Believe it or not, repurposed scrap Chevy Volt battery covers are already employed in various applications, from bat houses to nesting boxes for endangered duck species. Didn’t know that some ducks are endangered but they’re still ducks, you know. Stationary use isn’t a new concept for disposed battery packs.
In Chevrolet’s case, a big solar array and two wind turbines feed the administration building’s circuit breaker panel, where the five Volt batteries work in parallel to supply power to the building. As such, the system delivers net-zero energy use. Pretty wicked, right?
“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,” declared Pablo Valencia, the senior manager of the Battery Life Cycle Management department. “This secondary use application extends its life, while delivering waste reduction and economic benefits on an industrial scale.”
In the event of an outage, the five-battery pack is there to provide back-up zap to the building for up to four hours. When there’s excess energy produced by the rather intricate system, the electric juice is sent back to the grid that supplies Milford. According to General Motors, the reuse of old Chevy Volt batteries helped the data center administration building attain LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council.