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(BBC-US)   UK energy company tests program to allow electric cars to serve as power banks for homes. It's sort of like charging your laptop with your phone   (bbc.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, pilot scheme, BBC News, Electric vehicle, electric car owners, energy company OVO, Automobile, BBC Click's Lara Lewington, Electric charge  
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225 clicks; posted to STEM » and Main » on 25 Nov 2020 at 12:03 PM (14 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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ZAZ [TotalFark]
2020-11-25 10:21:54 AM  
4 votes:
Decide you want to take a drive in late afternoon and find your car is discharged because the grid bought the "excess" power.
 
2020-11-26 9:38:40 AM  
1 vote:

Cthushi: linuxpyro: It also depends a lot on if utilities decide to incentivize this.  With more people installing solar, it might be worth it to correct imbalances at the customer side, and thus pay people to install home storage.

The other useful part is that it allows local 'generation' instead of using the cross-country power lines to provide the power.  The electricity is being pre-stored locally, instead of being produced and transmitted on demand.

For example, if one set of cross-country power lines can only handle 200,000 houses running air conditioning, and 250,000 houses want/need AC, then the power company may have to buy capacity on other power lines to provide the extra power (raising their costs).  A second option is having the option to turn off air conditioning on a rolling cycle (20 minutes off, 40 minutes on).  A third option is if they put a bunch of batteries in people's homes, then the batteries can discharge power into the grid where the demand is to help deal with the peak demand without needing to transmit that power over the long-distance lines.

Without the batteries (or controlling the air conditioning remotely), the cross-country power lines might have to deliver anywhere from 100,000 homes to 250,000 homes worth of power for AC.  With the batteries the power lines may have to deliver anywhere from 180,000 to 200,000 homes worth of power.  This avoids the company needing to upgrade the power lines for the rare peak loads.

The key is that the power company is the one buying and installing the batteries instead of the customer, which means the power company handles all the financing, installation, and risks.

https://www.portlandgeneral.com/our-co​mpany/news-room/news-releases/2020/07-​01-2020-pge-program-will-transform-hun​dreds-of-homes-into-a-virtual-power-pl​


Sure. This happens. In fact, it is big in Japan, where a lot of rural communities are getting hollowed out. The utilities, with existing grids that have to be supported, but which do not justify maintenance or upgrade. Usually something besides batteries is tried, such as some kind of small generating facility or biomass plant, but there have been cases where batteries have been used. Demand, for instance at night, pretty well sticks to a predictable pattern, so everything can be scaled.

This is not what the article is talking about. And this is not what is installed in Kent, UK, which one poster was describing. As you said, a utility will do this to limit its costs. Certainly this is a good use case for batteries.
 
2020-11-26 4:05:32 AM  
1 vote:
linuxpyro: It also depends a lot on if utilities decide to incentivize this.  With more people installing solar, it might be worth it to correct imbalances at the customer side, and thus pay people to install home storage.

The other useful part is that it allows local 'generation' instead of using the cross-country power lines to provide the power.  The electricity is being pre-stored locally, instead of being produced and transmitted on demand.

For example, if one set of cross-country power lines can only handle 200,000 houses running air conditioning, and 250,000 houses want/need AC, then the power company may have to buy capacity on other power lines to provide the extra power (raising their costs).  A second option is having the option to turn off air conditioning on a rolling cycle (20 minutes off, 40 minutes on).  A third option is if they put a bunch of batteries in people's homes, then the batteries can discharge power into the grid where the demand is to help deal with the peak demand without needing to transmit that power over the long-distance lines.

Without the batteries (or controlling the air conditioning remotely), the cross-country power lines might have to deliver anywhere from 100,000 homes to 250,000 homes worth of power for AC.  With the batteries the power lines may have to deliver anywhere from 180,000 to 200,000 homes worth of power.  This avoids the company needing to upgrade the power lines for the rare peak loads.

The key is that the power company is the one buying and installing the batteries instead of the customer, which means the power company handles all the financing, installation, and risks.

https://www.portlandgeneral.com/our-c​o​mpany/news-room/news-releases/2020/07-​01-2020-pge-program-will-transform-hun​dreds-of-homes-into-a-virtual-power-pl​
 
2020-11-25 11:44:07 PM  
1 vote:

2fardownthread: dyhchong: Ah yes, the old, "lets wear down the most expensive battery in the house that most relies on battery health as fast as we can to support the cheapest power source because the government doesn't want to make it actually reliable" routine.

This post is very good at showing how ass-backwards this winds up being. When charging the car, you are going from AC to DC (loss) then you have some loss in storage, then you convert from DC to AC (loss) and if you are running a computer, you have to go AC to DC again (loss). A daisy chain of losses!

The only way this makes sense is if batteries are subsidized and/or the electricity going into charging your car is "free."  Actually, from what I understand, charging is free at many locations in the US? I think I see a "tragedy of the commons" storm a-brewin'.  How long before people start charging their EVs and using their batteries to offset their home utility bills and to stick it to the man?

It is EV utopia.

Is this creating a resource, or is it just exploiting a pricing irregularity?


Regarding the wear on the battery, it depends on how hard you cycle it.  Even if you pull 5 kW from the battery, that's probably not as hard as driving it (depending on how you drive, etc.).  If the vehicle to grid scheme is to just shift whatever usage you have during peak times to off-peak times, so it doesn't look like you're using any power during those times because the car is supplying just enough, it's probably not too much of a problem.

For efficiency, yes you do incur losses during the different steps, but modern power conversion is pretty efficient.  I wouldn't be surprised if it's over 90% for the inverter/charger in the car, and it will probably be higher at higher loads.  (Think 5 kW vs 500 watts.)  Your computer's supply is going to have those losses anyway.  Modern technology tends to require lots of different voltages, and your computer or whatever probably has multiple converters cascaded anyways.

It also depends a lot on if utilities decide to incentivize this.  With more people installing solar, it might be worth it to correct imbalances at the customer side, and thus pay people to install home storage.
 
2020-11-25 5:45:59 PM  
1 vote:
I could see this feature being welcomed in parts of the US that get power cuts from storms, tornados, earthquake etc. No power for a couple of days? Have a Tesla or Prius? That'll be enough to keep your freezer, some lights and the TV going. I've read of people hacking a Prius to do exactly that, with of course the engine starting up if and when needed.
 
2020-11-25 11:03:39 AM  
1 vote:

ZAZ: Decide you want to take a drive in late afternoon and find your car is discharged because the grid bought the "excess" power.


Yeah, a self discharging car sounds like a brilliant idea.

eyeroll
 
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