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Ideal Power Converters and NREL demonstrate vehicle-to-grid capabilities

Ideal Power Converters (IPC) announced that the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has successfully demonstrated vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities using IPC’s bi-directional Battery Converter.

IPC’s Battery Converter will provide bi-directional power between the EV battery and a 480Vac power grid. The Battery Converter is based on IPC’s patented indirect power converter topology and its Universal Power Converter Platform, which uses a standard hardware platform to address multiple markets with only embedded software modifications.

This same hardware platform is already commercially shipping in the company’s 30kW 480Vac photovoltaic (PV) inverter, which NREL is currently installing on a solar parking structure at their Vehicle Testing and Integration Facility.

The IPC Battery Converter weighs less than 100 lbs (45 kg) and can be wall-mounted inside or outside and will begin shipping in 2013 following industry certifications. The Battery Converter product will be cost-effective with conventional EV fast chargers and offer higher charging efficiency (96.5% forecasted), lower installation costs due to its lightweight design, and V2G capabilities, according to the company.

NREL successfully integrated and used the new global fast charging standard SAE J1772 combo-connector interface (earlier post) between the Battery Converter and EV, enabling power flow and communications in a single wired connection. The SAE J1772 combo-connector standard has been endorsed by the majority of global automotive manufacturers and is expected to be available within a year on a variety of electric vehicles.

Lessons learned from NREL’s technology integration demonstration will be applied to a demonstration of V2G-capable electric vehicles integrated with a microgrid at Ft. Carson Army Base in 2013.



I'm all for it since it helps spread a faster (30kW) charger network by providing another profit path for the charger provider. It would be nice if they could stack a couple of these units and get 60kw, or even 90kW.

Stack a few used-up Arizona Leaf packs and go into the business of grid stabilization.


That is an interesting idea.  You could have a station with some storage (plugged-in vehicles or dedicated), and possibly with some generation (PV, wind, co-generation).  It mostly uses the batteries to respond to short-term imbalances in grid supply vs. demand, with a charging curve superimposed for vehicular loads.  The system has a response time measured in cycles, while mechanical generators have response times measured in seconds to minutes.

AC Propulsion's vision of vehicles functioning as a buffer for the grid, creating increased stability and capability, comes closer to reality.

Roger Pham

Recently, a series of power black out and brown out have damaged equipments in our business, with expensive repair costs. Imagine one day business' and homes' equipments will be protected by simply plugging in PHEV's to the socket. No more power black out nor brown out either, since the cars' engines will simply crankup and provide the electricity once the batteries run low.

We used UPS's for computers, but the lead-acid batteries are just too short-lived, only last for a few years, and expensive and time-consuming to replace a bunch of them every so often!

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