How a sawmill doubled its capacity thanks to an innovative second life battery solution
Location: Husum, Germany
A sawmill located in the remote area of Husum Germany was experiencing recurring difficulties when trying to run both of its saws at the same time. This was due to the limitations of the existing distribution lines that connect the sawmill to the main power grid. As a result, the sawmill’s production was negatively affected. To overcome this problem, the owner would have had to replace and expand the power lines in order to access more power. But this proved to be far too costly – a common dilemma for industries in remote areas.
Meanwhile, in Sweden, Comsys was looking into the possibilities of second life applications for batteries removed from electric vehicles. Thanks to the efforts of PQ Engineering Nosswitz, the sawmill agreed to be part of a project involving just such a solution.
A sawmill presents a difficult challenge due to the significant difference between high and low load during normal saw operation, where huge fluctuations create a volatile demand. The question was whether or not an onsite battery energy storage solution built with repurposed EV batteries would be able to supply the saws whenever load demand exceeded what the grid could supply.
Picture: The difference in load during a saw operation at the sawmill before the Battery Energy Storage was installed.
A modular and scalable peak shaving onsite storage installation for industrial applications based on ADF battery ready technology and using EV batteries to supply power on demand, cycling it 60 kW in 60 seconds.
Following start up in early October 2020, the second life battery solution has proven to be 100% successful at supplying both of the saws during high load and charging during low load. This in turn has enabled the sawmill to double its production.
Dan Liljengren, Head of Research and Innovation at Comsys says, “This project has shown that industries can get the power and response they need without having to spend a fortune on buying new power lines to the network, and can also save money by avoiding initial higher cost tariffs for electricity at peak times.”