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Nissan recycling Leaf batteries to power data centre

Fri 1 Jul 2016

Nissan data center

Nissan, in cooperation with power management company Eaton, is helping to create a new data centre in the south of France providing renewable energy using recycled Leaf car batteries. The new, ‘eco-responsible’ data centre for cloud and IT services hosting company Webaxys will be based at the Saint-Romain de Colbosc Eco Park in Normandy.

The new data centre will combine the storage capacity of recycled EV batteries with Eaton’s power management solutions. Using recycled batteries from Nissan’s electric vehicles will provide a second life for the Leaf batteries, once they are no longer useful to power automobiles. The batteries will be used to store power for future consumption, enabling the data centre to integrate with local renewable sources and allowing companies to manage their energy costs and usage more effectively, as with onsite power storage, a data centre can store overages against future needs. Using a recycled EV battery in combination with Eaton’s backup-power UPS, or ‘uninterruptible power supply’, is expected to eliminate concerns regarding the reliability of using recycled batteries in an environment that requires an uninterrupted power supply.

Data centres use huge amounts of energy – an estimated 416.2 terrawatt hours in 2015 alone, greater than the total energy consumption for the entire UK in 2015. However, they have not been good candidates for renewable energy research, as the slightest interruption in power could have disastrous results in the data centre environment. Combining the storage capability of a recycled EV battery with Eaton’s UPS is hoped to provide the environmental benefit of recycling the batteries and maximizing data centre efficiency while minimizing the risk of outages. This also helps to address the concern with getting maximum use out of post-vehicle EV batteries, which could number over 6 million in the next 20 years in the US alone.

Nissan Europe’s Director of Electric Vehicles, Gareth Dunsmore, said, “This installation at Webaxys marks an important historical moment for data centres in their quest to become energy autonomous in the near future. By combining Nissan’s expertise in vehicle design and reliable battery technology with Eaton’s leadership in power quality and electronics, we hope to demonstrate that data centre energy management can be stable, sustainable and cost efficient in the near future.”

Once the installation of the new data centre in Normandy is complete, Webaxys intends to open several regional data centres using the same technology.


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