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GridPoint Acquires V2Green for SmartGrid V2G Solution

23 September 2008

Gridpoint
GridPoint’s SmartGrid Platform. Click to enlarge.

GridPoint Inc., a developer of a smart grid platform, has acquired Seattle-based V2Green, a provider of vehicle-to-grid technology—including on-board vehicle communication devices—enabling enable utilities to “smart charge” electric vehicles anywhere within a service territory. (Earlier post.)

GridPoint says that the V2Green transaction is the first step in its acquisition strategy, which has been fueled by a recent $120 million equity financing. In conjunction with the financing, which is being predominately funded by existing investors, all of the company’s outstanding shares have been converted into common stock. To date, GridPoint has raised in excess of $220 million.

GridPoint’s platform applies information technology to the electric grid to provide utilities with an intelligent network of distributed energy resources that controls load, stores energy and produces power. The platform offers utilities a single interface, located in a utility’s control room, for managing a variety of distributed energy assets including plug-in electric vehicles, solar panels, wind turbines, advanced storage technologies and household devices such as thermostats, electric water heaters, pool pumps, etc.

GridPoint Energy Manager is the intelligent node within the home or business that communicates with the GridPoint Operations Center. The operations center acts as an intelligent hub that processes and exchanges information across the platform and provides software applications for utility and customer control.

Utilities gain direct control over distributed technologies through the GridPoint Control Console, located in the utility control room, and customers manage their energy online through the GridPoint Customer Portal.

The V2Green System establishes intelligent, two-way communication between plug-in vehicles and the grid. Once vehicles are “grid-aware”, utilities can implement real-time monitoring and charging control strategies, including Smart Charging and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) services to meet the needs of both drivers and utilities.

The system has two components: the V2Green Server and the V2Green Connectivity Module (VCM). The V2Green Server is software that runs within the utility’s grid operations center; it communicates with plug-in vehicles, controls the scheduling, timing, and extent of plug-in vehicle charging and storage, and manages the information generated by these activities.

V2Green’s integrated client-server solution and on-board vehicle communication device increase GridPoint’s smart charging capabilities by enabling utilities to manage charging of grid-aware vehicles in real time from any outlet within their service territory. Additionally, online interfaces provide data on vehicle performance, charging behavior and status for both the driver and the utility. V2Green has deployed its technology in pilot programs with Xcel Energy, Austin Energy and Seattle City Light.

We have a great deal of synergy with GridPoint including our software-based approach to modernizing the grid. Our combined capabilities will enable utilities to mitigate the impact of plug-in electric vehicles on the grid while reducing carbon emissions and providing their customers with reduced rates for off-peak charging.

—John Clark, President and CEO, V2Green.

A recent Oak Ridge National Laboratory study found that 160 new power plants would be needed to handle additional load if all electric vehicles were plugged in at 5 pm, however, if charging times were shifted to off-peak hours, only zero to eight new power plants would be required. (Earlier post.)

In March, GridPoint announced a commercial test of smart charging with Duke Energy, which was conducted via a controlled outlet in a residential garage.

Xcel Energy has selected the GridPoint Platform for its $100 million SmartGridCity initiative in Boulder, Colorado. Both GridPoint and V2Green are part of the “SmartGridCity Experience” mobile exhibit and featured in the first SmartGridCity home, the University of Colorado’s chancellor’s residence.

September 23, 2008 in Plug-ins, V2X | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack (0)

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It makes sense that the V2G would be sort of a Net Metering Point of Presence on the grid. If there is nothing sourcing energy then that is the way it goes. This is an interesting business model and I am interested in watching its progress over time.

The best part of a system like this is not charging control from an operations center - but the facility to buy/accept power from customer sites. This facilitates local grids with net metering where Residential Power Units feed excess power to the grid. Likewise if you have a EV, and choose to - V2G feeds the grid.

There's not enough detail yet on how this software would do in growing local area grids - but customer generated energy from vehicle or an RPU needs handling. What is not necessary is the idea of operations center control of individual house functions. That intelligence remains the domain of the customer/home owner.

The need to control thermostats and HVAC and vehicle charge rates relies upon one central mechanism - single point energy. Which is the old grid. Distributed power generation by APUs and V2G obviates old grid centralization. When each household or multiple dwelling makes its own power, there are far fewer peak, leveling, following, etc. issues to contend with.

If this company focuses on data services for distributed power and local grids - they will do well.

V2G,
Dynamic on demand.
Something along these lines is necessary , inevitable and will be the start to smargrid and renewables integration.
The comunications hub concept I find unfortunate, open to exploitation, out of the hands of the consumer, potentialy an opportunity for buisness to maximise every last cent in inequitable fashion the likes we havent seen since Microsoft.

When the consumer gives up thef ullest opportunity to IE be an efficient consumer, utilise best rates via thier own (personalised) or third party program, in favour of "total product control"

When the supplier has such tight control and can pick winners and losers and set the pricing away from level playing field, I believe we are giving away another freedom. I think that It'll be a (nother) quango for some who can cosy thier way into a good spot.
(Talk about burning ones bridges)

The dynamic on demand concept would (IF Practical) free up and open the market to the smallest player and in doing so give the greatest incentive to minimise the consumer cost. This can only be realised if the system is versitile and supplies the customer thier needs - at the spot rate.
This will drive efficiencies in that the most economical utility of available power especially at inconvenient times implies effort and solutions be pursued and there needs be a maximum possible incentive .
The incentive in the form of cheap rates to the smallest (household player) requires the "Hub" or bookeeper to stay out of the way. This is 'Dynamic on Demand'
The system as proposed places a 'fat controller' in the line . The hub will be a comercial co with a shareholder / profit mandate. Guess what - the customer is not a shareholder.
In my opinion that type of model will for he usual profit greed trade off reasons diminish the possibilities compared to an open source public space.

(think internet)

I'm not the person to ask "how is this done" but will say the 'for profit company' buisness model with all that implies is the equivalent to a walking track through a minefield as far as applies to the lowest cost/ highest efficiency, the consumer AND greeenhouse reduction.

Two Way Charging and Solar Roof Panels on Plug-Ins

The birth of the first solar panel on a mainstream production vehicle will be the next generation Toyota Prius due out next Spring. Nissan, VW and several other carmakers will offer solar panels on their electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles also. One solar roof panel will only provide a small percentage of the power that todays electric vehicles require. At 20% efficiency (Suniva and Day4 Energy), a solar roof panel could generate up to 270 watts. The panel will be optional and cost under $900. Keep in mind, the cost of solar panels will gradually come down, and the efficiency will gradually go up. Already, there are cheaper and more efficient solar panels being announced. The SunFlake panel, invented by Martin Aagesen who is a PhD from the Nano-Science Center and the Niels Bohr Institute at University of Copenhagen, gets 30% efficiency and will be cheaper than current panels. Innovalight claims they have a solar panel that is 44% efficient at one tenth the cost. At the rate that solar technology is advancing, solar roof panels on vehicles will soon be over 500 watts. The next technology, coming 5 to 10 years from now, is infrared solar and solar paint, that will collect radiant heat from the entire vehicle body, 24 hours a day. This too has the potential to double the wattage again, but from twice the surface area. So we will be up to 2000 watts under ideal conditions (less depending on the angle of the sun and weather conditions).

Recently, Toyota described the 1/X Concept vehicle, a plug-in hybrid about the size of a Prius, but ONE THIRD the weight, only 926 lbs. With a vehicle that is one third the weight, the mileage doubles from the same wattage. Quantum Sphere announced a breakthrough in their lithium ion batteries that produces FOUR TIMES the capacity from the same size cell. Another breakthrough is an electric motor that uses HALF the amount of energy to perform the same amount of work. With this new electric motor, the mileage doubles again. Search: Thor Power: Revolutionary Electric Motor Design Cuts Energy Use in Half. And with that 2000 watts of solar power, we will not be powering the vehicle motor. We will be powering a generator to pulse charge a pack of individual batteries in rapid succession with a pulse width modulator, many times per second. Such a battery charger is being patented. However, researchers can not explain how one battery running a generator can charge a half a dozen other batteries, but they see it happening.

A large percentage of the coming electric and plug in hybrid vehicles will be charged at night when the rates are low, then driven to work and parked all day. If you live in a sunny location, the big pay-off will be Vehicle to Grid (V2G). This concept was originally conceived to transfer a portion of cheap off peak power from your batteries into the daytime peak load grid. You would drive to work, park your car at a V2G receptacle, plug in and tell your car how much power to sell to the grid. Then when you got off work, you would have enough juice left to get home. With advanced technology in a sunny climate, and 2000 additional watts of power to feed into the grid at peak load rates, you would get a lot of credits on your electric bill. All of this will eventually become a standard feature financed into the vehicle, and it will pay for itself. As a last resort, if you ever needed to charge your vehicle away from home, or on a rainy day, you would plug into the V2G system and charge your batteries. The power will go both ways. Feed electric power into the grid for a credit, or draw power out as a debit on your electric bill.

Solar panels, solar glass and solar bodies on vehicles using V2G will soon power your vehicle and the local grid. Visualize whole parking lots of solar equipped electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, capable of feeding the grid, charging, or generating power on the fly. The vehicles of the future will be portable power plants, and their owners will be managers of energy.

To all those worried about other controlling your house... I suspect strongly it will work as willing-buyer willing-seller system. I.e. you tell your car you're willing to sell e.g. 10% of your EV battery capacity for not less than a certain amount. Your car will communicate this to the V2G system, which means the utility will know what reserve it can call upon and at what cost, so they can decide what price signal to send. Done like that it should work out pretty well for everyone involved.

Oh, and the net impact of this should be beneficial to the grid. Wires don't care what way the energy is flowing. Usually it just goes to you, but if it goes the other way it will actually _reduce_ the net transmission load on the grid.

The issue should not be about who controls your house, that is just not real.To run the lightest grid at a level playing field, is a real issue.

There are currently sweetheart relationships in the power market that discriminate in favor of heavy users, guaranteeing cheaper rates to major customers.
While this has aided generators with core customers for assured sales , In the greenhouse constrained future, The small user is at risk of shouldering a larger percentage of mitigation costs.

Firstly, these fixed costs per kilowatt and will be strongly resisted by the wholesale consumer.
Secondly in order to see the required participation and efficiency figures.

In Australia many consumers pay a voluntary 'greenpower' rate for renewable sourced energy.
As international emission reductions become a universal expectation, It will be beholden on all consumers to share these costs.

A commercial co able to set the spot price would also be in a good position if unregulated to control the supply and price out on one hand and constrain and direct mitigation costs with the other.
When plainly the costs and benefits in this new Smart grid future are the equal responsibility of all.

Given that the generators are separate to the billing
provider, with transmission co a separate service again.

In this reality, the biller must play fair to all customers as their costs wont change. Each customer pays an account component and a kilowatt price.

The transmission service provider needs their bit, and the generator theirs . By the time the customer receives the service there is no requirement or effective way to determine the cost of any consumer in any locality.

The whole local area could have a rating (as is current practice in US) Including the buy back rate that achieves the required emissions mandate.

This would be similar to registration for motor vehicles, all treated equally(in Australia commercial transport registration and insurance at a higher rate)

I don't see reference to this level of planning in any proposed Smart Grid.
(An unregulated dynamic demand approach is supply, demand + fiddle factor regulated so can be considered fair)

An unregulated monopoly is an invitation to print money. As we are all seeing in the current (economic)
market failure.

The trick is to keep it simple and have time variable power costs to encourage people to charge at night, but not all at the same time.

Getting people to charge at night should be easy.

Deciding whether to let them charge during the day is a trickier proposition.
Suppose you have an EV with a 60 mile range and a 20 mile commute. You could drive to work and back on one charge, but it would increase your battery life if you could top it up in work so as to deplete the battery less and increase its life.

As for V2G, it depends on where the car will be (home or office) and charge depth.

The main thing you should do with V2G is V2H (i.e. vehicle to home) - keep your own power requirements down - as the grid is likely to pay you less for power than you pay them. (You will offset a retail price, while they will pay a wholesale price).

@Jeff Baker:

Another breakthrough is an electric motor that uses HALF the amount of energy to perform the same amount of work.

That then must be an electric motor that is >180% efficient. And you expect us to believe that.

Battery's ability to store energy is the key. Simply price the charge rate to reflect demand. Daytime rates are higher - customer selects a purchase threshold above which he will not authorize recharge. X percentage customers drop off the daytime demand table due to pricing.

More likely is a work place that subsidizes charge points as a perquisite. If that energy is PV/wind/RPU sourced the utility peak demand goes down, employee gets free top ups, employer do their part.

The Eliica 8 wheel motor electric car goes over 200 mph and does it TWICE as efficiently as a gasoline powered counterpart. They put one up against a Porsche in a 0 to 100 mpg race and it did it in 7.4 seconds, 2 seconds faster than the Porsche and the driver said it was linear performance from there to 120 miles per hour. That is what an electric car can do with 8 in wheel motors of 80 hp each and enough lithium batteries to get it there (something like 40 kwh).

I mention this to show what a university in Japan did for less than $400k from scratch. They even designed and wound their own motors with industry experts in Japan. This is what the U.S. faces in global competition, but like everyone else, they had to go out and beg for more money to get to the next phase. This is a bit off topic, but I was so impressed with their efforts I wanted to mention it.

http://www.autoblog.com/2005/11/08/kaz-eight-wheeled-eliica-ev-supercar/

@ Ann

They actually claim up to 84% efficiency - or about a twenty percent improvement over traditional motors.

"Thor Power’s new TREZIUM® electric motor System reduces losses of electricity by up to 50% compared to today’s antiquated technology. For every 100 watts of power going into the TREZIUM® System, up to 84 watts are output as mechanical energy—meaning it’s up to 84 percent efficient."

http://www.thor-power.com/business-benefits/

A Brazilian scientist, Dr. Norberto Keppe, is announcing something very similar today.
http://www.keppemotor.com/monday.html

I'm very much a proponent of SmartGrid, as long as the pricing is completely transparent and regulated; no more Deathstars and Fatboys.

V2G will also enable greater penetration of solar, wind, and other intermittent renewable energy sources, with V2G vehicles as temporary storage devices and pricing as the demand management scheme.

People keep mixing up V2G and B2G. The problem with using the large battery in an EV is that the EV might drive off just when you want to access the energy in it.

Better to have a separate stationary battery hooked up to your solar PV system and use it for grid time shifting as well.

A stationary battery can be heavier and less robust than a vehicle battery, and so it should be cheaper per KWh.

Also, the time of peak demand ~5.30 pm is when most people are driving, so you cannot use the V2G then.

The advantage of doing a domestic B2G system (as opposed to a utility level one) is that you reduce your grid purchases as much as possible - at the full retail price - you should size it so as to use up all your PV electricity during a summer day.

Another thing I find crazy is going off grid when you don't need to - the grid is a huge benefit - by all means reduce your usage of grid power, but there is no need to bring it down to zero - the cost of that would be prohibitive - you would probably have to buy a diesel generator which is worse than grid electricity in every way (price, noise, pollution, CO2).

"by all means reduce your usage of grid power, but there is no need to bring it down to zero"

Why not? The entire environment movement is to limit energy consumption. If a few people can afford to install PV/wind/etc. that alleviates their dependence on utility generated energy - more power to them. Around where we are many people live on non-grid serviced islands. They use combined wind/solar/hydro to meet their entire electric demand - with zero carbon emissions. How green would we be if more people did this?

The reason to push for energy independence is precisely to get off the grid - the world's largest industrial polluter.

People keep mixing up V2G and B2G. The problem with using the large battery in an EV is that the EV might drive off just when you want to access the energy in it.

Better to have a separate stationary battery hooked up to your solar PV system and use it for grid time shifting as well.

A stationary battery can be heavier and less robust than a vehicle battery, and so it should be cheaper per KWh.

Also, the time of peak demand ~5.30 pm is when most people are driving, so you cannot use the V2G then.

The advantage of doing a domestic B2G system (as opposed to a utility level one) is that you reduce your grid purchases as much as possible - at the full retail price - you should size it so as to use up all your PV electricity during a summer day.

Another thing I find crazy is going off grid when you don't need to - the grid is a huge benefit - by all means reduce your usage of grid power, but there is no need to bring it down to zero - the cost of that would be prohibitive - you would probably have to buy a diesel generator which is worse than grid electricity in every way (price, noise, pollution, CO2).

@NRG Nut:

Currently, there are motors >90% efficient, so how 84% is a 20% improvement over that, is lost on me.

...reduces losses of electricity by up to 50% compared to today’s antiquated technology...

It's the 'up to', which you need to be aware of (and Jeff Baker obviously wasn't). This doesn't mean it's always twice as efficient, but under some circumstances, compared to some electric motors.

Whenever there's an 'up to x% improvement', ignore the statement, it's marketing babble.

By "traditional" motors they imply old winding <5kW motors of which there are millions installed worldwide.
Thor and Brazil's Dr. Keppe claim motors using old windings average 60% efficiency. They're using rare earth magnets apparently to limit size and weight and improve efficiency.

Pragmatic stewards support technical improvements that lower our energy footprint. Isn't that a good goal?

Anne –

You are right. From a normal perspective, motors can be as high as 90% efficient, but these are not mainstream motors which are typically 60% efficient. Hence the Thor claim. The newly announced Keppe motor claims to perform 4 times more work from the same amount of power than conventional motors. What is being discovered is the phenomena that electricity is being underutilized. We are getting multiple reports of this. With conventional motors and schematics, we are only tapping part of the potential energy available. This applies especially to a battery running a motor which is charging multiple batteries. This is perhaps where the Thor motor or the Keppe motor would shine. See: David Bowling’s Continuous Charging Device. Also see: 20 Bedini-Bearden Years “Free Energy Generation” Circuits and Schematics. Since battery charging is a key component of next generation electric and plug-in vehicles. Researchers may have stumbled onto something that goes well beyond our limited knowledge. The Earth is a powerful dynamo with a strong electromagnetic field, and this may be interacting with electricity moving through motors, batteries, and battery chargers, etc. Cutting edge technology evolves through verification.

Great step to the smart grid society!

Switched reluctance motors have less weight and higher efficiency than any motor. V2G is not yet a profitable option. Having a stationary heavy battery might be, and it would also allow for fast vehicle battery charging without the power lines glowing.

With computer controls it is now possible to generate your own electricity easily if you have natural gas, and there is no reason to have very high charges during the day. Honda now sells its unit through climate energy, and their system heats water and the house with the heat that must be used to generate electricity. If the gas grid survives there is now no reason to have an electrical connection for most houses. These systems save %40 of CO2 release over plain heating and buying grid electricity. The average electrical consumption of the US person for all reasons is about 1 kilowatt or 24 kilowatt hours a day. This does not include the stuff made in China. It is more likely that the US natural gas grid should dissappear and that there should be a cheap Nuclear electricity grid for all heating and lighting purposes to save on CO2 releases and save all petroleum products for automobiles and plastics. ..HG..

Another article...very impressive!

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