[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
New lithium polysulfide flow battery for large-scale energy storage
April 25, 2013
Researchers from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have designed a new lithium/polysulfide (Li/PS) semi-liquid (flow) battery for large-scale energy storage, with lithium polysulfide (Li2S8) in ether solvent as a catholyte and metallic lithium as an anode.
Unlike previous work on Li/S batteries with discharge products such as solid state Li2S2 and Li2S, the catholyte is designed to cycle only in the range between sulfur and Li2S4. Consequently, the team points out in a paper describing there work published in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science, all detrimental effects due to the formation and volume expansion of solid Li2S2/Li2S are avoided.
Honda and Ford separately launching smart home demos
April 24, 2013
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. will create the Honda Smart Home US, a showcase that demonstrates Honda’s vision for sustainable, zero-carbon living and personal mobility, including the use of solar power to charge a Honda Fit EV battery electric vehicle. The site is on the campus of the University of California, Davis; the building process will be documented and shared through the Honda Smart Home US website.
Separately, Ford Motor Company and KB Home announced that products from the Ford-led initiative MyEnergi Lifestyle (earlier post) will be featured in the homebuilder’s ZeroHouse 2.0 model home in San Marcos, Calif., and potentially in additional KB Home markets.
Sendyne IC achieves ten-fold increase in dynamic range of current measurement; targeted for EVs and grid applications
April 09, 2013
Sendyne Corp., a company that develops semiconductor components and advanced circuits for the management of battery systems used for grid storage and EVs, has introduced the SFP100, a high-precision current sensing IC, that extends by at least an order of magnitude the range of accurate measurements of current through a resistive shunt. The Sendyne SFP100 was designed to address the unique requirements of battery monitoring in energy storage systems, such as those used for electric vehicles (EVs), grid storage and photovoltaic arrays, where large variations of current need to be monitored accurately.
Sendyne’s SFP100 is a high precision sensing IC that simultaneously measures bi-directional DC current through a resistive shunt, voltage, and temperature at four points using two 24-bit ΣΔ ADCs. Qualified to AECQ100, the SFP100 is rated for the automotive temperature range of –40 °C to +125 °C.
Stanford study quantifies energetic costs of grid-scale energy storage over time; current batteries the worst performers; the need to improve cycle life by 3-10x
March 10, 2013
|A plot of ESOI for 7 potential grid-scale energy storage technologies. Credit: Barnhart and Benson, 2013. Click to enlarge.|
A new study by Charles J. Barnhart and Sally M. Benson from Stanford University and Stanford’s Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) has quantified the energetic costs of 7 different grid-scale energy storage technologies over time. Using a new metric—“Energy Stored on Invested, ESOI”—they concluded that batteries were the worst performers, while compressed air energy storage (CAES) performed the best, followed by pumped hydro storage (PHS). Their results are published in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science.
As the percentage of electricity supply from wind and solar increases, grid operators will need to employ strategies and technologies, including energy storage, to balance supply with demand given the intermittency of the renewable supply. The Stanford study considered a future US grid where up to 80% of the electricity comes from renewables.
AeroVironment licenses PNNL EV smart charger controller technology
March 06, 2013
|The PNNL technology tells a vehicle’s battery charger when to start and stop charging based upon existing conditions on the electrical grid. Source: PNNL. Click to enlarge.|
AeroVironment, Inc. has licensed smart charging controller technology developed at the US Department of Energy (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for incorporation into its charging station equipment. (Earlier post.) The commercial license agreement is between AeroVironment and Battelle, which operates PNNL.
The Grid Friendly EV Charger Controller technology notifies the car’s battery charger when to start and stop charging based upon existing conditions on the electrical grid. By charging plug-ins when electricity is most readily available, the technology could translate into lower bills for vehicle owners and a more stable grid. AeroVironment will use a portion of the licensed technology in a new prototype version of its Level II charging systems.
Battelle introduces Grid Command Distribution services and software for rapid modeling of smart grid distribution circuits
February 26, 2013
|Screen shot of a Grid Command Distribution “heatmap” analysis for a neighborhood. Source: Battelle and AEP (data). Click to enlarge.|
Battelle recently unveiled its new Grid Command Distribution services and software for utilities. The software is a front-end for the open-source GridLAB-D, a distribution system simulation and analysis tool developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), a Department of Energy (DOE) lab managed by Battelle. Battelle staff developed the new Grid Command Distribution software internally as part of its work over the past two years as part of an ongoing smart grid demonstration project in Ohio: AEP Ohio’s gridSMART program, sponsored by the DOE.
The new offering greatly shortens the time—from 4-5 days to less than a minute in some cases, according to Battelle—required to build extremely detailed planning models for the analysis of distribution circuits on a smart grid that encompass a plethora of devices, technologies and operating policies such as energy storage systems, line configurations, transformers, demand response tariffs, Volt-VAR optimization (VVO), plug-in vehicle charging, water heater loads, and so on. (VVO seeks to optimize voltage at all points along the distribution feeder under all loading conditions, thereby increasing grid efficiency.)
California Energy Commission awards more than $1.8M additional funding to further UCSD microgrid project; energy storage, EV charging and V2G services are components
January 10, 2013
The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved funding to advance further the development of its pioneering 42 MWpeak microgrid and expand electric vehicle charging at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).
The Commission approved a $1.6-million award to increase its previously awarded funding of $1,394,298 for the university’s microgrid. The Commission also approved funding of $220,554 to expand the campus’ burgeoning charging network for plug-in electric vehicles, through the Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, created by Assembly Bill 118.
American and European Standards organizations agree to strengthen transatlantic cooperation on standards for electric vehicles
December 06, 2012
Cooperation on eMobility standardization was the focus of discussion during a Transatlantic Roundtable organized by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which took place in Brussels on 28-29 November.
The event brought together technical experts from industry, government, and other stakeholders to compare and discuss standardization priorities for electric vehicles (EVs) outlined in the October 2011 Report of the CEN-CENELEC Focus Group on European Electro-Mobility and the April 2012 Standardization Roadmap for Electric Vehicles – Version 1.0, developed by the ANSI Electric Vehicles Standards Panel (EVSP). (Earlier post.)
Two new PEV-specific apps from OnStar targeted at range anxiety and public charging cost
November 17, 2012
|The new EV Waypoint application will plot a waypoint route with recommended charging stations is the route is beyond the range of a single charge. Source: OnStar. Click to enlarge.|
At the GM Electrification Experience—at which GM previewed the Spark EV (earlier post)—OnStar previewed two new apps for drivers of plug-in vehicles (PEVs): one slated for release to address the possible range anxiety of electric vehicles (Spark EV Waypoint), the other, a concept to address the cost of public charging (Park-Tap-Charge) that leverages Near Field Communication (NFC).
Since the Chevrolet Volt extended range electric vehicle launched in late 2010, drivers have been able to manage vehicle charging, including the option to charge during off-peak hours through the OnStar RemoteLink Mobile App. As GM expands its electric vehicle line-up next year with the 2014 Chevy Spark EV, more drivers will be able to manage and control electric-only functions from their phone.
GM and ABB demonstrate community energy storage system built from 5 used Volt batteries; Duke Energy testing
November 15, 2012
|GM and ABB partnered to produce a prototype back-up power storage unit that repackages five used Volt batteries into a modular unit that becomes an uninterruptible power supply and grid power balancing system. Click to enlarge.|
During a symposium for the media on GM’s electrification efforts, including a preview of the Spark EV to be unveiled at the LA Auto Show in two weeks, General Motors and ABB showed and demonstrated a new grid distributed micro-storage (at grid scale) system—i.e., a community energy storage system—built from five used Chevrolet Volt batteries.
The modular air-cooled unit, which can provide about 25 kW of power for about 2 hours (50 kWh of energy capacity), is envisioned to be paired with a neighborhood transformer, said Dan Sowder from Duke Energy, which is putting one of the units into test. Duke supports about 4.2 customers per transformer, so this system would benefit those four customers with respect to the value stream, he suggested.
SwRI to demonstrate use of electric vehicles as part of emergency power microgrid under US Army SPIDERS program
November 14, 2012
Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) is a member of a team that was recently awarded a $7-million contract from the US Army Corps of Engineers to demonstrate integration of electric vehicles, generators and solar arrays to supply emergency power for Fort Carson, Colo.
The project is part of a Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) called the Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security (SPIDERS)—a joint effort between the US Departments of Defense, Energy and Homeland Security. SPIDERS aims to create a resilient, more reliable microgrid designed to protect against extended power outages caused by natural disasters, accidents or attacks—and, ultimately, to enhance electric power surety for national security.
New international interest group to promote harmonized electromobility data standards
October 22, 2012
Hubject GmbH, a joint venture formed by BMW Group, Bosch, Daimler, EnBW, RWE and Siemens earlier this year, and eighteen other companies have formed the “eMobility ICT Interoperability Interest Group”—an international interest group to promote harmonized electromobility data standards. These would support, for example, integrated charging infrastructures and the easier provision of supplementary services.
Electric cars will become more integrated into the intelligent traffic infrastructure and energy networks of the future than conventional combustion engines, with modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) forming the backbone for the integration of electric vehicles into these networks, the partners note. The cooperation between as many service providers as possible provides the foundation needed to ensure a standardized data exchange between all players and to reduce barriers for the users.
Study finds households manage charging of PHEVs without help from online tools
October 17, 2012
Households with plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) and smart meters actively managed how, when and where they charged their cars based on electricity rates but rarely took advantage of online feedback, according to a two-year study by a team at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI).
The study, sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales USA with the integral partnership of Xcel Energy, is one of the only of its kind, combining both household and vehicle data in a smart-grid context.
Hydro-Québec launches V2G-V2H [repost]
July 26, 2012
[This is a repost of the H-Q story. Due to as as-yet undiagnosed pubishing problem, some stories, as H-Q below, render on the home page, but have a dead link to the remainder. TypePad is working on it. —GCC]
Hydro-Québec’s research institute (IREQ) has awarded GRIDbot Canada the contract for the development and supply of an advanced bidirectional charging station for an experimental project on vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-home power exchanges (V2G-V2H).
To carry out the project, IREQ will assemble an electric test vehicle that will showcase Québec-designed technologies. TM4, a Hydro-Québec subsidiary, will supply a latest-generation TM4 MФTIVE electric powertrain system. (Earlier post.) B3CG Interconnect, a company from Saint-Eustache, along with its partners, the Centre National du Transport Avancé (national centre for advanced transportation) in Saint-Jérôme and Brioconcept, based in Laval, developed a bidirectional charger that will be integrated to the charging station built by GRIDbot.
GM and OnStar sign on as official Pecan Street partners; studying EV services and smart grid interaction
July 24, 2012
OnStar and General Motors are partnering in the Pecan Street Inc.’s smart grid research project in Austin’s Mueller community, the Pecan Street Demonstration. Headquartered at The University of Texas at Austin, Pecan Street Inc. is a research and development organization focused on developing and testing advanced technology, business model and customer behavior surrounding advanced energy management systems.
Chevrolet made 100 Chevrolet Volts available for purchase on a priority basis last September to residents participating the Pecan Street Inc.’s demonstration project, which now has the nation’s highest residential concentration of electric-drive vehicles in place. OnStar and GM are now signing on as an official partner of Pecan Street Inc., to help shape future electric vehicle services.
International Transport Forum brief suggests Smart Grid and EV technologies could be mutually beneficial; V2X potential
July 06, 2012
A new policy brief published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) International Transport Forum (ITF) notes that existing electricity systems will need to be reconfigured to support the widespread adoption of electric mobility and suggests that Smart Grid technologies and EVs and EVs could be mutually beneficial. EVs could both benefit from and help to drive forward investment in Smart Grids.
EVs could grow to account for a substantial share of total electricity consumption and peak load, increasing peak demand by over 20% in some long term scenarios, according to the brief. The greater the increase in consumption, the larger the potential benefits from Smart Grid technologies that improve the ability of the electric utility to follow load, and schedule EV charging outside of peak hours.
Toyota develops vehicle-to-home (V2H) power system; testing begins at the end of year
June 04, 2012
|Energy management with the V2H system. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has developed a vehicle-to_home (V2H) system for the mutual sharing of power between plug-in vehicles—plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs) and electric vehicles (EVs)—and homes. The V2H system is to start testing, using Prius PHVs, at the end of 2012 in approximately ten households as part of the Toyota City Low-Carbon Verification Project (Toyota City Project) that began in April 2010.
The announcement follows on Nissan’s introduction of the LEAF-to-home V2H system, which can supply electricity from Nissan LEAF electric vehicles (EV) to residential homes when used with the “EV Power Station” unit—also a 6 kW charger for charging the LEAF—developed by Nichicon Corporation. (Earlier post.)
Nissan to launch the “LEAF to Home” V2H power supply system with Nichicon “EV Power Station” in June
May 30, 2012
|LEAF to Home with EV Power Station. Click to enlarge.|
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. will launch the “LEAF to Home” V2H (vehicle-to-home) power supply system, which can supply electricity from the 24 kWh Li-ion battery pack in Nissan LEAF electric vehicles (EV) to residential homes when used with the “EV Power Station” unit—which is also a 6 kW charger for charging the LEAF—developed by Nichicon Corporation.
Nissan will showcase this system at its Japanese dealership showrooms beginning in June to help promote efficient electricity management and demonstrate the features built into electric vehicles. The company plans to sell 10,000 units during the fiscal year.