BMW Enters Commercial, Home Energy Storage With Used i3 Batteries

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BMW i, a BMW Group brand, yesterday announced a stationary energy storage system solution integrating its BMW i3 vehicle battery, calling itself the “first automotive manufacturer to utilize a complete automotive high-voltage battery for energy storage.”

The battery storage system electrified by BMW i, integrates seamlessly with charging stations and solar panels, allowing customers offset peak energy costs and also enjoy the added security of an available backup energy supply during power outages.

The system utilizes BMW i3 high-voltage batteries and can be expanded to incorporate “2nd Life” Batteries as they become available in the market. This strategy will extend the useful life of the battery for the owner, even beyond in-vehicle use, said BMW.

The concept is the first market-ready home storage system using a repurposed (i.e. 2nd Life) automotive BMW i3 high-voltage battery integrated by BECK Automation (Wuerzburg, Germany), according to BMW.

Utilizing real-time energy readings, the system can measure the available energy supply and demand, making the necessary calculations to determine the optimal time to charge or discharge the system. This approach minimizes energy waste, effectively reducing energy costs on a day-to-day basis.

The battery storage system also includes a voltage converter and power electronics to manage the energy flow between renewable energy sources, the house interface, and the Li-Ion high-voltage battery from the BMW i3.

The system has been designed to be perfectly integrated into the house energy supply chain, said the company.The battery storage system electrified by BMW i is ideally sized so it can be conveniently placed in the basement or the garage of a detached house, where the stored energy can either be used for electrically-operated devices in the home or for charging the battery of an electric car.

“The remarkable advantage for BMW customers in using BMW i3 batteries as a plug and play storage application is the ability to tap into an alternative resource for residential and commercial backup power, thus using renewable energy much more efficiently, and enabling additional revenues from the energy market,” said Cliff Fietzek, Manager Connected eMobility at BMW of North America.