A second life for batteries

Whether it’s batteries, fuel cells, or cables, an increasing number of companies are developing solutions to replace polluting diesel generators. In London, the Grid Project is starting up, which will supply power from the grid to film and TV productions in the metropolis. The first connection is going to be installed in Victoria Park.


All ready for action are gensets, which have been developed as part of the Everywh2ere project. This fuel cell generates electricity with either three tanks and 25 kW or nine tanks and a maximum 100 kW output that can be operated with green hydrogen. Due to the size and weight of the 1.8 ton container, its utilization makes sense when it’s going to be used for at least a week’s time. For festivals and events as well as construction sites and film productions that are shooting at a location for a longer period of time, gensets are an interesting option.


A fuel cell generator with a 50 kW rated output made by Toyota has key components like fuel cell stack, control unit, and battery that have been carried over from its Mirai fuel cell ve- hicle. To broaden the possible applications for this fuel cell generator, energy efficiency and durability will be enhanced, while the design will be scaled-down and its costs reduced. Hyundai’s fuel cell system is already in Nexo. The automobile manufacturer is delivering its fuel cell system to a start-up company, which Fuel Cell Power System (FCPS) 10 ft ISO-container
is manufacturing electrical generators. It will use this system to produce mobile hydrogen- powered generators.


A mobile and affordable solution for off-grid energy supplies is being offered by the Berlin-based company betteries, which refurbishes used batteries from electric vehicles (EVs). “We give batteries from electric vehicles a second life in order to accelerate the transition to renewables and achieve scalable reductions of carbon emissions and scarce resources”, says Dr. Rainer Hönig, Founder of the Berlin- based start-up. “Our business model imple- ments the principles of the circular economy by prolonging the productive life span of these batteries for an additional three to ten years, and it takes care of the recycling at the end of the second life cycle.”



The betteries system can store 3 kWh to12 kWh of energy, it recharges quickly, and it has an output of up to 5 kW of either direct (DC) or alternating current (AC). The modular design of the battery units permits them to be stacked either horizontally or vertically. The betteries can also be recharged on the grid as well as by renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic or wind power. The betteries are resilient, waterproof, and with a weight of about 30 kg they are perfect for location shooting. Film productions can rent betteries systems, which can then be transported on a dolly as an alternative to the traditional generators. “Thanks to remote con- trol and monitoring by WLAN and GPS via IoT platform, the betteries system secures smooth operation”, explains Hönig, “so the film crew can focus on their real job.”


Photos: © Silke Reents, Hyundai

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