Nissan Leaf & Li-On Batteries’ Life Extended with Relectrify

Relectrify launched new technology to revolutionise battery storage, increasing lithium-ion battery lifetime by as much as a third and reducing costs by up to half compared to existing market-leading battery offerings.

The new Relectrify BMS+Inverter technology represents an engineering break-through, which utilises cell-level battery management systems (BMS) to provide a very high-efficiency AC output without requiring a costly inverter. Grid-compliant AC waveforms are created by accurately orchestrating a vast number of individual cell voltage contributions within a battery pack. The technology is suitable across residential, industrial and grid storage using either new or second-life batteries. The Relectrify BMS+Inverter was shown at Cleantech Forum San Francisco.

Advantages of Relectrify’s novel technology include:

  • Notably reduced cost of batteries vs. solutions using normal BMS and inverters

  • Significantly increased cycle life of battery packs (new or second-life)

  • Makes packs resilient to individual cell or module capacity collapse

  • Inherently safer batteries with ability to disengage individual cells

  • Allows using second-life batteries without costly testing and grading

  • High inverter charge and discharge efficiency

  • Low electromagnetic interference

Relectrify’s BMS+Inverter is already in operation including in a grid storage pilot with Nissan North America and American Electric Power (AEP), a leading US power company with over 5 million customers.

Relectrify is now engaging with battery manufacturers, integrators and distributors, forming strategic collaborations to bring leading battery products to the market.

For industrial and grid storage between 30kWh and 10MWh, installations consist of modular packs including batteries alongside a three-phase BMS+Inverter. At volume, typical 72kWh /25kW nominal modular packs, which integrate the three-phase Relectrify BMS+Inverter, second-life battery modules and racking, are indicatively priced from US$150/kWh. At volume, the three-phase Relectrify BMS+Inverter alone is indicatively priced from US$50/kWh.

For residential and small commercial installations between 8 and 30kWh, installations consist of modular packs including batteries alongside a single- or split-phase BMS+Inverter. At volume, typical 24kWh / 8kW nominal modular single-phase packs are indicatively priced from US$160/kWh. At volume, the single-phase BMS+Inverter alone is indicatively priced from US$55/kWh.

Single- and three-phase BMS+Inverter solutions can be used with both new or second-life batteries. Second-life batteries provide around 2500 cycles per set and can be replaced on-site to increase pack lifetime further.

“Our residential, commercial and industrial customers are increasingly interested in non-wires alternative technologies, such as energy storage, that cost-effectively improve the reliability and resiliency of the grid, their homes and their businesses,” said Ram Sastry, AEP’s Vice-President, Innovation and Technology. “The costs of new grid-scale batteries are trending downward and their performance is improving for these applications, but big, expensive inverters are still needed in these systems. We are participating in this pilot with Relectrify and Nissan North America to see if it is possible to maintain the same performance at a low cost without the external inverter. We’re hoping that this innovation combined with many, repurposed battery packs from the national electric vehicle fleet will be an economical solution for us and our customers.”

“AEP is always interested in forming strategic partnerships to actively pilot advanced innovative technologies, and we appreciate the opportunity to work with Nissan North America and Relectrify in this pioneering initiative,” Sastry said.

“As an EV pioneer, Nissan’s participation in this project reflects our commitment to ensuring that electric vehicle batteries have a second life beyond the car,” said Aditya Jairaj, Nissan North America’s Director, Electric Vehicle Sales and Marketing. “This project with Relectrify further demonstrates that Nissan LEAF batteries can power much more than just cars.”

 Relectrify’s Co-Founder and CEO Valentin Muenzel said the company was progressing on its mission of making energy storage affordable.

“With the BMS+Inverter, developed over years of first-principles work by our team, Relectrify is now at the global forefront of battery cost-competitiveness and within striking distance of the US$100/kWh inverter-integrated pack cost widely viewed as the holy grail of battery storage,” Dr Muenzel said.

“The interest Relectrify is receiving from customers and partners has greatly exceeded our expectations. We are now working to discuss with, and select, the most promising battery manufacturers, distributors and integrators globally with whom to co-launch products into promising storage applications across different geographies.”

Relectrify’s BMS+Inverter builds on successful pilots of Relectrify’s underlying BMS technology, including with New Zealand utility Vector, Nissan-subsidiary 4R Energy Japan, Volkswagen Germany and IBM. Relectrify holds 18 granted and pending patents on the technology.

This technology launch follows Relectrify’s latest $2.5 million investment closing from the CEFC’s Innovation Fund.

CEFC Innovation Fund’s Executive Director Ben Gust said that the CEFC was delighted to see a positive response from the market to Relectrify’s ground-breaking technology.

“By controlling the electricity waveform at the individual cell level, Relectrify’s BMS can extend the performance of a wide variety of battery types, making it highly scalable,” Mr Gust said.

“This important innovation offers battery and inverter makers additional lifetime and performance from cells and the potential to reduce the cost of the components needed to build battery systems.”

Alongside significant Relectrify corporate investment, this technology development has been supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency under the Advancing Renewables initiative and by Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science under the Entrepreneurs’ Programme.

About American Electric Power

American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP), based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions for its nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 U.S. states. AEP operates and maintains the largest electricity transmission system in the U.S. and also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 31,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity.

About the Clean Energy Finance Corporation

The CEFC invests in clean energy projects on behalf of the Australian Government. Its specialist Clean Energy Innovation Fund is Australia’s largest dedicated cleantech investor. The Fund invests in early-stage innovative clean energy companies which are committed to drive down emissions.

Relectrify is a developer of advanced battery control solutions. Founded in Melbourne, Australia in 2015, Relectrify’s technologies demonstrably increase the lifetime and decrease the cost of battery storage systems in homes, industry, the power grid, and beyond.

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