As the number of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) increases, a potentially valuable energy storage resource is also growing – the battery packs of these vehicles, according to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
When PEVs are plugged in, they can contribute electricity to the grid during peak times, provide extra storage capacity when the grid is generating more than it needs, and provide a buffer to balance out the intermittency of wind and solar generation.
But there are uncertainties to these vehicle-to-grid (V2G) services. The number of PEVs being charged is constantly fluctuating, and those PEVs that are parked and charging are in different states of power depletion. In addition, automotive battery manufacturers have to make sure these grid services won’t degrade the batteries.
Berkeley Lab scientists have been developing a platform called the Vehicle-to-Grid Simulator, or V2G-Sim, whose purpose is to address these concerns in a systematic way. In the near term, Berkeley Lab plans to release ‘V2G-Sim Analysis’ as a research tool to improve the cross-disciplinary understanding of how V2G services could perform.
But the scientists plan to follow up with another version of the platform, ‘V2G-Sim Operations’, to enable real-time operations of a grid, which uses many PEVs as a resource.
Photo: EV charging via Shutterstock