Smart Grid for Utilities to Support PEV Charging Anywhere:
Large Organizations Are Getting Serious About V2G Technology
The Electric Power Research Institute is collaborating with eight automakers and 15 utilities on an “open platform” to integrate PEVs – plug-in electric vehicles – with smart grid technologies, “enabling utilities to support PEV charging regardless of location.”
“The platform will allow manufacturers to offer a customer-friendly interface through which PEV drivers can more easily participate in utility PEV programs, such as rates for off-peak or night-time charging,” EPRI said at the Plug-In 2014 conference in San Jose Tuesday. “The portal for the system would be a utility’s communications system and an electric vehicle’s telematics system.”
EPRI and other at the San Jose conclave noted that as the electric grid evolves with smarter functionality, electric vehicles can serve as a distributed energy resource (DER) to support grid reliability, stability and efficiency.
Ford Brings Its MyFord
“With more than 225,000 plug-in vehicles on U.S. roads – and their numbers growing – they are likely to play a significant role in electricity demand side management,” EPRI said.
Ford said Tuesday that EVs and energy companies “are about to start communicating via the cloud.” Existing apps like Ford’s MyFord will help enable two-way communication between the gird and EVs.
“This innovative platform provides a critical enabler for the next step in vehicle electrification,” Ford associate global director for electrification infrastructure Mike Tinskey said in a release. “It’s a way for plug-in electric vehicle drivers to be financially rewarded for their willingness to help manage the electric grid.”
‘There Are Going to Be Some Regulatory Issues’
A pre-conference seminar at Plug-In 2014 on Monday focused on The Economics of Vehicle-Grid Integration – Costs, Benefits and the Evolving Market. More than a dozen speakers zeroed in on the many complexities of the issue. “There’s not one size fits all,” said Frances Cleveland, president of Xanthus Consulting, who touched on such issues as ride-through, capability for frequency and voltage, the problems that can arise (as in Hawaii) when too much renewable power becomes available at certain times, the changing nature of SAE and IEC standards, and the role of public utility commissions.
“There are going to be some regulatory issues,” Cleveland said. And, she added, “You’ve got to put in cyber-security as well.”
Camron Gorguinpour of the U.S. Department of Defense described the Pentagon’s efforts in applying V2G – vehicle-to-grid – technology for grid security (F&F, June 3).
Lets PEVs Reach Their Potential
“This project is an important step in enabling plug-in vehicles to reach their potential as a valuable distributed resource that can increase grid stability, improve power quality and reduce demand peaks,” American Honda environmental business development VP Steven Center said in a release. “Honda is participating in several projects aimed at accelerating vehicle-to-grid integration, which has the potential to reduce the total cost of owning a plug-in vehicle while enabling higher concentrations of renewable energy,” he said.
Honda notes that it has supplied an Accord Plug-In Hybrid with bi-directional charger for V2G work at the University of Delaware (F&F, December 16).
According to EPRI, researchers anticipate that grid operators in the future may call on electric vehicles to contribute to grid reliability by balancing solar and wind generation, mitigating demand charges and providing ancillary services such as frequency regulation and voltage support.
Utilities and regional transmission organizations participating and supporting in the software and hardware development and demonstration, says EPRI, include DTE Energy, Duke Energy, PJM Interconnection, CenterPoint Energy, Southern Company, Northeast Utilities, Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, Commonwealth Edison, TVA, Manitoba Hydro, Austin Energy, Con Edison and CPS Energy.
Besides Ford and Honda, the participating auto manufacturers are BMW Group, Chrysler, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz R&D North America, Mitsubishi, and Toyota.
‘Flexibility and Choices’
“A key aspect of the platform’s benefits will be giving customers flexibility and choices,” EPRI electric transportation manager Dan Bowermaster said in his organization’s announcement. “It can help the PEV customer determine the value of using their parked vehicle as a grid resource, and help the industry develop a convenient, user-friendly customer interface. We see this as the foundation for future developments to integrate PEVs with the grid.”
Sumitomo Electric will develop the core platform technology on the first phase of the project, EPRI said.
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Source: EPRI, Ford, Honda with Fleets & Fuels follow-up