Chrysler Tests EV Technology to Shave Peak Power on Grid
Chrysler Group has partnered with Detroit-based non-profit NextEnergy to evaluate electric-vehicle (EV) batteries to see if they can be viable storehouses of electricity to send surplus power to the grid.
Four battery-powered EV minivans are connected to a charging module that, with NextEnergy’s technology, can simulate an electrical grid. Among the scenarios under study is reduced reliance on “spinning reserves” – the expensive practice of having huge generators at the ready to balance spikes in energy demand.
If EVs were linked together in sufficient numbers and their combined surplus power was sold to utility companies, they could conceivably offset demand surges. The expectation is that tapping such a reservoir would cut costs for utility companies, while also putting money into the pockets of EV owners. Similarly, a mini-grid composed of EVs would enable “peak-shaving,” which would see EV owners draw from their own power reserves during those hours when demand for electricity – along with its price – is highest.
The project also considers the impact of cloudy days on solar-panel function. EVs could provide supplemental power, a process known as “generation-firming.”
The two-year Chrysler-NextEnergy partnership launched in 2011 and has been gathering data from four Chrysler Town & Country minivans equipped with all-electric powertrains. Each is powered by a 24kwH battery modified to accommodate bidirectional charging.
In addition to studying vehicle design elements such as battery size, engineers are investigating how EVs with reverse power-flow might affect grids known as Independent System Operators (ISO). An ISO buys, sells and transmits electricity. Project engineers are collecting real-time pricing data from ISOs and weighing them against projected battery performance to help define revenue expectations. Preliminary results show particular promise for ISOs that utilize solar and wind energy. Final results will be compiled later this year.
The project is funded with $1 million from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and $400,000 from NextEnergy. Chrysler Group is supplying the vehicles and in-kind engineering support.
Just last week, General Motor’s OnStar said it was working on a project with TimberRock Energy Solutions that uses aggregation software and solar charging canopies with integrated storage to manage the flow of solar power to benefit the electric grid.
- How to Use Lean Tools to Cash In On Environmental and Energy Savings
- Integrated Building Optimization
- Alarms Management: The Future is Now
- Six Essential Steps to Drive Effective Energy Management
- Trends in Energy Management: Where Should Your Next Investment Be?
- Smart Companies Utilize Integrated Energy Solutions
- Essential Guide to Lighting Retrofits and Upgrades
- Mobility From The Plant Floor To The Store Door: Improve Safety, Accuracy, and Productivity
- Building Energy Intelligence
- 2014 Environmental Leader Product and Project Awards
- Cut Costs and Improve Facility Operations with Energy Data
- Energy Procurement Strategies for Winter 2014 and 2015
- Energy Efficiency Requires Engineering Efficiency
- Integrated Building Optimization: A Crucial Convergence of Demand-side and Supply-Side Energy Management Strategies
- Driving Productivity and Profit with Industrial Energy Management