Honda Accord plug-in will help standardize Power Grid Integration
The principle is a relatively simple one. Much like selling surplus power back to a regional utility via a residential integrated solar panel array, the University of Delaware is proposing the same for your plug- in, EV or Hybrid. Well, not exactly…
What we're truly looking at here is a surplus energy swap through a bitmap controller, that allows the idle car to communicate with the regional power grid manager. In the case of an electric car, the owner will control the amount of stored power “sold” back to the grid. In this example, we sight PJM Interconnection, the largest grid manager on the East Coast.
My hat comes off to Research Director Willett Kempton for launching the concept program in 2004. I like it, and we’ll need it…
I believe that in the not too distant future, the majority of automobiles on the road will be some form of fuel cell-EV or plug-in EV. Fossil fuel will be a thing of the past, and Grandpa’s 57 Chevy will be converted into living room furniture. Smog will be a problem of the past. Nuclear waste? That's for another story.
Here’s how it will work.
Your Accord plug in or FCEV(if it has plug -in capacity) will reverse -flow excess battery storage capacity back into the power grid via a controller developed through the UD’s Center for Carbon Free Integration. You can read about the program here. Assuming that electric car production reaches critical mass in the not too distant future, this energy swap will be critical in maintaining grid-flow during peak energy usage hours. And that’s a big if.
The partnership project between UD and Honda is on an ‘ experimental’ basis. For the program to be successful, a major manufacturer such as Honda would agree to integrate UD’s board into mass produced EV’s. BMW is also on board with the project.
This is how Honda see’s it...The technology to send power in two directions is new, said Marcos Frommer, a spokesman for Honda. There are technical and regulatory obstacles that need to be overcome, but eventually they envision using it in electric vehicles offered for sale, Frommer said.
In my opinion, the handwriting’s on the wall. Taking a look at the 2014-15 model year offerings from all the majors, plug-in EV or fuel cell EV is the future for personal transportation. This is a growing ( logical) trend that’s 150 years in the making. In the late 1800s those that had real money owned an electric powered carriage. They were clean, vibration free and by the turn of the century had a range of 100 miles between re-charge. The downside was battery technology and the initial purchase cost. A well appointed coach of the day approached $80,000 in today’s dollar.
With the advent of the internal combustion mass produced 4 wheeler, the expensive and generally slow electric car was reduced to alternative status. One reason was elementary, most of rural North America was not electrified until after world war two. That’s why when you see an antique photo of great grandfather’s farm you’ll most likely see a Ford or Dodge Brother’s truck or car in the background.
The first gas/electric hybrid concept is attributed to Dr. Ferdinand Porsche back in 1901. The car, although heavy and slow by today’s standard, was a vehicle of many firsts. 4 wheel brakes, all wheel drive, electric gasoline co-generation, and, for this story, the production of surplus energy stored in deep cell batteries.
As I stated in the first paragraph. Its been a long time coming. Welcome back to the future.