Open Grid Integration Platform Created for Electric Vehicles

July 30, 2014 By Karen Henry

PEV-energy-manageWith the number of plug-in electronic vehicles (EV) on US roads—225,000 and growing—they are likely to play a significant role in electricity demand side management. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), eight automakers and 15 utilities are developing an open platform that would integrate plug-in EVs with smart grid technologies, enabling utilities to support EV charging regardless of location.

The platform will allow manufacturers to offer an interface through which EV drivers can more easily participate in utility EV programs, such as rates for off-peak or nighttime charging. The portal for the system would be a utility’s communications system and an electric vehicle’s telematics system.

The platform enables integration across multiple communication pathways, such as automated metering infrastructure (AMI), home area networks, building energy management systems, and third-party entities that aggregate energy management services for commercial and industrial power customers.

Researchers anticipate that in the future, grid operators may call on EVs 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 include DTE Energy Company, Duke Energy, PJM Interconnection, CenterPoint Energy, Southern Company, Northeast Utilities, Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, San Diego Gas & Electric, Commonwealth Edison, TVA, Manitoba Hydro, Austin Energy, Con Edison and CPS Energy.

Auto manufacturers include American Honda Motor, BMW Group, Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, and Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America.

Sumitomo Electric will develop the core platform technology for the first phase of the project.

Photo via Shutterstock.

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