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Nissan creates eco-friendly Irish HQ and will offer home battery energy solutions

Wednesday, 7th August, 2019 4:34pm

Nissan Ireland has announced that from next year it will offer a battery system for homes and businesses, which has the potential to reduce electricity costs, and ease demand for power at peak times.

The X-Storage system is based around recycled batteries taken from Nissan’s Leaf electric car fleet. It’s designed to be charged up overnight, storing around 9.6kWh in a compact battery pack, about the size of an electricity meter box, that mounts on to the wall of your house.

The battery has built-in inverters, so it can either charge from cheap night rate electricity, or from solar panels, and then reverse the flow, either supplying your house directly, or potentially even selling electricity back to the grid at peak times.

It’s also, not surprisingly, been designed to work hand-in-hand with Nissan’s electric vehicles, and can actually draw on excess battery charge left in a Nissan Leaf or eNV200 van, and use it to power your house at times of high demand, or during a power cut. The charge is then returned to the car battery later on.

Nissan already has a version of X-Storage up and running, and it’s a big one. It’s the Johan Cruijff Arena, the huge stadium that’s home to Ajax in Amsterdam. That uses a prototype version of X-Storage, made up of some 148 former Leaf batteries, which are charged up by some 4,200 solar panels mounted to the stadium roof.

The system can store three megawatts of power. That’s enough to charge 500,000 iPhones, or power 7,000 houses for one hour.

All this was announced as Nissan Ireland officially opened its new headquarters in Park West in Dublin, an event attended by Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton recently.

Nissan Ireland Chief Executive James McCarthy used the opportunity to call on the Government to be more of a role model when it comes to electric car use, citing the need to include electric vehicles on official fleets. “Businesses and Government need to evaluate their environmental credentials including looking at their fleet and company car policies to determine whether they are part of the problem or part of the solution. In addition to the clear environmental benefits from doing so, there can also be significant financial savings for businesses bottom line in the form of accelerated Capital Allowance benefits, zero per cent benefit in kind and vehicle running costs savings,” he said.

Nissan’s new HQ building incorporates LED lighting throughout, has smart energy controls to ensure that everything is switched off overnight, includes bicycle storage for employees cycling to work, and charging points for 16 electric vehicles.

“At Nissan we are absolutely committed to becoming a more sustainable business and to continuing to reduce our carbon footprint and to helping businesses and householders to follow our lead,” said Mr McCarthy.

“We have made it possible for them to easily connect their cars with energy systems to charge their batteries, to power their homes and businesses or even feed energy back to power grids and earn energy credits.”

As well as a Government minister, Nissan also used the event to parade something rather more palatable — an eNV200 van converted into an eco-friendly ice cream truck.

“Nissan developed the concept having recognised that most ice cream vans, particularly older models, have diesel engines which are kept running to operate the refrigeration equipment. These motors have been criticised for producing harmful emissions, including black carbon, when left idling,” said Nissan spokesperson, Jana Solovjova.

The van itself is powered by a 40kWh battery, shared with the Leaf hatchback, but the ice cream cooling and dispensing systems use Nissan’s new Energy ROAM portable battery pack. That can either be charged from a normal mains plug, or from solar panels mounted to the vehicle’s roof.

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