California considers electric-car V2G charging tech for grid stability

The notion of utilizing coordinated electric-car charging to stabilize the grid has been discussed for years, but is nonetheless in early stages of improvement. California regulators now hope to bring so-known as “car-to-grid” (V2G) technologies into concentrate.

V2G calls for vehicles that can discharge energy back into the grid, a thing that is not extensively obtainable, but the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is anticipated to concern a selection calling for discussion of the feasibility of V2G, according to E&E News.

Los Angeles takes delivery of BMW i3 BEVs for LAPD use - 2016

Los Angeles requires delivery of BMW i3 BEVs for LAPD use – 2016

The possible advantage of V2G is the capability to “balance” the grid by utilizing fleets of electric vehicles to absorb excess electrical energy throughout periods of low demand, and discharge it throughout periods of higher demand. This enables grid infrastructure to operate at a much more steady pace, which saves put on and tear, and enables EVs to supplement energy plants or renewable-power sources when demand is specifically higher.

That could aid head off the rolling blackouts California seasoned final summer season, which forced utilities to use diesel generators to hold the energy on. It’s a single of the scenarios the CPUC plans to highlight at a workshop on V2G tech.

V2G is not prepared for commercialization, nonetheless. The CPUC is basically hunting at how the technologies could match into its regulatory framework, as nicely as current grid infrastructure. The query is no matter if this will move items forward appreciably beyond prior V2G research.

Two California utilities have studied V2G. Southern California Edison (SCE) announced plans for a demonstration project final year, whilst Pacific Gas &amp Electric (PG&ampE) announced final month it is operating operating with BMW on a study involving actual EV owners.

Volkswagen bi-directional charging pilot program

Volkswagen bi-directional charging pilot system

In a pilot program that wrapped up in 2017, the two businesses coordinated the timing of charging for some BMW i3 electric vehicles to lessen the strain on the grid. About one hundred i3 owners in the San Francisco Bay Area have been enrolled in the system, which ran for 18 months. PG&ampE and BMW just announced a next-step study of clever-charging systems and EV drivers—essentially seeing what distinction it could make to basically alter the time that EV owners charge, to smooth the grid load.

While clear regulations and utility cooperation are important components of a workable V2G program, vehicles also want the hardware to discharge energy back into the grid.

Audi and Volkswagen are testing bi-directional charging hardware in EVs, and Hyundai has mentioned this will be a function of its new E-GMP modular EV platform. The Nissan Leaf has also had this capability engineered into it—with more hardware—but appropriate now most of the electric vehicles on United States roads never have that capability.

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