Smart grid: is EV integration a solution for demand management?


Two reports this past week suggest that energy companies using electric vehicle (EV) technology to manage peak grid demand is moving closer to reality.

Nissan LEAF to Leaf to Home vehicle to grid integration trialNissan Motor Corporation is working with Japanese energy management company Eneres to field test LEAF electric vehicles and ‘LEAF to Home’ power supply system at several sales outlets, writes epaper The Financial.

Demand management in practice

The testing involves a LEAF and LEAF to Home system which is connected to power a Nissan dealer’s lighting system during regular business hours using stored battery energy.

The aggregator is then compensated for the equivalent of the total amount of electricity that is saved.

Two or three tests per month will be conducted on designated days for three hours’ each time sometime between 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. from October 2014 through January 2015.

The aim of the study is test the effectiveness of EV batteries when used for energy management.

Nissan envisages that during periods of high demand, consumers can cut pressure on the grid by running household lighting and appliances off storage capacity of EVs and vehicle to home (V2H) systems.

V2G trial in US

CEOE-Honda_Accord_Hybrid_V2GMeanwhile, in the US last week, research director for the University of Delaware’s (UD) Centre for Carbon-free Power Integration outlined his vision for vehicle to grid technology.

Willett Kempton, who is also a professor in the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment, gave a presentation concluding that the electric vehicle-to-grid technology system “works”, reports the university newspaper.

Mr Kempton said that electric vehicle-to-grid systems developed at UD include a vehicle smart link in the car that controls charging and reports back to the server.

Bidding for EV power

Commenting on how the car communicates to the server, Kempton explains: “The second component, the electric vehicle supply equipment developed by the College of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, goes in the car and monitors what is going on with the car and the batteries, and communicates that information to the charging station and ultimately to the aggregator.

“The aggregator (server) component provides real time operation, talking to the cars and the grid operator and making bids on power markets while meeting legal requirements.”

Kempton adds: “The electric grid is all about being located on the ground and in buildings,” Kempton said. “The charging station has to know where the car is and which wires that box is connected to for a variety of reasons, including safety concerns.”