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.