By Tuan Nguyen
Posting in Energy
A proposed program would enable EV owners to offset some of the costs by selling electric storage services to help stabilize the electricity grid.
The high cost of electric cars is one of the most common reasons consumers cite for choosing not to own one. For those people, a pair of green tech startups plan to implement a program that would enable EV owners to offset some of the costs by selling electric storage services to help stabilize the electricity grid.
It works a little something like this: Through a partnership between NRG Energy and startup eV2g, owners can sign up to allow grid operators to take power from their plugged-in cars during peak usage periods. EV owners can schedule in advance any times their vehicles need more charging than usual, as for a unusually long trip, and what minimum level of charge they want to maintain at all times. eV2g collects payment from the grid operator and pays EV owners for making their vehicles available.
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The technology, originally developed at the University of Delaware, treats a network of electric or hybrid electric vehicle batteries as a distributed energy source. Plugged-in vehicles would be relied upon to either supply quick bursts of power o or absorb short bursts of energy to keep energy distribution systems running smoothly. Currently, operators rely on energy production from natural gas plants to help stabilize the grid.
A wide network of storage batteries would be an attractive resource for electric grid operators who have been feeling the strain of rising energy demands during peak periods. Balancing the grid this way generates no additional emissions and can lead to a decrease in electricity costs over the long term by delaying or supplanting the need to build new generation facilities.
"The energy storage inherent in automobiles is staggering," said David Weir, Director of UD's Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships. "If all the automobiles in the U.S. were electrified it would be enough to power the entire U.S. for half a day. The strategic partnership between NRG and UD provides the opportunity to tap this enormous potential."
So how much can owners earn from turning their electric vehicles into de facto emergency power plants? According to a report on CNET, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, citing the University of Delaware's work, told attendees at a grid conference last year that owners could pocket about a cool $3,000 a year offering their services.
The companies have yet to announce when they plan to launch the program.
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Sep 29, 2011
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This is a stupid use of equipment not designed to be a grid UPS. I'll bet this voids vehicle warrantees. There are other options. APC has systems that clean up and can briefly carry the power in skyscrapers. After the 1998 ice storms in Canada crushed major power line towers they started to adapt those systems to handle small remote towns. I am sure they can adapt them to help "level out" the power on a local grid anywhere.
The infrastructure and scheduling costs would probably offset the benefit. If the grid needs such storage, it would be more efficient to build scaled-up battery stores than rely upon hundreds of thousands of private vehicles in various states of availability.
So they are saying that when they have extra capacity on the grid to put charge INTO the cars - and when they NEED the power they PULL it from the cars. Now please show on a graph when PEAK demand is needed and when a car WOULD BE plugged in - I bet those do NOT match. Peak is morning and evening when the car IS IN USE. They unplug it and go to work and then PLUG IT IN when at home. If they only drove 10 miles total then if they put a lower limit level of always having a charge of 75% in their car - then the grid could pull 20% out of the battery and put back onto the GRID. So in 30 minutes the power is sucked out of every car plugged in the grid at max rate and then what? If drove a lot and have only 20% left in the car when they get home they they are PULLING from the GRID. (Course the "smart" grid could just block all car charging from occuring till late at night, but then if you NEED your car you will be walking home.) There are SO many holes in this. In 40 years it may all be solved - after all it ONLY took 80 years before every car built no longer had a manual choke on it . . .
TAP, how many people have 2 or more vehicles? Many sit around during Peak Times . Don't discount V2G so fast. EVen at night you can add more wind that normally makes the most energy Off Peak and then use it On Peak and to stop $1 Billion in imported OIL a day in teh USA. read V2G-101.com if you haven't already.