Oak forests meets environmental technology – a modern project by the Audi Foundation

The Oak Forest project is going online. The oaks have been equipped with intelligent measuring and corresponding sensor technology for determining the interaction between density and the ecosystem performance of the trees.

07/13/2018 Reading Time: 7 min

Ten years ago, the Audi Environmental Foundation planted around 36,000 English oaks for research purposes in Kösching forest and has set itself the goal of making forests healthier and more sustainable. Now these oaks are being treated with intelligent measuring technology, modern environmental technology methods and corresponding sensors. This enables, among other things, current weather conditions, growth and water consumption to be determined. 

 

The measurement results are also being prepared for the public and will soon be accessible online.

The project shows how modern environmental technology can be ideally used.

Healthy forests through support by managers from Audi

Teamwork is a top priority at Audi. During an internal workshop, Albert Mayer, Audi plant manager at the Ingolstadt site, worked together with his first management level to equip the oaks with the appropriate sensors and ensured the necessary infrastructure. They laid the required cables, installed the measuring equipment and put the measuring station into operation together with representatives of the Technical University of Munich.

Battery storage system

AUDI AG is providing a battery storage system for the “Talking Trees” project that is powered by six battery modules from an Audi Q7 e-tron test vehicle. The battery storage system in the oak forest is about 1.30 meters high and weighs around 150 kilograms. Solar panels charge it with energy and ensure that the entire measuring station is supplied with electricity throughout the year. This is one of a variety of second-life projects in which Audi is testing ways old batteries can be converted into stationary energy storage.

Alexander Kupfer (center) from Sustainable Product Development at Audi explains how the battery storage system works. The system supplies the measurement technology with energy locally in the oak forest. Also pictured: Albert Mayer, Audi plant manager at the Ingolstadt site (left) and Dr. Rüdiger Recknagel from the Audi Environmental Foundation (right).
Alexander Kupfer (center) from Sustainable Product Development at Audi explains how the battery storage system works. The system supplies the measurement technology with energy locally in the oak forest. Also pictured: Albert Mayer, Audi plant manager at the Ingolstadt site (left) and Dr. Rüdiger Recknagel from the Audi Environmental Foundation (right).

Environmental projects for a sustainable future

The oak forest battery storage system is just one of a variety of second-life projects in which Audi is testing ways old batteries can be converted into stationary energy storage. As the key component of the electrified Audi models, the Audi batteries are designed through and through for premium quality, safety and a full vehicle life cycle. Since the batteries will still have a large amount of their capacity left even after being used in the car, Audi is carrying out several research projects to determine intelligent ways they can be used after their life in the car. Audi places a high priority here on sustainability and economy, since batteries are the most expensive component of an electric car. When it comes to recycling, Audi generally pursues the vision of a circular economy, especially for valuable raw materials.

Dr. Thomas Rötzer (right) from the Chair for Forest Yield Science at the Technical University of Munich explains how the sensors work to Dr. Rüdiger Recknagel from the Audi  Environmental Foundation (left) and Albert Mayer, Audi plant manager at the Ingolstadt site (center). The sensors are now attached to ten oaks and deliver significant data to the weather station.
Dr. Thomas Rötzer (right) from the Chair for Forest Yield Science at the Technical University of Munich explains how the sensors work to Dr. Rüdiger Recknagel from the Audi Environmental Foundation (left) and Albert Mayer, Audi plant manager at the Ingolstadt site (center). The sensors are now attached to ten oaks and deliver significant data to the weather station.