Electric Vehicles Advancing The Need For The “Smart” Grid

JAN 19 2014 BY STAFF 17

One "Smart Grid" Solution Is The Battery at the Demonstration Site for Japan-U.S. Island Grid Project in Hawaii

One “Smart Grid” Solution Is The Battery at the Demonstration Site for Japan-U.S. Island Grid Project in Hawaii

What drives electricity peaks in America?  Hint – it is not your local industry, but probably you.  The greatest variance of power usage comes from the residential sector.  (Check out this article on the subject for more details)

Now S&C, which is a provider of electric power systems founded out of Chicago, has put together a bullet point response to the ongoing increase in residential power usage with the advent of electric cars.

EVs and the power grids:

  • Utilities need to plan for the potential growth in peak demand should more people buy EVs.
  • Consumer expectations for electric service reliability will also grow significantly if they are relying on electricity to power their vehicles, in addition to other equipment in their homes.
  • To prepare their grids for more EVs on the road, utilities can adopt new smart grid solutions.

“Smart grid” is a broad term for the deployment of intelligent controls, software, communications and automation throughout utility power systems – from the meter at your home, to the power lines that carry electricity, to back-office computer systems at the utility.

Smart grid solutions provide the following benefits:

This A123 Grid Storage Solutions Shows What Can Be Done To Add Capacity In Areas That Need It In A Hurry

This A123 Grid Storage Solutions Shows What Can Be Done To Add Capacity In Areas That Need It In A Hurry

  • Effectively increase capacity with grid optimization technology that reduces the amount of electricity wasted on its way from the generating plant to the end user.
  • Integrate energy storage to support increased peak loads without adding additional and expensive generating capacity
  • Improve electric service reliability to ensure EV owners can count on having the energy–electricity–that they need to run their cars.  Self-healing smart grids will reroute power wherever possible around power system disturbances to reduce the scope and duration of power outages.

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17 Comments on "Electric Vehicles Advancing The Need For The “Smart” Grid"

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EVs absolutely play a role in the advancement of the smart grid

This whole article is based on S&C corporation wanting to sell ‘SHSG’ (Self-Healing Smart Grid) systems. They make a compelling case, however, hopefully most utilities’ feeders are not laid out as the spagetti mesh that they use in their example. However their point is taken (by me, and I accept it): They systems do have a place and are a legitimate technology advance. More streamlined feeder layout (or even a compromise system where more monitoring is taking place so the control room can manually piece together more accurately what has happened), would also improve reliability.

These very useful ‘self healing’ systems (or probably more accurately called “automatic fault isolation/minimalization systems”) are quite different from when people talk about the ‘Smart Grid’ in homes, what with excessive snooping having little to do with power flow other than shutting down needed appliances at a gov’t directive, not the individual homeowner’s choice.

…or, much easier, much simpler, and already deployed in many areas: utilities can provide straightforward incentives for people to charge their PEV off peak, for example by offering lower rates in the middle of the night.

Unsurprisingly, it works wonders…

Really wish they’d implement some off-peak rate structures for EV’s here in NY state (National Grid in my area). Presently, the only time of use option is costly (over double the base charge each month) and as a result, only lends benefit to larger energy users.

An additional TOU rate structure designed for plug-ins would be fantastic.

National Grid does have a Time-of-Use service for residential customers that may be attractive to you. Now me, I’m quite frugal in electric usage since I’ve converted everything possible in my house to Natural Gas and use the electricity mainly for a bit of lighting, entertainment, and to power my 2 ev’s.

I don’t use enough electricity to qualify, except in summer months where the sole remaining electric large appliance, my central AC, runs up the bill.

If you regularly use around 1000 kwh/ month (which works out to an average draw of 1400 watts), or around a $140 electric bill monthly, you may benefit from TOU rates. The meter reading charge increases by $13 / month, so that explains why only larger users can benefit from this.

If you regularly use 1000 kwh/month you should be forced to wear a sign that reads

“Climate change is my fault please kick me in the ass”

not get a cheaper rate, that’s more than double the average European

Grid operators and especially utilities are reluctant to push smart grids, because smart grid severy hurts their business model and profits. Smart grid is also expensive for to consumers of electricity, because they require expensive new smart meters and also probably rise of electricity bill, because utilities will compensate their profit losses. But EV drivers — and Tesla drivers in particular — can take the initiative on their own hands create their own “smart grid” whitout expensive hardware.

Here I present a simple method how to use Tesla battery for grid stabilization without compromising the longevity of battery or without any additional hardware investmets. Just simple software update and Internet connection are required. Owner of Tesla car does not benefit financially, but they can get lots of green credentials and can tease utilities by cutting their profits.

Using Tesla car as free stroge for renewables.

Good idea.
I think EV owners would be more willing to use their batteries if THEY were using the battery power as opposed to the grid. If vehicle to HOME could be done instead of vehicle to GRID owners would like it better.

Utilities are struggling with the inevitable. As io stated, the easiest thing they could do is to offer incentives. It is simple and it works. Too many EV owners are connecting the dots with solar and will make the jump to battery storage on principle alone as well if the power companies fail to work with them.

I hope we are a decade away from a real battery storage solution for renewable energies. Then the utilities will come to their senses and a symbiotic relationship with renewables will be their only path.

California has mandated that the utilities install battery backup to the tune of 1.3 Gwh. This is because they have surplus energy when the sun is shining in the afternoon and then a huge ramp up when the sun goes down due to lots of solar PV. This also offers a perfect opportunity for VTH. Charge the EV’s at work in the afternoon during the surplus. Then, when the owner drives home, plug the EV into their house to shave the peak.


I’m surprised California would have that much excess electricity during the daytime from solar cells. I’d think most “excess electricity” would either be immediately used in air conditioning or HVAC units, or simply the fact that most businesses would be open.

And of Course, the hoard of Tesla Superchargers in the state would assumedly be busiest during daylight outs.

I vote “no” on the Smart Grid. As mentioned in a previous post. a person no less than David Petreus (head of the CIA for a while) mentioned in WIRED magazine that “We’ll spy on you through your dishwasher” (and get you to pay for the spy equipment yourself).

No “Implied Consent” here. And this is besides the RF health dangers of these things I’ve mentioned several times.

I have no doubt that, if the current dismantling of power plants continues, soon we will need a SG to keep up the system, since it will then be more like the electric systems of bangledesh or india.

They’ve just killed commodity light bulbs.. Hopeully they don’t kill ‘commodity gas water heaters’ anytime soon. If forced to purchase ‘Smart Electrics’, the ‘system controller’ might decide that you taking a bath is a deferrable event, and will only heat the water once a week. Of course, you’ll pay more for implementing such a complex system.

Having electricity available 24/7 is SOOOOOO 20th century.. We all need to get rid of such archaic notions that the lights can go on when we want them to.

Just bought a number of 60W equvalent LED bulbs last month for $5 each. They use 4W and have a 25 year warranty. When they were $25 each it was ridiculous, but now the math works. It is very similar logic to the EV. You have to pay up front, but it pays off over the life of the bulb/EV. It’s good for the environment, and its good for your pocketbook. I am sure they forced people with laws from working horses until they dropped dead at some point for not everyone saw the logic. As for the smart grid, I don’t fear it. If it gets out of hand, I will simply buy a battery and go completely independent. I have noticed that you can buy a Prius hybrid battery on e-bay 24/7. This tells me that a number of batteries have out lasted the cars. I am betting the same thing will happen in a decade from now with EV batteries. I believe the grid will work itself out for one reason. There are going to be options. I am hoping for a long lasting relationship with my utility, but am prepared to end it at anytime as… Read more »

Except if the gov’t gets mad at you for being off the grid. Residents of Naperville, Illinois last year got arrested by police when they refused smart meter installation. So much for implied consent.

There has been so much anti smart meter activity, that utilities have come upwith confiscatory rates for anyone wanting to opt out:, what is PG&E now? $75 application fee and $15–30 a month to read an analog meter? And no discount if you do the work yourself.

Glad I don’t live there, but smart meters are coming here if National Grid gets their wish. And I get to pay for all of it.

Again, I am not fighting the meter. Utilities might charge a premium or fees if you are using them as a backup. I am describing a healthy relationship with them or none at all. There is no fees or arrest if you opt out completely. Currently such an opt out would add $10,000 to a home. You know, some people would buy a Tesla Roadster because they want it, not because they need it.

It is doubtful any such solution would ever justify the cost, but some will opt to do it if they feel their rights are being challenged. No doubt a lot of evil can be done with a smart meter, just as a lot of good can be. Such is true for almost any smart technology. I am betting on the good. If I am wrong, then fortunately I have the time, and means to fix it myself.

The thing I find Uncanny Mark, is that there seems to be a dichotomy amoungst EV proponents. At the one end we seem to want ‘grid friendly’ technologies, (Solar, Wind), and charging after midnight. At the other end we want Level 3 and Tesla Superchargers, throwing horrendously sized loads on the ‘grid’ (or, would be if every other person on vacation drove a Model S). Meanwhile, people seem to be allowing themselves to be brainwashed with invasions of privacy that would have our founding fathers (some of the smartest people ever to live on this continent) rolling in their graves. Of course, no dissension is allowed since all this self-imposed-spying of a smart meter system is seen as ‘modern’. Central Air Conditioning and Frost-Free refrigerators had more ‘grid impact’ the EV’s ever will. That is if level 3 ‘solutions’ don’t become too numerous, which I doubt they ever will, since the one saving grace about them is that their grid hating nature is compensated by the high demand charges utilities must charge (and Tesla incur) to service them. This of course can be reduced by solar canopies and storage battery systems, but we don’t see too much of that lately… Read more »

Leaving the smart grid alone, the message seems to miss that reliability is less a concern to EV owners, who would be less affected by reliability, brown or even blackouts. Also, peak load is different than selling more watts, in total. People misplace the meaning of the two quite often. Higher peaks because of EV’s are a few years away, yet. Peaks happen in the afternoon, typically. With the trend toward 10kwh PHEV’s, many will be done charging by noon.