Vattenfall installs lithium to support lead battery recycling plant

Vattenfall installs lithium to support lead battery recycling plant

Vattenfall installs lithium to support lead battery recycling plant 150 150 Batteries International

March 12, 2020: Swedish power company Vattenfall has agreed to build a 1MWh industrial battery system to provide grid stability for a lead acid battery recycling plant in Landskrona, the company announced on March 4.

Metals firm Boliden owns the Bergsöe recycling plant, which recovers lead from around four million car batteries a year. The firm says 70% of the lead it produces is sold to the battery industry in Europe.

Boliden said it had considered installing a lead battery, but opted for lithium-ion (NCM) instead. “Boliden Bergsöe is a recycling plant for lead acid batteries so of course the option of using lead acid batteries instead of Li-ion batteries was considered,” said company official Magnus Kryssare.

“There are many pros and cons with the different battery technologies, not only the purchase price should be considered but many other aspects, eg how many cycles the battery will last for, the round-trip efficiency for each cycle and environmental aspects such as what chemicals/metals are used in the battery manufacturing and to what extent these metals can be recycled at end of life.

“As one example it is clear that for an application where the battery is cycled hard, ie more than once a day, lead acid batteries are not that well suited.

“However, lead acid batteries are already today recycled to a very high degree while Li-ion batteries are not recycled on a large scale.

“We decided to use Li-ion batteries in this specific R&D project but at the same time we initiated a parallel project where an MSc student will evaluate the pros and cons of various types of batteries used for different stationary applications in more depth.”

The 1MWh installation is a rare example of its kind in Sweden, says Kryssare, although he anticipates other similar sites will be targeted.

“Vattenfall has done other installations in other countries, some of them larger than this installation.

“However, the steering and optimization is what makes this project unique. This is a separate R&D project, there are no obligations for continuations or parallel installations but of course that is the aim if the business is good enough.”

The Landskrona project will be supported by the Swedish Energy Agency, with a Skr1.9 million ($200,000) grant towards the total cost, which could be in the region of $800,000.

It will be commissioned in the summer.

Kryssare said similar projects could be rolled out across the country but there were no obligations.

“We are evaluating other sites and types of battery projects,” Kryssare said.

“The new scope of the project is to develop a battery storage facility that can combine reduced electricity costs for the customer with flexible grid services such as grid stability (frequency regulation) or provide support if the local electricity grid does not suffice,” said the company.

“The smart storage facility chooses the service that is most economic at the time; whichever one it is, participating customers benefit, and it creates flexibility.”