Toyota develops advanced energy management system


Toyota City, Japan — (METERING.COM) — October 13, 2010 – Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has developed an energy management system that links homes, vehicles, electric power companies and users, and enables integrated control of their energy consumption.

The Toyota Smart Center links plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) – both of which are expected to gain greater use – and home energy management system (HEMS)-equipped smart houses to monitor and coordinate the electricity used by the vehicles and houses involved, the electricity supplied by the power company, as well as the electricity generated by the houses from, for example, solar panels. It also enables remote monitoring and coordination by providing information to the people using the vehicles and houses.

Specifically, the system collates information transmitted from a household-linked PHV or EV regarding remaining vehicle battery charge, household power consumption information transmitted by the HEMS, weather forecast data and charge rate information for specific time segments from the power company. In this way the system can coordinate vehicle recharging and household energy consumption with an aim to minimize CO2 emissions and reduce electricity costs. Furthermore, with a smart phone, users can remotely check the current battery charge of their vehicle and the distance it could travel, adjust the charging time or turn the air conditioning on or off to ready the car for use. For the house, the system monitors power consumption, solar panel electricity production, battery charge and Eco Cute (electric heat pump water heater system) hot water volume, and also enables users to remotely control their batteries and water heater.

The system can also optimize energy consumption based on users’ lifestyles and automatically control vehicle battery charging and water heater use to systematically and reliably make possible energy saving lifestyles.

As part of the Rokkasho Village smart grid demonstration that began on September 16, TMC is conducting trials of the Toyota Smart Center in two houses constructed by Toyota Housing Corporation linked with eight PHVs. Trials will be conducted over approximately two years to improve the system. TMC hopes to market similar systems with PHVs scheduled for launch in early 2012 and with some Toyota Housing homes.

With the Toyota Smart Center, TMC aims to link people, homes and vehicles to support the development of a low carbon society and the establishment of more comfortable and environmentally conscious living, the company said in a statement.