EV packs can balance the grid's load reducing utilities' infrastructure upgrade$

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EV packs can balance the grid's load reducing utilities' infrastructure upgrade$

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How Electric Cars Can Make Your Electricity Cheaper And More Reliable
Dec 11, 2017  Constance Douris , Contributor

[image  / Max Pixel
Batteries of electric vehicles can decrease the amount of money utilities
pay for infrastructure upgrades

Electric cars, specifically their batteries, can help balance supply and
demand on the grid. In fact, Pacific Gas & Electric and BMW recently
released results from a pilot program that demonstrates how electric
vehicles can be used as a flexible grid resource while saving money.

Batteries in electric vehicles could help regulate fluctuations caused by
disparities in electricity generation and demand. Power flows are balanced
with these batteries that provide electricity when demand exceeds supply or
absorb excess power when it surpasses demand. As a result, less electricity
is wasted and wear and tear on existing infrastructure is diminished.

Electric vehicle batteries can support renewable energy on the grid with
their storage capability. Energy provided by renewable sources could be
absorbed by the batteries and stored for later use. The stored electricity
could be used to operate the vehicle or sold back to the grid and help
balance supply and demand.

Because electric vehicle batteries can help balance the load on the grid,
they could reduce the amount of money utilities allocate to infrastructure
upgrades. Utilities spend a lot of money on infrastructure and maintenance
because they must guarantee continuity of the electricity supply.

Such improvements to the electric system, such as transformers or
re-conductoring distribution lines, are expensive. One transformer alone can
cost millions of dollars, depending on the size and manufacturer.

Maintaining voltage level on the grid is a critical technical challenge for
operators. In fact, many major power outages are at least partially
attributed to problems related to transmitting volatile power to load

Currently, voltage support is provided by resources that generate power.
However, electric vehicle batteries can also generate the power necessary
for voltage support. These cars are already located within the load centers
where power is needed most, making them an especially useful resource.

Drivers could also reap many benefits as a result of owning an electric car.
For instance, electric car batteries could monitor power quality in the home
and discharge electricity to prevent disturbances. This is important because
poor power quality may result in service interruptions.

In addition, electric car batteries can be used to export power during an
outage, enhancing reliability. After the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami
in Japan, Mitsubishi Motors sought to provide electricity from its i-MiEV
electric car available to power homes. Thus, the MiEV Power Box was created.

The MiEV Power Box makes electricity from a car readily available. The box
can be placed in the trunk of a car to ensure electricity is available at
any moment. It is about the size of two shoe boxes and weighs almost 25
pounds. The Power Box can also operate with Nichicon’s EV Power Station to
provide electricity to an entire house. The station hooks up to a home’s
electrical system and is the size of a mini refrigerator.

If the utility provides time differentiated rates, customers may experience
lower electricity bills and even make some money from the storage capacity
of these car batteries. Such a rate structure would allow drivers to charge
their vehicles when the cost of electricity is low during off peak times and
sell the electricity back to the grid for a higher rate when demand is high.

Electric vehicles can help save customers money and make the grid more
reliable. Patience is necessary as it will take time to develop efficient
and accurate vehicle-to-grid technologies to realize these advantages.
However, electric vehicles provide many more benefits than just improving
air quality – they can enhance the resiliency and reliability of the grid.
[© forbes.com]

How To Read Conflicting Energy Headlines
Dec 11, 2017  At the national level, popular website thinkprogress.org
announces “To beat Tesla, China plans to boost electric vehicle sales
10-fold”. For its part, the Financial Times notes that “Subsidies help China
sell the most electric cars.” Again, the two might be taken as
contradictory, but aren't really. However, the second is more ...

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