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Coritech Services orders Ideal Power’s bi-directional battery converters for DoD vehicle-to-grid program

Ideal Power Inc., developer of a power conversion technology called Power Packet Switching Architecture (PPSA), received a purchase order for ten of its PPSA-enabled 30 kW battery converters from Coritech Services, a provider of custom engineering solutions for a variety of applications including electric vehicle charging. Coritech intends to install the battery converters in its bi-directional electric vehicle charging system for use in Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) applications for the Department of Defense (DoD).

A new approach to electronic power converters, PPSA has a 100% indirect power transfer compared to direct power transfer from conventional power converters. All the energy runs through, and is temporarily stored in, a high-frequency AC link consisting of an inductor and capacitor.

Since the input and output are never directly connected together, this novel current modulation technique provides circuit isolation without the size, weight, cost, and efficiency loss of a transformer. It also provides buck/boost voltage conversion, bi-directional power transfer, and multiport applications with any combination of independently-controlled AC and DC power ports.

Among the many benefits of PPSA as compared with conventional systems are reduced size, lower cost and improved efficiency.

Ideal Power’s 30 kW Bi-Directional Battery Converter (IBC-30kW-480) is suited for DC fast charging of electrified vehicles including Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) and fully Electric Vehicles (EV), significantly lowering charging time and improving charging efficiency compared to on-board low-power AC charging systems. Multiple IBC-30kW-480 converters can be used in parallel to provide higher power capability.

Diagram 2
Application diagram. Click to enlarge.

V2G technology allows electrified vehicles to supply power to the local grid to improve the energy independency and grid resiliency of commercial and government installations.

In 2013, Coritech developed a commercial truck V2G demonstration as part of the Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security (“SPIDERS”) program. (Earlier post.) SPIDERS is a joint program that includes the participation of the DoD, Department of Energy and Department of Homeland Security.

After the initial demonstration phases of the SPIDERS program were completed, the DoD announced plans to enable a wider deployment of up to 500 electric vehicles at select installations. Coritech plans to deploy systems that include the PPSA battery converters it is purchasing at these DoD installations.

Navigant Research estimates more than 250,000 V2G-enabled electric vehicles will be sold worldwide from 2013 to 2022. The SPIDERS program is expected to help inform larger infrastructure investment decisions and adoption of renewable energy and advanced energy storage in the civilian sector.



As more Extended range BEVs with 120+ kWh battery pack become a reality, this type of modular V2G units will be very useful to stabilize the grid.

Connected BEVs could offer 50% of their large battery capacity for use at a given higher price ($0.25/kWh) during peak hours and get access to lower price ($0.05/kWh) energy outside peak hours.

Most extended range BEVs could run energy free.

Patrick Free

I agree this makes a lot of sense and is of huge interest. Then we need to understand how the Smart grid will be able to "pilot" that remotely (What Software used via what communication link, with what intelligence put where ?), and the car user will say what he allows or not or only within limits, depending on his real needs when he connects his car to the grid, and benefits he can get when helping the grid. This will add charge/discharge cycles to his battery, wearing it faster than otherwise, so there should be a compensation for the EV owner to allow this too.
For sure connecting to the grid during #8H overnight or #8H during work day, a car with an already half-full huge battery, i.e. today Tesla 85KWH top models, when its average daily commutes only consume less than 25KWH, while on fast 22KW chargers the half 42.5KWH capacity letf to feed could be charged in only 2H per 24h day, leaves a huge freedom for the grid to use that valuable storage during the rest of the time this car could remain connected. Grid could use it as external storage working both ways, to help it as extra very precise and fast responding "generators" on peak consumption hours in the evenings and the winter nights, plus beginning of the mornings, and as cheap storage to consume excess grid supply and green energy, at the end of the morning and in the afternoon. For to consume the Solar generated power produced at lowest consumption hours where it's mainly wasted today. Problem will be how to manage that protecting both parties interests (Especially limiting battery wearing and compensating the user for it...etc), still feeding both parties requirements (When user need his car fully charged at a certain time some days when he has longer trips planned), and ensuring a smooth communication between the 2 x sides via Smartphones Apps automatically linked to the user agendas..etc. For sure that opens many positive perspectives in this future world of EVs... Great.


I could see homes having battery packs to quick charge an EV if necessary, provide load balancing for the grid and storage for solar panels. The modern home may make enough solar electricity to power itself and cars.

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