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V2Green Technology to Monitor Performance of 13 PHEVs in Seattle Project

22 February 2008

V2Green’s vehicle-to-grid management technology (earlier post) will be used to monitor the performance of 13 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) in a Seattle demonstration project and control their charging.

Under a contract with the US Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory, V2Green will provide a logging system to collect real-time vehicle performance data provided by the V2Green Connectivity Module (VCM) installed in each PHEV. A cellular modem will upload the data to the V2Green server where it is archived and made available for the Idaho National Laboratory’s analysis.

The lab will monitor fuel efficiency, electricity usage and other vehicle performance measures on each of the 13 converted Toyota Prius PHEVs.

Seattle City Light will operate three of the vehicles in the test. The City of Seattle will have one. The Port of Seattle will get two and the Puget Sound Clear Air Agency will get three vehicles. King County will test four plug-ins.

In addition to monitoring vehicle performance, V2Green’s technology also provides the capability of smart charging. By providing intelligent, two-way communication between plug-in vehicles and the electric grid via the VCM, Seattle City Light can control the timing, pace and extent of vehicle charging within driver-specified requirements. The utility can control its load requirements, ensuring that charging takes place during light load hours, protecting the distribution system and avoiding the need to buy power.

We believe this project will show how plug-in hybrid technology can reduce our dependence on oil and cut greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

—Seattle City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco

Seattle City Light is the city’s municipal electric utility.

V2Green technology also is being used to test two plug-in hybrids in Austin, Texas, and six from the fleet of Xcel Energy, using similar smart charging and data collection capabilities.

February 22, 2008 in Plug-ins, V2X | Permalink | Comments (69) | TrackBack (0)

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FYI: Altairnano is poised to become the dominant force in the Ev/Sorage & Grid technology by 2010.
Electric Vehicle to Grid = Ev2G
Ev2g.com

V2G is one of the reasons that I like SOFCs. The cells can run continuously at a low level putting electricity back on the grid. I know SOFCs have not been made for cars just APUs, but the fact that they can take NG directly is a big plus. With ANG becoming more possible it could be a good combination.

This sounds like a great project. I do notice that all of the testers seem to be commercial type users which don't have the same duty cycle as a regular commuter. I hope that doesn't skew any analytical results.
The very high cycle capabilities and power density of the Altair batteries would make them ideal for V2G. Now they just have to bring their price down below $500/kwh.

Yes, V2G with government vehicles.

Unless I have a battery with a 15+ yr shelf life and 3000+ cycle life to 80% capacity I don't really care for the idea of the utility wear out my battery fast. In the Seattle area electricity is the same price night and day so you do NOT make any money buying electricity at night and selling it during the day.

In fact, you are likely to drive UP your utility costs since everything over 600kWh in a month is charged at a higher rate (Seattle area). In the summer I am using < 250kWh...with my short commute to work I could get most of my driving done without going too much over 600kWh but if I am selling electricity back during the day and buying more at night I will definitely be going much over the 600kWh boundary. They would have to pay at the > 600kWh rate to begin with.

Now on the other hand, if the utilities owned the batteries and I just paid them a small monthly battery usage fee they could do all the V2G they want any time of day...I would religiously hook up my V2G in this case.

y'all are missing most of the point of this. it is more about the total system impact than just the transport energy.

the killer app of the PHEV isn't a direct reduction of greenhouse gases via the displacement of fossil fuel consumption for transportation.

the killer app of V2G PHEVs is that they allow us to improve the reliability, stability, and capacity factor of the electric power system, which allows us to integrate a larger amount wind energy before we run into the need for system upgrades. this way, we not only displace some of the fossil fuel consumption for transportation, but we can displace a much larger amount of fossil fuel consumption in the energy industry.

i'm not 100% sure of this yet, but some utilities will probably get to a point where they significantly subsidize V2G PHEVs because of their positive impact on the system.

Would have helped a lot if I had any idea what the heck you were talking about. Have found that most sites for electric vehicles use language us dumb ol' folk do not understand at all. None of any of this makes any sense to me. What is a V2G or a PHEV. Want us to buy electric but can't make the words us normal folk understand. Yes, I am so normal :-)I would like to buy an electric car but have to find just one site that makes any sense.

sorry Kintara, we use acronyms for the same reason that everybody else does: to confuse outsiders.

really, though, it is just a good way to talk faster.

a PHEV is a Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle: like a normal Prius but with a larger battery pack and/or a more powerful motor which allows the vehicle to be charged from the electric grid. this enables the vehicle to have a more significant pure electric mode, which can greatly decrease the consumer's reliance on gasoline. currently, no major manufacturer sells a PHEV.

V2G means Vehicle to Grid. it is the idea that a PHEV can have a two-way relationship with the electric power system, taking power from the system most of the time, but sometimes giving power back to the system in case of unusual circumstances. i intend to write a pretty long post on my blog on the subject tonight, so you may want to check it out. as far as i know, this idea is completely theoretical today.

"killer app" is short for killer application, which is the application of a technology that takes it from being attractive to 2% of an audience to 95% of the same audience. for example, the internet was the killer app for computers.

it is my belief that applying the V2G concept to PHEVs within a context of large amounts of wind power will be the killer app for PHEVs. electric power companies and wind generation developers stand to win the most from the situation, so i think they will be the strongest proponents.

@Patrick:

If this goes into any meaningful scale they will set up a separate rate schedule to take care of that fact. The utilities are hopping up and down at chances to have some control over the timing of demand on the grid, and they will bend over backwards to make it work.

Generally many areas have a large variety of rate schedules available for residential, commercial, and industrial customers. Even in the absence of an organized program at the utility that encourages these "smart grid" type projects you can often get a digital electric meter that knows what time of day it is and charges a different rate based on the hour.

The only reason the rate goes up as your consumption goes up is that in a regulated utility it's viewed as "luxury" consumption (more than the bare essentials to run a fridge and a couple of lights). If the rate were determined by strict economic terms (no tweaks for social goals) it would taper down as you consumed more.

Wes,

actually, in a purely market-based system, the prices for a current residential load would probably still increase with higher consumption, since higher consumption leads to a greater chance that the infrastructure will have to be upgraded and infrastructure is very expensive to upgrade.

So far Electric car Batteries are twice the price that can be supported. Selling power to the grid sounds like a fine idea till you realize that the battery life cycle is limited and there is no possible payback. It leaves your car discharged so you cannot go out evenings, or cannot come home from work on battery power. In short, the idea is a bust.

A far better idea is a home battery pack for home power savings. Here battery weight is not a problem, and much cheaper batteries can be used. This approach would encourage home generating using small ( 5 kW ) wind and solar systems in each home with excess power sold to the grid at peak times.


As usual, there is a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to V2G. Its not about emptying out your vehicle battery so that you're stuck at the end of the day! Its about high frequency, shallow discharges and charges to EVEN out the grid. Battery deterioration is completely compensated for by the PROFIT YOU MAKE by enabling the utility to use your battery for this purpose.
See http://www.udel.edu/V2G/

An Electric Car battery needs to be about 20 kWh so it can carry enough power to run a car a reasonable distance.

Lets suppose we buy the really cheap Chinese batteries from Thunder Sky for our Electric car TS-LFP400AHA 3.2V 400AH 800A 1000 duty cycles, 452x288x71 13kg $960 1.28 kWh (still at twice the price we can afford to pay and have a reasonably priced BEV )


Now we begin using it for V2G duty.

At near $1000 per kWh and at 1000 deep cycles gives a cost of $1.00 per kWh transferred from night to day by these batteries.

At 10¢ per kilowatt hour home rates it is unreasonable to expect it to be re-bought at $1.10 per kWh.
Check my math and see if there is a possible profit here.

again missing the point.

the idea isn't to transfer power from night to day. the point is to have a large number of small sources of reserve capacity on the load side so that i can cover fluctuations in the power supplied by wind.

say i have a system stable at 1 GW produced and consumed, 200 MW of the production is wind, 100 MW of the load is PHEVs and EVs. everything is stable and happy while the wind is blowing. all of a sudden, the wind output drops to zero faster than my other generation can pick up the difference (a common problem with wind). one way of picking up part of the difference is to stop charging all PHEVs and EVs. that drops 100 MW off my load. to cover the rest of the difference for the next few minutes while my other generation comes up to speed, maybe i'll also ask my PHEVs and EVs to pick up the remaining 100 MW.

see the difference? in this case, PHEVs are occasionally asked to carry load for a few minutes at a time to enhance the stability of the system and reduce the spinning reserve requirements, making wind power more economical

John:

You'll have to redo your math. Reasonable V2G schemes do not deep cycle the battery. They only take shallow dips that have virtually no impact on the life of the battery. Battery wear and tear in geometrically related to depth of discharge (deep cycles represent the worst possible use of the battery), shallow discharges have virtually no impact on the lifespan.

John Taylor trolls:

Selling power to the grid sounds like a fine idea till you realize that the battery life cycle is limited and there is no possible payback.
If the battery life is limited by aging more than cycling, there may be no battery cost at all (page 28)
It leaves your car discharged so you cannot go out evenings, or cannot come home from work on battery power.
It needn't do anything of the sort; AC Propulsions test found that the pack capacity was increased 13% over the test (page 30).

V2G will also be powered by parked Electric Vehicles and Plug-in Hybrids equipped with SOLAR ROOF PANELS and trunk lid panels. Solar panels on trailer roofs for long haul plug-in hybrid trucks, while parked, will also feed the grid. While in motion, solar panels on vehicle roofs will charge batteries and capacitors. When solar paint is perfected and mass produced, the entire vehicle body will generate solar power from any direction. Window tinting will instead be transparent solar films. Look for V2G to be a major player. Look beyond tapping the batteries for V2G. Adapt solar panels to electrics and plug-in hybrids.

Whoever cheered for Altairnano, keep it up.

thanx. A. StockHolder.

Seriously. V2G seems like a loser to me. But I tend to address these problems conceptually rather than in detail, and maybe V2G will work out.

First, history hints that multipurpose technology usually doesn't prevail. We don't have a lot of combination boat/cars or car/plane or locomotive/ships operating. Or lawnmowers that also prune roses and water the yard.

So I'm guessing that devices that supply electricity and those that consume it will remain separate.

I also expect batteries in hybrids and EVs will remain more costly than those at large stationary facilities. The latter do not have to endure any vibration, face fewer temperature changes, and can be more readily optimized for ventilation, etc.

When V2G is putting power into the grid you are using the most expensive component, the car batteries, to assist the most efficient component, the centralized generating plant.

When the grid charges the vehicle it is quite another matter, plugins make a great deal of sense.

Solar panels on cars are not going to power cars. They can help somewhat by charging batteries. But Sol just isn't pumping enough energy even if the panels are 100% efficient and can endure dings and chips.

Trucks have a bigger cross section and a panel atop the trailer might prove worthwhile. I'm dubious.

And again, how is a dollar best spent for panels? Will it be for large arrays sending power to the grid or generating it on the roof? Or will it be for material wrapped around the flowing lines of a car?

Good night.

Ok K.
I'm glad somebody sees the problem here. If using batteries for grid stability was even remotely cost effective, then power companies would be doing it.

To understand the cost of fuel in an electric car, we must take the battery capacity, cost and number of duty cycles into account, and add this to the initial grid cost of electricity. Once done, we see the batteries are far more costly than can be supported as a car fuel source. However, the price is dropping, and they (hopefully soon) will become price competitive with other fuels.

Now we have the great idea of reselling this very high cost battery capacity to power companies and pretending it is "free" and won't place any load whatsoever on the batteries, and that such use will even increase battery life. Lets plan on flying pigs and fairy dust for our additional transportation needs too.

Meanwhile, back in reality, a stationary battery pack can be cheap and heavy, and useful to collect solar and wind power, and to let you produce and store some electric power with home heating systems, and as an emergency power source, and as a source of grid stability.

As for grid load shedding, tying into commercial building management systems already existing load shedding systems for an integrated system makes far more sense. More, it is easily done and even already done. Simply monitoring grid power voltage and shutting off sensitive equipment (such as large Air conditioning and refrigeration compressors) during extreme brown outs, (times of low voltage), can significantly reduce equipment failure as well as assist grid stability. Making a "home version" of the commercial building management system would be a useful idea, especially if it also controlled home power generating systems.

John: You obviously aren't stupid, but you really need to spend some time studying battery chemistry and V2G. I'll repeat, shallow discharges have virtually no effect on battery life. Yes the batteries are currently expensive, but you're going to have them sitting around most of the time doing nothing while their calendar life ticks down. V2G offers the ability to use capacity that would otherwise go to waste.

Neil, I have spent some time educating myself.
However, someone has been feeding you fairytales and disinformation on battery life. Goldilocks thought the bears provided free porridge but there is no really free lunch.

I suggest that you try to get even a single battery manufacturer to agree that their battery cycle life in driving a car will be unaffected by also using it in a V2G constant cycling situation. Adding an additional 365 cycles a year , even shallow cycles, will cause a shorter battery life.

While shallow discharges do give more cycles than deep discharges, they do cause battery cycle wear. Still, the pattern fits well with BEV usage because cars mostly have short trips, with only a few long extended trips to the maximum range.

Quoth John Taylor:

I have spent some time educating myself.
Yet you failed to read a report on a trial of this exact scheme in which battery performance improved.  How do we know you didn't read it?  You completely contradict the test results, without citing any evidence of your own.  That's not education, that's dogmatism.
If using today's batteries only for grid stability was even remotely cost effective, then power companies would be doing it.
Fixed that for ya.

As you may have noticed, electric vehicles will need batteries regardless of what the utility does with them.  As shown by the test report you failed to educate yourself about, utility control of the chargers can generate value for the utility while maintaining or even improving the condition of the battery pack.  If utilities are willing to own the pack and lease it at a discount because of the added value (and they would appear to be willing), it's proof that you're wrong.

I'm in the NW & only marginally better than Kintara. Find the talk interesting, but easily confusing. You techies must talk to us consumers, as well as each other.

As far as shallow cycle GRID taps from the battery, would it be even better if the drawdown was very slow? I know my rudimentary Pb Acid batteries for my electric bike(EB) have more 'capacity' & cycle extension if I could draw the power from them at a slow rate(ride very very slow & get a bigger Amp-hour battery pack). Would the same idea work for higher tech batteries being drawn down by the grid?

Also, because of bigger capacity battery packs on full electric vehicles(EVs), would full EVs be more appropriate than PHEVs for V2G?

The NW is best for EVs since its near complete reliance on hydro & recent additional wind power allow energy generation at only 4% of the pollution (& carbon dioxide(?)) levels of internal combustion engines(ICE). Its so sweet to move thru my town on the EB generating only 1/700th(?) the pollution of an ICE & nearly none of that pollution near people.

Engineer-Poet, first you call me a Troll, now you pretend I did not read a report. How DARE you!
I suggest that you first prove you actually know your subject.

re Quote
If using {today's} batteries only for grid stability was even remotely cost effective, then power companies would be doing it.
Fixed that for ya.
If you think tomorrows batteries will be different from today's and not wear out, you have amazing faith, but must chalk up two demerit points for lack of reasoning skills and failure to be convinced by evidence.

If utilities are willing to own the pack and lease it at a discount, please let me know so I can begin producing low cost BEV's.

Now lets go through that report you think I never read for a review of some important points often overlooked.


This report was submitted in fulfillment of ARB contract number 01-313 by AC Propulsion
under the sponsorship of the California Air Resources Board.
~> (It is great publicity, but will never get implemented).

5.1.2 Battery Pack Capacity
Figure 23 shows the progression of measured capacity of the pack over the course of the testing. The pack finished the testing with 13% more capacity than at the
start. No conclusions can be drawn from this other than there was no apparent immediate harm done to the pack as a result of the testing.

~> In other words, it did “conditioning” on the two year old battery pack, but they fail to concern themselves with the overall life of the pack. I seriously doubt that Panasonic will consider this usage of a battery pack being equal to non-usage for cycle load calculations. Now granted, the low draw cycling will produce less wear than deep cycling, but it is still cycling, and batteries are rated in number of duty cycles, not age, even if age is a standard part of a warranty due to being more easily determined.

6.2.7 Metering and Settlements
~> This explains that metering would need to significantly change to accommodate the V2G scheme. Normally power companies like to sell power to consumers, not buy it back at higher rates. Also topping up the car battery at home then selling some power to the grid while at work adds a bit of billing complexity.

6.2.10 Automaker Support
~> Where it says essentially that there is none, except for AC propulsion.


Bottom line ...
Will it work? Yes.
Is it a cost effective good idea? No.

Further on the report there are some unrealistic assumptions:

1)Panasonic lead acid battery pack (EV1 type 2) yields data applicable to BEV Lithium battery packs.

2) Test vehicle assumed connected to grid 23 hours/day @ 80 amp circuit 110-220v. Data link provided by cellular wireless.

First this is a study conducted by an aftermarket EV conversion outfit, AC Propulsion (converted a VW Beetle for test). Cycling test data was simulated (computer model trap) as real ISO data was unavailable.

Second, in even a somewhat real world, what vehicle is connected to a 220 80 amp circuit 23 hours? CA avg. commute claim 1 hour - huh? Ever been on the 405?? And who would pay for all this added hardware, software, maintenance?

A much simpler solution is to build some intelligence into the vehicle's charge electronics. If, as SOC approaches 80%+, the consumer agrees, and net metering is in place, sell a portion of the charge to the grid. It's applied as a credit to the monthly bill. Forget the ISO regulation and leveling as far too complex with many better solutions.

Bottom line is this "study" is a fantasy scenario for a business that wants contracts for aftermarket equipment sales.

"If using {today's} batteries only for grid stability was even remotely cost effective, then power companies would be doing it."

As too many people are saying John Taylor, you are still missing the point. Yes, if the utility had to buy these batteries it wouldn't be economical for them. As you say, they ARE expensive. The point is that if they DON'T have to buy them (ie no CAPITAL cost), because YOU already bought them for your transportation needs, then it makes economic sense for them to pay you more than enough to compensate battery wear and tare to use them to level the grid. If you want to miss out on a profit, that's your call but once the money starts to roll I suspect you will realize you were wrong.

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