eTec and V2Green to Evaluate PHEV Fast-Charging and Smart Grid Interactions; V2Green and Coulomb Also Partner
Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (eTec), a wholly owned subsidiary of ECOtality, Inc., has launched a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) Grid Interaction Project to demonstrate and evaluate a bi-directional fast-charge system capable of both fast-charging a PHEV in 10 minutes and supplying the stored energy of a PHEV back to a smart grid.
Funded by the US Department of Energy through Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and supported by project partner V2Green, the project will pair the eTec Minit-Charger Level 3 fast-charge system with V2Green’s smart grid technology.
The bi-directional Level 3 charging system is capable of charging at rates up to 33 kW or 400 amps, but will be optimized for output rates sufficient to recharge the PHEV battery packs from the state-of-charge (SOC) threshold for charge-sustaining mode to 80% SOC in ten minutes.
eTec says that it will probably be charging in the 24 kW range with a maximum output of 100 amps. Vehicles currently participating in the project include an EnergyCS Prius equipped with a Valance lithium-ion battery pack, and a HyMotion Prius equipped with an A123 lithium-ion battery pack.
The project will also evaluate the impact of bi-directional fast-charging on PHEV battery life and performance. PHEVs involved in the project will be subject to strenuous charge-discharge cycles as each vehicle will be operated for a total of 5,440 miles.
This project combines leading fast-charge and smart grid technologies to quantify the public value and benefit of intelligently controlled, bi-directional fast-charging. In addition to reducing consumer energy costs by allowing more efficient energy consumption, fast, smart charging capabilities can reduce our oil dependence and allow us to diversify our energy portfolio with more renewable and sustainable energy sources.—John Clark, president and CEO, V2Green
At the Plug-in 2008 conference and exhibition in San Jose, V2Green staged a live demo of its smart grid technology controlling the bi-directional flow of electricity between the grid and a small fleet of plug-in vehicles, two of which were on the show floor: an AC Propulsion eBox electric car and an A123 Systems/Hymotion converted Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.
In addition to the eBox and Prius, V2Green demonstrated smart charging—managing the one-way flow of electricity from the grid to the vehicles—with simulated clients.
V2Green and Coulomb Technologies (earlier post) also announced a technology and marketing partnership to create an intelligent charging infrastructure for plug-in vehicles. Coulomb’s Smartlet Charging Stations and Communications Network provide convenient, easy-to-use charging stations, delivering bi-directional energy metering and user authentication.
The Coulomb-V2Green partnership will involve development of an open Application Programming Interface (API), interoperability testing and joint marketing.
Coulomb will initially support Level 1 charging (110V and 15A), with the subsequent addition of Level 2 (220V, 15A). Fast-charging Level 3 (480V) is projected for the future, according to Mike Harrigan, Coulomb’s VP of Business Development (formerly with Tesla Motors).
Idaho National Laboratory Advanced Vehicle Testing