ECO STOR has designed a solution that repurposes used electric vehicle batteries to provide affordable energy storage for residential buildings. “Our company is positioned between two megatrends: the enormous growth of renewable energy and the electrification of transportation. This is creating a huge market for low-cost energy storage, which our technology is able to provide,” says Trygve Burchardt, CEO of ECO STOR.
The rapid adoption of solar energy is increasing the demand for energy storage. “Electricity prices are high, and people are desperate for alternative solutions,” says Mikkel Heiene, Power Electronics Engineer at ECO STOR.
However, there is a large unmet need for affordable options, especially for distributed energy production from rooftop solar installations on private homes.
Meanwhile, the popularity of electric vehicles (EV) continues to grow, as does the number of batteries needing replacing. Today most of these batteries are sent for recycling, but they could still be used for less demanding applications.
When the capacity of an EV battery drops below 70 per cent, the driving distance becomes too short and the battery must be replaced. ECO STOR has developed a residential energy storage system that takes full advantage of these batteries’ 10 to 15 years of remaining life.
“We are creating a complete EV battery value chain. We want to be a one-stop shop by using the full potential of this beautiful product,” says Burchardt.
ECO STOR’s solution uses the entire battery as it is, avoiding costly disassembly and reassembly, new wiring and electronics, and maintaining stringent automotive standards.
The company’s proprietary method allows users to diagnose the health of the used EV battery. Based on this, the battery can be repurposed. A simple control unit is placed onto the EV battery and provides a communication link between the battery and the energy system in the house.
“More and more homes are turning into small power plants in their own right,” says Heiene. “If you combine energy production in your home with battery storage, you’ve got a whole new range of possibilities that cuts energy use and costs.”
For instance, homeowners can now produce their own energy and use it to charge their EVs. They can also store the energy from their solar panels to cover peak loads in their home, saving money on high electricity costs.
The battery’s wall-mounted casing is attractive and discrete, ensuring that homes remain aesthetically pleasing.
ECO STOR’s system significantly cuts the cost of small-scale energy storage. The solution also reduces the life-cycle carbon emissions of EV batteries and creates a circular economy for them.
“EV batteries start out with high CO₂ emissions because of the way they are produced, especially in Asia,” explains Burchardt. “But our energy storage solution turns this situation from negative to positive. It reduces the need for new battery production, optimises the use of renewable energy and facilitates recycling of spent batteries.”
“This is circular economy thinking at its best,” he adds.
Battery-based energy storage is becoming more and more attractive due to increasing integration of intermittent and distributed renewable energy production, and the global market is expected to reach USD 8.54 billion by 2023.
ECO STOR is headquartered in Norway, home to the largest EV fleet in the world per capita. “I see a huge potential market for our solution as more people switch to EVs while electricity prices rise and the cost of solar panels for homes decreases,” says Heiene. “Government subsidies are also helping to fuel this market,” he adds.
ECO STOR recently signed an MoU with Nissan, Norsk Gjenvinning and Agder Energi to reuse EV batteries in energy storage and recycle spent batteries. In addition, it has established a German subsidiary, ECO STOR GmbH, that offers grid-connected energy storage solutions using new batteries.
ECO STOR also delivers an affordable energy storage solution for commercial buildings.