The BMW Group, together with Pacific Gas & Electric Company, launched the BMW i ChargeForward Program

The BMW Group, together with Pacific Gas & Electric Company, launched the BMW i ChargeForward Program

BMW and Pacific Gas and Electric Company's smart charging and second life battery project launched earlier this year in the San Francisco Bay Area won the 2015 ESNA Innovation Award for Unique EV Battery Second Life Energy Storage System.

The project has two elements - first is a fleet of about 100 BMW i3 cars, which drivers participating in the delayed charging program (paid) to test reduction of demand on the power grid during peak periods.

The second part is a 240 kWh energy storage system built from old MINI E battery packs, combined with solar power, which is used in the demand response tests.

Software technology comes from Geli - Geli Energy Operating System (Geli EOSTM), while the bi-directional inverter for energy storage was provided by the Princeton Power Systems.

"The BMW i ChargeForward second-life energy storage system enabled by Geli has been awarded a 2015 Energy Storage North America (ESNA) Innovation Award for its sophisticated second-life energy storage system. The award for the Best Mobility Project was presented at the 2015 ESNA Conference taking place in San Diego, CA. The ESNA Innovation Awards recognize excellence in energy storage projects. The award demonstrates the company’s commitment to innovation and to exploring the sustainability potential in all aspects of electric vehicle ownership."

"San Francisco-based company Geli provided its Geli Energy Operating System (Geli EOSTM) to control and monitor the system at the BMW Group Technology Office in Mountain View, CA. The Geli EOS enables the BMW microgrid to act as the backup capacity resource for the BMW i ChargeForward program, making it possible to commit to providing PG&E with up to 100 kW of reduced demand on the grid when requested."

"Other partners include Princeton Power Systems, which provided the bi-directional inverter technology that made it possible to not only store electricity collected from the solar park in the MINI E 2nd life batteries but also to feed that energy not only into the BMW Group Technology Office building but also into the PG&E grid. The company EV Grid provided the integration of the MINI E for the 2nd life storage unit."

Dr. Simon Ellgas Senior Advanced Technology Engineer - Sustainable Mobility, BMW Group Technology Office USA said:

“The goal of the BMW i ChargeForward project is to show how electric vehicles with smart charging capability and stationary 2nd life applications of EV batteries can provide valuable flexibility that would make it possible for utilities to maximize the effectiveness of the existing electricity grid, which we expect to ultimately lower total cost of EV ownership for consumers. It shows the potential of collaboration between partners like PG&E, Geli, Princeton Power Systems and EV Grid but most especially our enthusiastic BMW i3 electric vehicle drivers."

Dr. Ryan Wartena, CEO and Co-founder of Geli said:

“This project is a great example of Geli's vision coming to life - to network and leverage disparate assets to provide multiple energy services. Our work with the BMW Group Technology Office is a breakthrough use of second life vehicle batteries and paves the way for integration of EVs as grid resources.”

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