Renewable energy sources like solar and wind only generate electricity when the wind blows or the sun is out and that isn’t always when customers need power. Batteries large enough to hold megawatts of electricity are prohibitively expensive but another potential source of battery storage is fast emerging: electric vehicles.
Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) storage allows the smart grid to use EVs (and even hybrids) as a distributed network of batteries that can store power at off-peak times and help power the grid when demand peaks. Here’s how it works:
- Power is generated from a renewable source, like wind, and transferred to the grid.
Electricity flows from the grid to EV batteries when there is excess capacity (e.g. when the wind blows in predawn hours). The power flow is reversed when demand on the grid is higher.
Customers can control when the smart grid can access battery power from their EVs, which can put out enough power to run 10 houses, and even control how far the battery is discharged.
Top image: Paul Anderson via geograph