs are lowest (or simply, lower). Green Car Congress provides some more info on the news: Once plugged in to a special charge station at the ZOE owner’s home, the car communicates its electricity needs via a Renault Global Data Center to TMH (The Mobility House), which schedules vehicle charging on the basis of energy cost data. Electricity from the grid costs more during high demand periods and less when demand is low, so the system detects consumption peaks and stops charging until the cost falls. Fast charging then proceeds, at lower cost, until the car batteries are fully charged. This technology enables electric car owners to optimize their electricity expenses without the trouble of having to calculate peak and trough demand periods themselves. It marks the first stage in forthcoming development of “smart grids.” The two companies are reportedly working together on other means of reducing EV charging costs as well. Specifics have of course not been totally revealed yet, but one would presume that the means (technologies?) would be complementary to the above-discussed system. Image Credit: Zachary Shahan | EV Obsession | CleanTechnica Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.” Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10. Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter. James Ayre 's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.
News Article | November 21, 2015
« Anellotech raises another $7M; biomass to aromatics | Main | Tohoku U team produces rare-earth-free high quality Fe-Ni magnet with simple industrial technology » In Germany, Renault has run tests on an innovative smart-charging system with The Mobility House (TMH). TMH technology automates electric vehicle charging schedules to coincide with periods when electricity costs less. Eleven ZOE-owner Renault employees in Germany tested the system at their homes. Once plugged in to a special charge station at the ZOE owner’s home, the car communicates its electricity needs via a Renault Global Data Center to TMH, which schedules vehicle charging on the basis of energy cost data. Electricity from the grid costs more during high demand periods and less when demand is low, so the system detects consumption peaks and stops charging until the cost falls. Fast charging then proceeds, at lower cost, until the car batteries are fully charged. This technology enables electric car owners to optimize their electricity expenses without the trouble of having to calculate peak and trough demand periods themselves. It marks the first stage in forthcoming development of “smart grids”. Renault and TMH are also working together on other solutions for reducing charging costs, and offering electric vehicle owners ways to earn money by generating electricity to be fed into the grid.
News Article | September 16, 2016
Germany expects 40 to 45% of the electrical power consumed in Germany to be generated from renewable resources by 2025. That number is anticipated to grow to 55 to 60% by 2035. That’s good news for greening the electrical grid, but renewables still require some form of storage medium, such as a batteries, in order to compensate for the fact that the output from solar panels and wind turbines is not as constant and predictable as generators turned by burning fossil fuels. There are many theories about how best to store electrical energy from renewables. They include dragging a train filled with rocks up a mountain every day and letting it generate electricity as it rolls back down at night. Others prefer to pump water uphill during the day so it can turn turbines when it flows downhill later. Others favor battery storage, but that idea has split people into two camps — those who favor using new batteries and those who believe it makes the most sense to repurpose batteries from electric cars when they reach the end of their useful life. An EV battery may not be able to deliver the bursts of power needed to accelerate an automobile, but may still have the ability to store electricity from the grid and feed it back later. In Germany, the world’s largest second use battery facility is taking shape. When completed by the end of this year, it will use 1,000 former EV batteries, most of them from Smart EVs, to store up to 13 megawatt-hours of electricity. The project is a joint venture between Daimler, The Mobility House, and GETEC. A fourth company, REMONDIS, will step in to recycle the repurposed batteries once their storage capability has been completely exhausted. The batteries are expected to last an additional 10 years after being removed from the electric cars they started life as part of. Not everyone is convinced that using old EV batteries for grid storage is good idea. Tesla CTO JB Straubel told a conference last month that it is better to use new batteries with the latest chemistry rather than batteries that were state of the art a decade ago but are now hopelessly out of date. There is yet another school of thought that thinks the key to electrical energy storage is using the rays of the sun to create molten salt and use that stored heat to make steam to turn conventional turbines after the sun goes down. Advocates say concentrated solar power is one tenth the cost of grid scale battery storage. It will be interesting to see which of these theories comes to dominate the marketplace in a decade or so. Buy a cool T-shirt or mug in the CleanTechnica store! Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.