Picture: ALDI

ALDI installs Voltfang energy storage system from old e-car batteries

When it comes to climate protection, ALDI relies on the inventiveness of young founders: An energy storage system from the start-up Voltfang has now been installed in a branch in Gütersloh. The innovative storage modules are designed to help optimize energy management in the store and reduce energy requirements. By using old e-car batteries, valuable resources are also saved.

For many years now, the discounter has been using modern lighting and refrigeration technology in its stores to reduce energy consumption. All new ALDI stores are now also equipped with photovoltaic systems as standard – including the new store in Haegestraße in Gütersloh, which opened in summer 2021.

One challenge remains the storage and delivery of renewably generated electricity. A solution for this is offered by the startup Voltfang, which ALDI has been supporting since July 2021 as part of the TechFounders funding program. The young founders have developed an electricity storage system with which surplus electricity can be stored and made available on demand. The special feature here is that the storage modules consist of used e-car batteries (BMW i3 and Tesla S), which are given a second life in this way. The battery modules are tested in a certified test procedure and have a residual capacity of over 80 percent. In this way, the electricity storage system makes an active contribution to the circular economy. Anna Maria Jonas, Head of Sustainability at Voltfang makes it clear: “The increasing global demand for e-cars and stationary electricity storage places a huge strain on raw materials, the lives of people in the mining areas and the environment. Our electricity storage delivers clean energy and independence from recycled e-car batteries.”

Project manager Norman Bell from ALDI Nord, who is mentoring the startup, adds: “We were immediately enthusiastic about Voltfang’s idea and business model. Together with the startup, we have explored the possible applications in our stores over the past weeks and months. Now we are excited to see the first results of the pilot phase.”

The electricity storage units are intended to help ALDI in particular to temporarily store the electricity generated by its own photovoltaic system and to use it when the sun is not shining. This should reduce the amount of electricity drawn from the grid and further improve the store’s energy balance.

In addition, sophisticated load management allows electricity to be supplied precisely when demand is particularly high, such as during the baking process in the baking stations. Decentralized electricity storage systems also play an important role in the development and stabilization of the future electricity grid.