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Software Startup Targets Vehicle-to-Grid Management

V2Green is a Seattle-based start-up that is developing a suite of software infrastructure products—the V2Green System—to manage the impact of plug-in hybrids on the grid and to generate vehicle-based power services.

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. V2Green will license the system to electric 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.

The VCM sits in the vehicle sending charging control signals to the car’s power electronics and logging and communicating performance data back to the V2Green Server. V2Green also offers a Technology Evaluation Kit (TEK) that combines access to the V2Green Server and Connectivity Module with associated support services, providing utilities with an early opportunity to conduct plug-in vehicle field tests.

Xcel Energy is already using the TEK for discovery and planning, according to V2Green.

V2Green was founded by David Kaplan, Seth Bridges and Seth Pollack. Both Kaplan and Pollack had worked at Microsoft. Kaplan helped to create Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access, and Microsoft’s internet services software. Pollack focused on operating systems, search technology, and web servers, and designed and delivered Active Server Pages (ASP).

According to a profile of the company in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer,

One big challenge facing V2Green is that the software must reside both inside the vehicle and at the utility, a potential hang-up that could delay implementation, given the long sales cycles in those industries.

That’s one of the reasons Kaplan wanted to enter the market early, so the company could have a seat at the table as the utilities and the car manufacturers start to address power management issues.

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