Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and 4R Energy Corporation, a joint venture established by Nissan and Sumitomo Corporation in September 2010 to explore second-life applications for automotive battery packs (earlier post), have developed a charging system for electric vehicles that combines a solar power generation system with high-capacity lithium-ion batteries. Testing of this new charging system began Monday at Nissan’s global headquarters in Yokohama.
With the new charging system, electricity is generated through solar cells installed at Nissan’s Global Headquarters, and is stored in lithium-ion batteries which are equivalent to four units of Nissan LEAFs. With seven charging stations (three quick charge, four normal charge) located in the headquarter grounds, the total electricity that can be generated and stored is the equivalent to fully charging approximately 1,800 Nissan LEAFs annually.
The demonstrator system comprises:
- solar power generating system with 40 kW maximum output (Solar Frontier);
- Power conditioner, rated power output: 40 kW (10 kW×4) (Sanyo Denki Co., Ltd.);
- 95 kWh storage battery (AESC);
- Grid management unit with rated power output of 200 kW (Sanyo Denki Co., Ltd.);
- 3 quick chargers (50 kW); and
- 4 regular chargers (3.3 kW).
This new system will enable electric vehicles, which do not emit any CO2 when driven, to be charged through a completely renewable energy source. This is one solution to create a cycle where CO’ emissions resulting from driving is zero.
By using the same lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles as stationary storage batteries, electricity can also be supplied to EVs regardless of the time of day or weather, enabling efficient use of renewable energy sources.
4R Energy Corporation has already started tests on a compact electricity storage system installed with second-life lithium ion batteries previously used in Nissan LEAFs. Based on the outcome of this larger system, 4R Energy plans to enter the market of mid-sized electricity storage systems for commercial and public facilities.