Together with Kanagawa and other prefectures, Toyota will be utilizing a secondhand NiMH battery for hybrid vehicles (HV) as an electric storage system in a hydrogen manufacturing base, for the hydrogen supply chain demo project, which they will be launching in Keihin (Tokyo and Yokohama) Coastal Areas beginning second half of 2016.
For this project, they will conduct verification tests until the end of fiscal year 2018, by producing hydrogen with the use of electric power generated from a wind power station in Yokohama. This hydrogen will be used as fuel for fuel-cell forklifts in factories and warehouses located in Keihin Coastal Areas. The produced hydrogen will be stored and compressed and will be loaded in an exclusive hydrogen-filled car. After that, it will be delivered to factories and the like.
Such electric energy for storage and compression can be produced through wind power. But since this is natural energy, there are also times that it cannot generate power. Therefore, they are creating a system where they can save spare electric power in the electric storage systems. As for the battery of the electric storage, they will be using secondhand NiMH batteries from the Prius and other cars, and by connecting 180 batteries, they can store a maximum of 150kWh of electricity.
Toyota Turbine and Systems Inc. (Toyota City), Toyota’s subsidiary, is in charge of this electric storage system and handling of energy projects such as co-generation and the like. Toyota Turbine and Systems Inc. has been recycling secondhand NiMH batteries for peak cut adjustments since 2013, and they have been utilizing the know-hows regarding this process.
Toyota started recycling operations of nickel content in secondhand NiMH batteries with Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. and other companies in 2010, and they plan to expand the use of secondhand batteries of rapidly increasing HVs hereafter.
(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)