Storing distributed, rooftop solar power in EV batteries

Renewable energy power plants are mostly connected to the grid and is supplied as per demand. At times, when the power generated is more than the demand the energy produced would have to be stored to compensate with the heavy grid demands at peak times. This calls for the use of batteries as stationary storage units.

Electric vehicles powered by batteries could negate the need of additional storage systems. They could be powered by the excess power and supply it back to the grid during peak or emergencies or even supply the power to another system at a different location.

Nissan – Using feet vehicles for solar power storage

  •  4R Energy, an energy company focusing on circular economic principles, has collaborated with Nissan’s EV batteries, which can then be used to store solar energy from PV (photovoltaic) panels. 

Researchers at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia created an algorithm that can theoretically turn electric boats into small renewable power plants. They tested the algorithm with a microgrid in their lab, using four 6-volt gel batteries connected in a 24-V series as a stand-in for a boat. 

  • In their experiment, they found that the algorithm could manage power flows reliably enough to allow electric boats to provide peak load support to a grid directly after a trip.  
  • To implement this approach, they’d need an electric boat with its own PV system, which would charge the boat’s batteries when the boat was adrift. Then when the boat is docked, it could act as a small power plant, providing electricity to homes on the island. With the algorithm in place, boat owners could decide when to sell electricity—and how much they wanted to sell. They might, for example, set their system to automatically sell 10 percent of its stored energy, and only if the batteries are at least halfway charged.
  • The proposed technology works pretty similarly to the microgrids that are gradually rolling out in Indonesia—those microgrids also contain PVs to collect energy and lithium-ion batteries to store it. But there’s one key difference: portability. If Indonesia were hit with a natural disaster, those microgrids could be destroyed. Even Indonesia’s widely electrified islands may be impacted. With the new approach, the Indonesian government could use the boats it sent with food and supplies to also provide power.

Aggreko is set to deploy a new mobile and modular energy storage system at Gold Fields’ Granny Smith gold mine, in Western Australia, as the temporary power, temperature control and energy services company looks to expand its 10 GW fleet of distributed energy assets.

EP Tender – Battery Tender

  • It is a 51 kWh tow-along range extension device for electric vehicles, which can be remotely controlled to attach itself with the vehicle and transmit power when required. The company would establish stations at which an EV can rent an extender and replace for a new one when exhausted.  The whole unit acts as a swappable system which can be changed in mere minutes.
  • The company also offers its battery tenders as a fleet which can be integrated into renewable energy generation projects providing mobile storage solutions and also transport units. This business case greatly reduces the load on the grid during the peak hours and also the costs related with EV charging and cost of energy storage. The tenders containing the energy can be transported to swapping stations to be added to vehicles, thus reducing the time required to charge a battery or transfer it to a vehicle.


See also: Climate Startup Intelligence from CLIMAFIX

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India Renewable Energy Expert