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GM, ABB demonstrate Chevy Volt battery reuse unit

Used Volt battery packs are packaged into modular unit that provides up to two hours of off-grid electricity.


SAN FRANCISCOGeneral Motors (GM) and ABB have revealed its plans to repackage used Chevrolet Volt batteries into a modular unit that provides up to two hours of electricity needed by up to five homes.

The uninterruptable power supply and grid power balancing system was demonstrated during GM’s Electrification Experience. The prototype unit provided 25 kW of power and 50 kWh of energy to power all the support lighting and audiovisual equipment in an “off-grid” structure used for the event.

GM and ABB last year demonstrated how a Chevrolet Volt battery pack could be used to collect energy and feed it back to the grid and deliver supplemental power to homes or businesses.

During today’s demonstration, the energy storage system was run in a “remote power back-up” mode where 100% of the power for the facility came from Volt batteries through ABB’s Energy Storage Inverter system.  A similar application could one day be used to power a group of homes or small commercial buildings during a power outage, allow for storage of power during inexpensive periods for use during expensive peak demand, or help make up for gaps in solar, wind or other renewable power generation.

ABB’s research center in Raleigh, NC, conducted the research and development, and ABB’s Medium Voltage business unit in Lake Mary, Fla., is managing the proof-of-concept testing, market research and product development.  The company works with other automakers, battery manufacturers and utilities to make electric power and industrial operations more efficient.

ABB is a provider of power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance. The company employs more than 145,000 people in 100 countries.