Toyota is breathing new life into its old hybrid batteries.
The company has contributed 208 used Camry Hybrid nickel-metal hydride battery packs to the Lamar Buffalo Ranch field campus in Yellowstone National Park, helping create a distributed energy system that combines solar power generation with the re-used battery packs.
The Lamar Buffalo Ranch now has reliable, sustainable and zero-emission power for the ranger station and education center for the first time since it was founded in 1907. The used Camry Hybrid battery packs provide 85kWh of energy storage, while the solar system generates enough electricity to power six average U.S. households per year.
The Japanese automaker also announced that onsite micro-hydro turbine systems that capture energy from a neighboring stream will join the power mix in 2016.
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Toyota’s engineers believe this type of use will double the overall lifespan of the hybrid batteries. Prior to being installed at the Yellowstone National Park, each battery pack was disassembled and tested. New components were designed and built by partner Indy Power Systems specifically for this application, including an onboard battery management system for each battery pack.
“Through our long-standing partnership with Yellowstone National Park and the Yellowstone Park Foundation, Toyota has helped preserve Yellowstone for future generations,” said Jim Lentz, chief executive officer, Toyota North America. “Today, our relationship with Yellowstone continues, as more than 200 battery packs that once powered Toyota Camry hybrids have found a new home on the range.”
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