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Honda joins vehicle-to-grid technology demonstration project in partnership with University of Delaware and NRG Energy

Honda has joined a demonstration project for experimental vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology aimed at providing a potentially valuable energy storage resource to the electrical grid while providing for more cost-effective ownership of plug-in electric vehicles.

The Honda technology builds off of the research conducted by the University of Delaware and now supported by NRG Energy, Inc. through their eV2g joint venture (earlier post). eV2g came online early in 2013 with the first revenue-generating vehicle-to-grid project, demonstrating the controls, regulatory requirements, and market participation rules for selling energy storage from vehicles into the PJM Interconnection Regulation Market. (Earlier post.)

Partners in that demonstration include BMW AG providing 15 battery-electric MINIs (@ 12-15 kW each, providing blocks of 100 kW as required in PJM’s frequency regulation market); Milbank Manufacturing providing charging stations based on UD technology; AutoPort Inc. installing UD control technology into the EVs; and others.

The ev2g project is designed to answer a number of questions, including:

  • Inverter. Vehicle to grid is more valuable when there is a bi-directional power flow; can inverter technology be successfully adapted for vehicle to grid applications?

  • Battery. What grid markets are suitable or not suitable for battery life? Will battery life be negatively affected by lots of movement within a narrow SOC band (eg. frequency regulation)?

  • Power Capacity. Higher power increases revenues, while lower power reduces upfront infrastructure/inverter costs; What is the optimal power capacity?

  • Infrastructure. Is vehicle to grid better suited for larger, charging depots or single family residences? To what extent is local utility cooperation required?

Honda is supplying an Accord Plug-In Hybrid with added V2G capabilities to the University’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus jointly to investigate the potential of this technology to benefit the electrical grid, vehicle owners and society.

Using smart grid technology, the V2G system is able to monitor the status of the grid to determine whether the grid requires additional power sources that can respond rapidly, or the grid requires power demands that can absorb transitional power supply. Such a system has the potential to reduce or eliminate the fluctuation of the grid, which can occur more frequently when renewable energy sources are introduced to the grid. Electric vehicle owners potentially benefit from supporting a more stable power grid, which can lead to reduced utility costs for the vehicle owner.

The Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid demonstration vehicle is equipped with a bi-directional on-board charger, which allows the vehicle propulsion battery to both charge from and discharge to the electrical grid.

With an additional communication device, the vehicle receives signals from a grid operator via a charging station, and controls charge and discharge in accordance with the signals. When electric power is requested by the grid, the vehicle will discharge power from its battery. When the grid power supply exceeds demand, the vehicle proactively charges its battery.

The participation of global automakers like Honda will help demonstrate and refine the technology. The University of Delaware has been developing the technology so that vehicle batteries can be used not only for mobility but also for grid services. It is a big step toward a future with widespread availability of the technology to have Honda join our demonstration with their V2G-capable car.

—Willett Kempton, professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment and Research Director of the University of Delaware’s Center for Carbon-Free Power Integration

The demonstration is conducted in the area served by PJM Interconnection, which controls electricity supply in 13 states and the District of Columbia.

As the US adds more intermittent resources to the grid, finding a lower cost energy storage technology that also benefits electric vehicle drivers is a great opportunity. We see this demonstration by Honda as an important step in the development of vehicle to grid technology.

—Denise Wilson, NRG Executive Vice President and President, New Businesses




Honda makes the best Engines and their Hybrid Engines have become an icon for a new era ! Japanese manufacturers are pioneers in Engine technology. Japanese Engines are economical and last longer !

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