From: Elsevier
Published November 22, 2017 02:06 PM

Energy From Electric Cars Could Power Our Lives — But Only If We Improve The System

Power stored in electric cars could be sent back to the grid – thereby supporting the grid and acting as a potential storage for clean energy – but it will only be economically viable if we upgrade the system first. In a new paper in Energy Policy, two scientists show how their seemingly contradictory findings actually point to the same outcome and recommendations: that pumping energy back into the grid using today’s technology can damage car batteries, but with improvements in the system it has the potential to provide valuable clean energy – and improve battery life in the process.

Electric cars store excess energy when they are idle. Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology makes it possible to transfer that energy back to the grid when the car is not being used. This energy could help regulate the frequency of the electricity supply, reduce the amount of electricity purchased at peak times and increase the power output of the system.

Two recent studies, one by Dr. Kotub Uddin at the University of Warwick in the UK and the other by Dr. Matthieu Dubarry at the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, seem contradictory, with one suggesting that V2G degrades car batteries and the other that it improves battery life. But the two scientists worked together to look at how their studies overlap, showing that they actually come to the same conclusion.

“Although both our papers seem contradictory, they are actually complimentary,” said Dr. Dubarry. “V2G is not going to be easy, but, if done properly, it has a chance to make a difference for both utilities and electric vehicle owners. We need more research to understand the process better and benefit from the technology.”

Read more at Elsevier

Photo credit: Michael Movchin via Wikimedia Commons

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