The power solutions arm of manufacturing firm Volvo Group has expanded into the battery energy storage system (BESS) market, launching a sub-system product initially in the US and Europe.
The company said the launch of a BESS solution is a strategic move to supplement its power generation business and tap into a new segment. A spokesperson for Volvo Group told Energy-Storage.news that the product is a sub-system rather than a full containerised solution.
“We do not supply the full containerised solution and instead, a subsystem (spanning battery system, battery management, monitoring, thermal management, power distribution box and cabling and technical integration expertise) that is catered to the business, application and operational needs of our OEM customer(s),” they said.
A full solution would include a power conversion system, a SCADA platform (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) and energy management system (EMS) as well as container design. The spokesperson confirmed that by OEMs it means BESS system integrators and power-generation OEMs – i.e. those providing full containerised solutions.
The company did not use the term ‘second life’ in its announcement but indicated to Energy-Storage.news that the sub-system will use the same battery technology that Volvo uses in its heavy-duty applications segments.
“The battery system is derived from the Volvo Group’s continuously evolving battery platform that serves heavy-duty applications the likes of trucks or construction equipment,” they said. The company is also investing in battery cell and pack manufacturing.
Note that Volvo Group is a separate entity from consumer vehicle company Volvo Cars, which was sold off by the firm in the 1990s and eventually re-listed on the Stockholm Nasdaq in 2021 by majority owner Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.
Hannes Norrgren, President of Volvo Penta Industrial commented on the announcement: “Battery energy storage is increasingly in demand for a variety of applications including utilities, factories, decentralised microgrids and mobile charging stations. As our solution is application agnostic, we see huge potential for its adoption.”
He added: “We’re starting by introducing the solution to customers in North America and Europe, followed by other markets, and are eager to begin collaborating with OEMs to kickstart new projects in BESS.”
The launch of a BESS product follows on from Volvo Group subsidiaries striking various partnerships in the second life energy storage sector. In 2020, Volvo Buses tied up with Swedish second life startup BatteryLoop while last year Volvo Energy invested in UK and continental Europe second life energy storage firm Connected Energy, covered by Energy-Storage.news at the time.
The subsidiary of another big vehicle OEM, Mercedes-Benz Energy, uses its partnerships with second life firms to complete the qualification process for its battery modules to have them adopted into stationary BESS applications in specific regions. Volvo Group’s existing partnerships could be of a similar nature.
According to Mercedes-Benz Energy CEO Gordon Gassmann in an interview Energy-Storage.news will publish this week, the second life energy storage market is about to phase of consolidation after a period of proliferating startups across the globe. Volvo Group’s decision to launch its own BESS solution could be part of that trend.
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