Smart grid R&D: The beat goes on

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Pilot will determine if EVs and the power grid can talk the talk

A new pilot project by IBM, Honda and PG&E will test an electric vehicle's ability to receive and respond to charge instructions based on the grid condition and the vehicle's battery state. The idea is that with visibility into charging patterns, energy providers can more effectively manage charging during peak hours and create consumer-friendly programs to encourage electric vehicle adoption. The demonstration combines grid and vehicle data to create an individualized charging plan for Honda's Fit EV battery electric vehicles, using IBM's cloud-based software platform. By utilizing the existing in-vehicle communications system in the EV, it can interact with utilities and the grid, creating a direct channel for sending and receiving usage information that could improve local grid management.

 

"The growth and success of EV adoption is reliant upon many factors, ranging from vehicle price and performance, to infrastructure readiness, to the consumer experience – a scope that cannot be addressed by one sole industry," said Allan Schurr, Vice President, Strategy and Development of IBM's Global Energy and Utilities Industry. "This project with Honda and PG&E represents a significant step towards building an intelligent infrastructure that integrates capabilities and technologies across three major players. We are creating a system that allows electric vehicles to communicate with the power grid – this is groundbreaking." Read more on page 2 >>

IBM, Honda, and PG&E Enable Smarter Charging for Electric Vehicles

Pilot Project Allows Utilities to Communicate Charging Instructions Directly to EVs Based on Power Grid Conditions

ARMONK, N.Y., April 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM today announced that it has teamed with American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) (NYSE: PCG) on a new pilot project that will allow communication between electric vehicles (EVs) and the power grid. This project will demonstrate and test an electric vehicle's ability to receive and respond to charge instructions based on the grid condition and the vehicle's battery state. With visibility into charging patterns, energy providers will have the ability to more effectively manage charging during peak hours and create consumer-friendly programs to encourage electric vehicle adoption.

The energy requirements for electric vehicles will challenge the current power grid as plug-in vehicle counts continue to grow to an expected 2.9 million worldwide by 2017. This project has the potential to ease the infrastructure and consumer concerns associated with the mass adoption of EVs, by adding another layer of agility to the EV charging process. This level of intelligence will help make charging seamless for consumers, while ensuring the electricity source is reliable and the infrastructure is stable.

This demonstration combines grid and vehicle data to create an individualized charging plan for Honda's Fit EV battery electric vehicles (BEV), using IBM's cloud based software platform. By utilizing the existing in-vehicle communications system in the Honda Fit EV, the electric vehicle can interact with utilities and the grid, creating a direct channel for sending and receiving usage information that could improve local grid management.

"This pilot project with IBM and Honda will help us demonstrate that third-party providers have the systems and capabilities to help meet some of the challenges that electric vehicles could place on the power grid as their adoption increases in the coming years," said Saul Zambrano, senior director for consumer products for PG&E. "With updated charging patterns for EVs, we have the ability if needed, to shift demand to non-peak times to ensure the reliability of the grid so that we can continue to deliver safe, reliable and affordable energy to our customers."

Once plugged into a charge post, the Honda Fit EV initiates a charge request via the vehicles telematics system, an integrated telecommunication application that is often used for navigation. This request is sent to IBM's Electric Vehicle Enablement Platform where vehicle data such as battery state and grid data received from PG&E, is combined to create an optimized charge schedule, which is then communicated back to the vehicle in seconds. Using this aggregated data, the vehicle has the intelligence to charge to the level that is needed while factoring any current grid constraints.

Using real time and simulated data, the system will test and demonstrate the ability to alter, as well as adapt charging patterns based on grid conditions. This smart charging capability will enable energy providers to manage the power used by EVs during peak times by instructing vehicles to delay or adjust charging if required.

"One of Honda's main objectives is to work to advance technologies that can address society's environmental and energy concerns through both alternative powertrain technologies, like our 2013 Honda Fit EV battery electric vehicle, and through groundbreaking research initiatives similar to the Smart Charge project that we are collaborating on with IBM and PG&E," said Steven Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office at American Honda. "It is our hope that these technologies and infrastructure will pave the way for EVs of the future to be synched to local electric grids to intuitively and seamlessly manage charging experiences."

Additionally, the IBM EV platform can collate historical EV charging data and create a profile that can be used to forecast the location and duration of EV charge loads. For example, the program can determine how many EVs are plugged in one neighborhood and the time it will take for each to reach a full charge. This level of insight will allow utilities to optimize grid operations and help reduce the chance of outages – a possible concern as the number of EVs increase.

"The growth and success of EV adoption is reliant upon many factors, ranging from vehicle price and performance, to infrastructure readiness, to the consumer experience – a scope that cannot be addressed by one sole industry," said Allan Schurr, Vice President, Strategy and Development of IBM's Global Energy and Utilities Industry. "This project with Honda and PG&E represents a significant step towards building an intelligent infrastructure that integrates capabilities and technologies across three major players. We are creating a system that allows electric vehicles to communicate with the power grid – this is groundbreaking."

Convenient Consumer Charging

By communicating information directly to the vehicle, this project has the potential to significantly improve driver services. For example, the IBM's cloud based platform could provide charge post location information and availability directly to the EV, using the telematics and Satellite-Linked Navigation to guide the driver to the most convenient place to charge.

This project along with the recently announced EKZ Smartphone Application (app) pilot will help engage consumers and encourage more drivers to "plug in." The smartphone app shows the vehicles battery level, range of travel distance, vehicle location, and current energy costs in real time. This technology coupled with the ability to communicate directly with charging stations via a GPS system, will offer consumers a uniquely "connected" driving experience.

In addition to the two pilot projects, IBM is currently a member of the EcoGrid EU consortium, a group focused on developing an energy grid that uses at least 50 percent of renewable energy sources, such as wind power, solar energy and biogas. Instead of just using car batteries to balance the load like EDISON, the EcoGrid consortium is using appliances, heat pumps and electric water heaters to also store excess energy.

IBM and Smart Grid

IBM is involved in more than 150 smart grid engagements around the world, in both mature and emerging markets. More about IBM's vision to bring a new level of intelligence to how the world works—how every person, business, organization, government, natural system, and man-made system interacts, can be found here: http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet

For more information about Smarter Energy at IBM, please visit: www.ibm.com/press/smarterenergy. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Honda

Honda offers a diverse lineup of 11 cars and trucks that include the mid-sized Accord, the compact Civic line-up of seven individual models, CR-V crossover SUV and Odyssey minivan. Honda also offers a wide range of fuel-efficient and low-emission vehicles that include the Insight hybrid, Civic Natural Gas (compressed natural gas-powered vehicle), Civic Hybrid, CR-Z (sport hybrid coupe), FCX Clarity (fuel cell-electric vehicle) and the soon-to-be-released Fit EV (electric vehicle). Honda's 2013 Fit EV battery electric commuter car, based on its popular Fit hatchback, targets an estimated 123 mile per charge (city-driving scenarios) and can fully recharge its battery in as little as three hours when connected to a 240-volt circuit. For more information about the Honda Fit EV battery electric vehicle and to sign up to become a potential Honda lessee, please visit Honda's Fit EV Facebook page.

 

SOURCE PG&E Corporation

 

 

LIPA Selects Landis+Gyr for Smart Grid Demonstration Project

ATLANTA, April 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) has selected Landis+Gyr to deploy a smart grid demonstration project that will test consumer response to dynamic pricing signals, as well as the scalability of smart grid technology in the Route 110 corridor located in Farmingdale, NY which is part of LIPA's service territory.

The project includes deployment of Landis+Gyr's Gridstreamâ„¢ RF smart grid network, along with advanced meters and in-home energy displays to consumers in the town of Farmingdale on Long Island, NY. The project area, which includes the Farmingdale State College campus, was chosen because it is representative of LIPA's customer base in terms of demand levels and percentage of residential versus commercial customers.

"We are working with LIPA to demonstrate how advanced metering improves reliability, power quality and energy efficiency," said Gary High, Vice President of Sales at Landis+Gyr. "This involves demonstrating all of the advanced metering functions for monitoring and managing power delivery, as well as effective ways to engage consumers by providing more information about energy use and tools to improve efficiency."

LIPA and its partners, Stony Brook University and Farmingdale State College, received a Smart Grid Investment Grant from the Department of Energy to fund the project. They are using this demonstration project to provide a comprehensive assessment of the benefits of smart grid technology. In addition to advanced metering, the utility is interested in solutions to automate and control distribution devices. Deployment of the Gridstream network and advanced meters is scheduled to be completed by June of 2012.

"We will be evaluating strategies for using smart grid technology to improve energy efficiency and help our customers to better manage their costs while providing excellent reliability and customer service," said Michael D. Hervey, Chief Operating Officer for the Long Island Power Authority. "The Gridstream network was chosen because of the ability of the network to support our advanced metering, distribution automation and home energy management goals for this evaluation."

Gridstream RF technology uses a highly versatile and proven radio mesh network to communicate with meters, in-premise devices and distribution automation equipment. Gridstream devices use the Smart Energy Profile standard to enable communication with smart appliances and in-home units. This technology is currently being deployed to millions of residential and commercial sites across North America.

Based in Uniondale, NY, LIPA is a non-profit municipal electric provider that owns and operates the retail electric transmission and distribution system on Long Island and provides electric service to more than 1.1 million customers in Nassau and Suffolk counties and the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens. LIPA is the second largest municipal electric utility in the nation in terms of electric revenues, third largest in terms of customers served and the seventh largest in terms of electricity delivered.

About Landis+Gyr

Landis+Gyr is the leading global provider of integrated energy management products tailored to energy company needs and unique in its ability to deliver true end-to-end advanced metering solutions. Today, the Company offers the broadest portfolio of products and services in the electricity metering industry, and is paving the way for the next generation of smart grid. With annualized sales of more than US$1.5 billion, Landis+Gyr, a standalone growth platform of the Toshiba Corporation (TKY:6502) and 40% owned by the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, operates in 30 countries across five continents, and employs 5,000 people with the sole mission of helping the world manage energy better. More information is available at landisgyr.com.

 

 

SOURCE Landis+Gyr

 

 

Sweden’s first energy storage in unique test for loading electrical vehicles

A few months ago, the first energy storage in Sweden was inaugurated in the town of Falköping. Now the local utility, Falbygdens Energi, will test how well the storage can load electrical vehicles and take up power from solar cells.

2012-04-12 – ABB, The leading power and automation group, delivered the first energy storage in Sweden to Falbygdens Energi in Falköping a few months ago. Now the utility will test how well this storage is capable of loading electrical cars and take up power generated from solar cells. The test will take place in three steps, of which the first test step is already running.

Now the utility will start doing tests with four electrical Volvo C30 cars, to be loaded with electrical power from the energy storage supplied by ABB. The energy is stored in 20 Li-ion batteries that are able to supply 75 kW per hour.

The aim is to study how the voltage and power quality is affected in the local grid when electrical vehicles are being connected to the grid as well as to see how well the energy storage can handle peak loads that will arise.

The third test step will study the impact on the grid and the energy storage from the supply of so called intermittent energy, i.e. when the power supply is controlled by weather and wind and therefore comes in fluctuating intervals and uneven amounts.

“Wind and solar power, with many single wind turbines and small solar power plants, and electrical cars loading their batteries – and also maybe unloading them and feeding power back into the grid – may cause many and substantial fluctuations in local networks,” said Lars Ohlsson, COE, Falköpings industry, Sweden.

The energy storage is developed by ABB and is the only energy storage for low-voltage grids that has been sold so far in Sweden.

“It is a prototype that we will use to learn more about how to utilize local green, small-scale power generation and attain a more even load over 24 hours,” said Fredrik Isacsson, customer responsible at ABB.

In addition to Feab and ABB, also Göteborg Energi, Metrum (supplying metering equipment to measure power quality, output and losses in the grid) and the technical consultants Sweco participate in the Falköping project. The total budget is close to 4 million kronor, of which the state authority Energimyndigheten contributes with around 20 percent.

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering their environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people.