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UTokyo, Toyota, TRENDE to begin testing of blockchain-enabled P2P electricity system including PHEVs

The University of Tokyo (UTokyo), Toyota Motor Corporation, and TRENDE Inc., will jointly conduct tests from 17 June at Toyota’s Higashifuji Technical Center and the surrounding area, on a next-generation peer-to-peer electricity system (P2P electricity transactions) that enables homes, businesses, and electrified vehicles connected to the electricity grid to trade electricity using blockchain.

As distributed power supplies such as solar panels, secondary batteries, and electrified vehicles become increasingly widespread, Japan’s electricity supply system is in a transitional state as it shifts from its traditional large-scale consolidated system to a distributed system by which individuals and businesses own their own power supply.

The objective of the test is to verify the economic advantage of having prosumers, who generate electricity with their own distributed power supply, trade electricity with electricity consumers, via an electricity exchange market, at prices that reflect supply and demand conditions, and to assess the feasibility of a two-way, self-autonomous electricity supply system that allows direct trading with other prosumers.

Specific steps of the test include the establishment of an electricity exchange accessible by households and businesses participating in the test, and the installation of an AI-powered electricity management system (an electricity trading agent) in each household and business.

The electricity trading agent places orders to buy and sell electricity in an electricity exchange based on electrical consumption and forecasts of electrical power to be generated by solar panels at households and businesses. Electricity transactions between individuals are implemented using a defined algorithm that matches buy and sell orders that are collected in the electricity exchange from each household and business.

This is the world’s first test for electricity trading between individuals that incorporates PHEVs as a distributed power supply, in addition to solar panels and secondary batteries. The test aims to verify the economic advantage of having electricity consumers and prosumers trade electricity through market transactions. It will also simulate electricity consignment fees based on distance, and verify an algorithm for predicting the electricity demands of electrified vehicles, which have varying electrical consumption levels based on cruising range.

The test design includes two types of electricity consumers (owners and non-owners of PHEVs) and four types of prosumers (owners of only solar panels; owners of solar panels and secondary batteries; owners of solar panels and a PHEV; and owners of solar panels, secondary batteries, and a PHEV).

Diagram of the Concept

1. Bidding information from each household, business, and PHEV is consolidated at the electricity exchange.

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2. The electricity exchange completes transactions by matching sell and buy conditions.

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3. The traded electricity is implemented over the power distribution and transmission grid according to the completed transaction.

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Comments

HarveyD

Improved electricity exchange between various REs, electrified vehicles and other mobile storage units, residential and commercial fixed storage units and electrolysers/FCs systems may become one of the best solution to arrive to 24/7 REs in the not too distant future.

Hope that CPPs, NGPPs and NPPs owners/operators/supporters will not try to block or delay this major development.

Engineer-Poet

This can work so long as there is little "prosumer" generation compared to total load.  If everyone tried to be a "prosumer", the situation would eventually develop that everyone had excess power to sell at noon, nobody wanted to buy, and prices would go to zero.

Long before that time, the increasing demands on the remaining generators to provide balancing, regulation and reactive power would overwhelm the system and cause collapses and blackouts.

Lad

In the power industry the rule is don't generate more energy than you can use or sell. The Texas grid has in the past generated surplus wind power and had to offered consumers 'free power' hoping not to pay to dump it.

This blockchain idea looks good on paper; but, the software to run it will definitely need to be smart.

HarveyD

Smart energy exchange can and should be beneficial to both users and suppliers. Of course, selling/buying prices will vary depending on requirements. As with any other products/services, end users will have to buy and or sell at the right times to maximize benefits.

A small home computer, with the appropriate program and power switches, could manage in/outs effectively.

Well managed, this could increase the use of higher level lower cost 24/7 REs and allow the progressive closing of old CPPs, NPPs, NGPPs.

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