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robatnorcross
User Rank
Gold
I dont even know where to start...
robatnorcross   12/22/2011 4:05:32 PM
 

But I will anyway. As someone (formerly) in the fuel cell "business?" I can tell you that if you fall for this I have a fuel cell to sell you. Judging from the comments you should be able to tell that this is a very bad idea for the following (a few) reasons:

1- The power company is in the business of SELLING electrons not trading you back and forth for them. They will make sure that THEY make money and not you.

2- As soon as the govt. gets wind of this they will tax it.

3- YOU will be responsible for recycling the batteries NOT the utility company.

4- If you put a million vehicles on the grid there's not enough hours in the day that are not peak load to distribute out the demand for charging.

5- By the time you take 1kW-hr and subtract the transmission losses (lets say 10%) to your house and the losses in the charging system (lets say another 20% {i'm being generous})and the losses in the grid tied inverter (another 10%) your praobably left with about 50% of the electrons that the utility sent to you in the first place. So if you're buying electricity at 10 cents/kW-hr your sending 5 cents of electricity back to them. The utilities generate at about 3 cents. Why on a large scale are they going to pay you more unless they get the rest of the money somewhere else.

If the kind old power company is mandated by the govt to do this they'll just do what the banks did with credit cards. They will find out some other way to get the money.

Power companys dont care how much the electrons cost because they are allowed by the public service commissions to make a certain percent profit over their costs.

Thank you for your time.

Ralphy Boy
User Rank
Platinum
Re: This is an opportunity, not a negative!!
Ralphy Boy   12/22/2011 12:32:00 AM
NO RATINGS
"Taking this thinking a little further, the microsupply does not have to be mobile, ie an EV.  It could be an older EV battery bank that doesn't hold enough for a car but can be set in the garage as a little money generator.  Small businesses might be set up to do this very thing, maybe with less costly battery technologies and in larger quantities."


Yes I'm going to ask... Where does this setup get the energy in the first place? If it comes from the grid the only way this idea will make money is if the power company allows the battery owner to set the system to buy (charge) only when the price is at it's daily low... and then sell back the same electrons when the daily peak need drives the price up... Possible? I guess. But profitable? Not after taxes and insurance... ; ) 

Ralphy Boy
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Good concept
Ralphy Boy   12/21/2011 3:43:09 PM
NO RATINGS
"As is normal in our society, economics of demand and supply will determine the extent of this phenomenon, but certainly some synergies could line up, - it would be most power generation authorities' dream to have the customers provide the battery banks for Peak time."

Sorry, but the gov will do what it is doing with the Volt and tried to do with Solyndra... Pick winners no matter the cost to tax payers or the validity of the idea. The only way this will happen is if the gov mandates it... much like the CAFE standards.

You yourself state that...

"The importance of EV's putting their extra energy into the grid is due to a single important fact, - the grid is drained dry at peak times, - morning when all are preparing to to work and Mainly, evening when everyone comes home, family is together, - cook dinner, watch TV, do chores"

Gee... at those times I'm either getting ready to use my car (EV) and need it to stay charged-up till I drive it to work... or I'm just getting home and it is in need of charging. I'll have no excess power at those times.

Admittedly, how much good or bad something like this would do is very hard to calculate.

And btw... let's not add $500 more to all the money that the gov is spending to subsidize the Volt... Please. Besides, hybrids like the Volt are the only ones that could/should be expected to do this uploading to the grid... unless we want to have EV's out of power when most needed; in an emergency.

I like the idea of smart charging times... but even that only goes so far because of the potential for an emergency at say... mid-night.

Sawmill Engineer
User Rank
Iron
This is an opportunity, not a negative!!
Sawmill Engineer   12/20/2011 4:28:57 PM
NO RATINGS
The idea of absorbing power at times of low utilization, lower cost power and putting it back to the grid during high demand,  higher cost times is a good one.  It really is a business idea that is independent of EV's--it's just that it comes to the forefront now that EV's are a reality, with their localized masses of battery power.  It has the potential to make every EV owner a small business without any effort on their part.

The issue may take a bit of buy-in by the power utilities, especially here in Canada, to make the business landscape more amenable to this kind of grid "micro support".  But supposing the business model was there, allowing spot purchasing of micropower when a grid needed the boost.

So, here's the scenario:  A grid operator sees a need for shot notice power coming up.  They send out an automated request on the internet for power.  Cars that are plugged in and (owner enabled) to feed power back to the grid respond.  The grid chooses 1000, 10,000, 50,000 responders to feed power.  During the event, some of the resonders may drop off because the car is required.  No big deal--the grid either drops the supplier and requests another or lives without that particular micro supply. After the event, the grid tells the responders to quit feeding power.  Now, here's the nice part: at the end of the month, there is an automatic deposit of money into the microsuppliers bank account or a credit to their power bill.

The idea of sending out a request for power to available suppliers will take some designing.   This would presumably allow an EV owner to set up parameters in their car to allow supporting the grid only at certain times, telling the car to hold back reserve in case of emergency, and be ready to have capacity to get to work (or make it home) at a certain time of day.

Taking this thinking a little further, the microsupply does not have to be mobile, ie an EV.  It could be an older EV battery bank that doesn't hold enough for a car but can be set in the garage as a little money generator.  Small businesses might be set up to do this very thing, maybe with less costly battery technologies and in larger quantities.

The dynamics of this kind of business that helps a utility is the key.  Utilities hate relying on anyone else for support to keep their grid up so they will likely be the ones doing the pushback.  However, as the grid power moves to more solar and wind generation that is not "firm power" (ie, available 24/7) then other support methods are necessary to fill in the holes in the power availablity.  It might take a bit of government push to kick off this idea of microsupply.

Jon.

 

BobGroh
User Rank
Platinum
EVs as a power source? Dubious IMHO
BobGroh   12/20/2011 11:10:20 AM
NO RATINGS
I have not read extensively into this subject but my first, second and third thoughts are that this sound's like an academic's pipe dream. I have a whole list of 'this doesn't really seem to make a lot of sense' so here goes.

But I will start off with the one plus: EVs are a possible energy source to balance out the sometimes unpredicatable delivery of renewable energy (e.g. solar and wind).

But having said that here is what I see as the other side of the coin.

#1: EVs are not a good source of energy per se. 

#2: The availability of the EV as a energy 'dump' don't match well (time wise) with one of the major sources of renewable energy (i.e. solar).

#3: As several writers have pointed out, there are substantial obstacles and costs to connecting EVs to the electrical grid.

#4: EVs as a resource for storing energy - total quantity (i.e. KWhr) unpredictable (you never know how many are going to be connected up) and probably small in relative terms to the need. 

#5: And did I mention the cost per KWhr.

#6:  And I doubt the utilities will like the idea of relying on something they have no control over

OK, enough said. Bottom line: interesting to think about and discuss but I doubt it makes a lot of sense.  IMHO.

Geoff Thomas
User Rank
Iron
Re: Good concept
Geoff Thomas   12/20/2011 2:40:45 AM
NO RATINGS
The importance of EV's putting their extra energy into the grid is due to a single important fact, - the grid is drained dry at peak times, - morning when all are preparing to to work and Mainly, evening when everyone comes home, family is together, - cook dinner, watch TV, do chores, use computer, shower, open fridge etc, and power stations are now only built to service those peak times, they can not get Return On Investment from working only 3-4 hours per day, - eventually that huge cost will be passed on to the consumer, and those with storage, like is in an EV,will be motivated to sell the electricity they took on board whilst they were at work, - at non peak time, and then they will re-charge after peak time, - a win for the power companies, - they don't have to build these non profit generators, and a win for the car owner, - they can earn some money towards their next battery bank.

As is normal in our society, economics of demand and supply will determine the extent of this phenomenon, but certainly some synergies could line up, - it would be most power generation authorities' dream to have the customers provide the battery banks for Peak time. Cheers, Geoff Thomas

Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Blogger
Revive IVHS
Alexander Wolfe   12/19/2011 6:57:26 PM
NO RATINGS
I know I sound like a broken record, but all these one-off improvements to alt.energy vehicles -- like autonomous driving and this V2G energy sharing -- mean nothing in isolation. Also, they won't be implementable. What we need is a revivable of the IVHS -- Intellgent Vehicle Highway System -- concept. It was nascent 20 years ago, ahead of its time technologically. Now that we have the technology, there's no will, interest, nor money to fund the infrastructure that would support something like V2G as well as make driving safer for everyone.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
EVs returning power to the grid???
William K.   12/19/2011 4:14:53 PM
How about some serious effort put toward developing something like the recently announced "polystyrene film" capacitor, an order of magnitude better than the current double-layer supercaps. The HUGE advantage of most capacitors is that they don't lose capacity over their lifetime, since there is no chemical reaction. So now the utility can do load shifting with the large capacitor banks, and as they discharge the utility can shift them into a series arrangement so that the inverters don't need to handle the wide input voltage range. 

An additional advantage is that the energy storage system could be located closer to the load centers because of being much safer.

The other big advantage of most capacitor technologies is that the materials are much less toxic. That cuts costs a great deal, since there would be no "hazmat" issues, and the materials are probably easier to recycle.

person12345
User Rank
Iron
Less Than Zero
person12345   12/19/2011 2:40:33 PM
NO RATINGS
I don't know much about power transmission efficiency, but I know it doesn't happen at no cost.  In addition to the many valid and thoughtful comments posted, pushing power from a charged EV battery back to the grid is wasteful.  The energy is already stored where it needs to be.   

If efficeiencies were 95% in both directions, we'd be using ~10% of the original source output to do nothing but move electrons around the grid and back to the EV.  Turning something into nothing doesn't seem too "green".

 

diskguy
User Rank
Silver
EV Second Hand Batteries
diskguy   12/19/2011 2:24:46 PM
NO RATINGS
When the EV battery has reduced it's capacity by 20 to 30 percent, these batteries would be useful for electrical energy storage as a standalone battery separate from the vehicle. The value of a used battery would offset the cost of a new replacement battery in the EV and provide a means for providing power to the grid.

As an EV owner, I would be reluctant to supply electricity to the grid not knowing what the battery cost will be, but having a backup capability when there is no grid power available would be worth the cost of a standby generator. 

So why should EVs be expected to provide the grid storage that renewable energy needs? Should not this be part of the renewable energy system and be reflected in the renewable energy cost?

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