Used Chevrolet Volt Batteries Powering New GM Enterprise Data Center
Toyota is using their used Prius batteries to power Yellowstone National Park‘s buildings and now General Motors is using batteries that have reached the end of their lives inside Chevrolet Volts to power the new Enterprise Data Center at its Milford Proving Ground.
“Even after the battery has reached the end of its useful life in a Chevrolet Volt, up to 80 percent of its storage capacity remains,” said Pablo Valencia, senior manager, Battery Life Cycle Management. “This secondary use application extends its life, while delivering waste reduction and economic benefits on an industrial scale.”
How does it work? The Volt draws its power from a band of energy in its battery pack, leaving a significant amount of leftover battery power for stationary use. A 74-kilowatt ground-mount solar array and two 2kW wind turbines feed the administration building’s circuit breaker panel, where five Volt batteries work in parallel to supply power to the building, delivering net-zero energy use on an annual basis.
Any excess energy created as part of the process is sent back to the grid that supplies the Milford campus.
Together, these renewable sources generate approximately 100 Mwh of energy annually, roughly equivalent to the energy used by 12 average households.
According to Chevrolet, the batteries are also able to provide back-up power to the building for four hours in the event of a power outage.
The reuse of Volt batteries also helped the data center administration building attain LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.