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.