Old Toyota Camry Hybrid Batteries Finding New Purpose in Yellowstone

Toyota nickel-metal hybrid battery 1 photo
Photo: Toyota
The Yellowstone National Park is the most important part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the largest remaining almost-intact ecosystem in the planet’s northern temperate zone. It is also home for hundreds of species of mammals, birds, reptiles, plants and trees, forming a unique landscape you need to add to your bucket list.
Being such a wonderful place, attracting millions of tourists each year, you can’t just throw a coal-burning powerplant there to provide electricity. A greener alternative way is needed. And the Lamar Buffalo Ranch field campus just found out how, by using old Toyota Camry Hybrid batteries.

The energy system will hold around 208 used Camry hybrid nickel-metal battery packs with a total storage capacity of 85 kWh. Which should be enough to power the few buildings in the campus.

What happens when the batteries get out of juice? Well, the campus will install some stationary bicycles with generators connected to the... just kidding; solar panels and onsite micro-hydro turbines are going to be used to generate electricity from what nature provides in one of the most remote and pristine places in the US.

The system is scheduled for installation this fall and by reusing the old batteries, it will try and demonstrate that you can double the overall life span of the hybrid batteries by using them for stationary applications.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Alabama is also testing a similar system that will provide back-up power during emergencies. And since the automaker’s RAV4 EV is not that popular on the market, the Yellowstone Park Foundation received one of them along with a $50,000 donation to support local sustainability projects.
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