NREL releases report on testing electric vehicles to optimize their performance with power grids

Dec 08, 2011

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have released a technical report that could help improve the performance of electric vehicles (EVs) and the efficiency of the electric utility grids that power them.

The report documents a series of test procedures designed to enable engineers, and utilities to evaluate the performance of various EVs and hybrids to optimize how they connect with electric utility grids today – and “smart grids” in the future. As more vehicles with large batteries come into use and smart grid technology advances, grid operators in the future may be able to take advantage of the two-way flow of power from EVs and hybrids plugged into utility grids to smooth spikes in demand and improve the reliability of their systems. Evaluating today’s technologies will advance the goal of transforming the nation’s transportation system to maximize and use of clean energy.

Engineering vehicles capable of interconnecting to the power system for bi-directional power flow is a key component of emerging “vehicle-to-grid” systems, in which plug-in EVs communicate with the power grid to deliver electricity or modulate their charging rates. The global vehicle-to-grid (V2G) market is expected to grow at a rapid pace, reaching the $2.25 billion mark in 2012 and accelerating to $40.4 billion by 2020, according to a new market analysis from GlobalData. 

“This report offers the first nationally available set of test procedures for V2G applications,” NREL Director of Energy Systems Integration Ben Kroposki said. “Unleashing the potential of to optimize grid performance will be instrumental as the world moves to a smart grid with much higher use of renewables, energy storage and load control.

The NREL report, Interim Test Procedures for Evaluating Electrical Performance and Grid Integration of Vehicle-to-Grid Applications, documents a series of tests developed to evaluate various V2G capable electric and hybrid electric vehicles to determine their ability to store and provide power to the utility grid and to connect and disconnect from the utility grid, while complying with IEEE standards. The report includes a general discussion on safety requirements and general test setup, as well as an overview of vehicle characteristics and test equipment. Each test scenario discusses the purpose of the test, test procedure, corresponding standards, and how the results are reported.

“NREL has developed these procedures based on our experience testing V2G-capable electric and vehicles,” said Sudipta Chakraborty, NREL research engineer and lead author of the report. “As we test additional vehicles, we expect that the test procedure will evolve to become more universal.”  

The intent of this report is to provide a way to evaluate V2G applications for utility interconnection – helping pave the way for wider use of EV’s and hybrids, as well as clean renewable energy for transportation – in the future. The test procedures also might become the industry standard down the road. 

“We developed the test procedures in this report using actual prototype vehicles equipped with advanced power electronics and advanced energy storage technologies,” said Bill Kramer, acting group manager for NREL’s Distributed Energy Systems Integration Group. “Once testing is expanded to a wider variety of vehicles, these procedures could become the foundation for testing standards for V2G applications.”

Funding for the development of the test procedures was provided by the U.S. ’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.

Explore further: Going nuts? Turkey looks to pistachios to heat new eco-city

More information: Download a copy of the report www.nrel.gov/docs/fy11osti/51001.pdf

Provided by National Renewable Energy Laboratory

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Smart software for self-regulating smart grid

May 24, 2011

Siemens and the utility company Allgauer Uberlandwerk (AUW) in the city of Kempten, Germany, are testing the smart grids of the future. The tests focus on optimized power distribution and the use of a self-organizing ...

Electric avenue: Electric cars on a two-way street?

Feb 18, 2010

Think of it as the end of cars' slacker days: No more sitting idle for hours in parking lots or garages racking up payments, but instead earning their keep by helping store power for the electricity grid.

Recommended for you

Obama launches measures to support solar energy in US

Apr 17, 2014

The White House Thursday announced a series of measures aimed at increasing solar energy production in the United States, particularly by encouraging the installation of solar panels in public spaces.

Tailored approach key to cookstove uptake

Apr 17, 2014

Worldwide, programs aiming to give safe, efficient cooking stoves to people in developing countries haven't had complete success—and local research has looked into why.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

A homemade solar lamp for developing countries

(Phys.org) —The solar lamp developed by the start-up LEDsafari is a more effective, safer, and less expensive form of illumination than the traditional oil lamp currently used by more than one billion people ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...