Nissan, KEPCO and Sumitomo Electric Pursue Virtual Power Plants

FEB 14 2018 BY MARK KANE 21

Nissan, KEPCO and Sumitomo Electric launched a new Virtual Power Plants (VPP) pilot program with remote control of electric vehicle charging.

In total, 60 BEVs and PHEVs will be tested to demonstrate the idea of remote control charging, by a utility, to delay or stop charging when the grid is overloaded.

2018 Nissan LEAF

Cars “…will be outfitted with EV switches, which are control instruments for electric vehicle charging developed by KEPCO and Sumitomo Electric. Nissan, KEPCO and Sumitomo Electric will link their servers to enable remote-control charging, collect vehicle information and identify available charging capacity.”

It’s the first such project in Japan.

The Virtual Power Plants (VPP) concept includes the integration of many types of power sources to create a reliable and flexible power supply.

In the case of electric vehicles, using DC CHAdeMO and V2G not only enables one to stop charging, but also to send electricity to the grid. However, sending electricity to the grid is much more expensive, which is probably the reason why we should expect the commercialization of delayed charging first.

Categories: Charging, Nissan


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21 Comments on "Nissan, KEPCO and Sumitomo Electric Pursue Virtual Power Plants"

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(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“to delay or stop charging when the grid is overloaded.”

Hell NO!

I charge when I want or need and not when anyone else says.

V2G can shove it up their Azs.

The utilities have known long enough EV’s are increasing and if they haven’t planned to meet the load then they have pisspoor planning.

Hell YES! A smart grid that can control the charging of EVs would be a huge benefit for renewable energy by having EVs acting as a dynamic load when there is surplus renewable energy. Assume you could set a minimum needed charge in your EV, say you know that you are OK with a 50% charge level to comfortably do your daily commute with a good margin. Your car would communicate that to the grid and it would make sure you get at least 50% every night. On top of that you could say to the grid that you are happy to take up to 90% charge level if there is an oversupply, which in turn means the electricity is dirt cheap. With you and millions of other EV drivers there is now a huge buffer for the electric company to run renewables instead of curtailing them. There is no vehicle to grid power transfer in that yet but if we do add V2G on top of that it would make intermittent renewable generation even more usable. Obviously there would be tariff changes to go along with that, if you provide power during high demand periods you would get paid… Read more »
(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

So on top of my normal drive charge/discharge cycle, they would also discharge/charge my battery thus depleting my batteries “cycle life”.

Nope, no thanks there. ~YOU~ can allow them to additionally degrade ~YOUR~ battery.

Why would delayed charging impact your battery life?

Seems like it’d be a small impact if any.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

It’s not the delayed charging of the V2G aspect. It’s the discharging to act as a grid buffer then after they would allow your car to charge.

Now if you have a nissan LEAF and you allowed this to occur all year long, that does negatively impact the “cycle life” of the battery.

Electricity markets pay big $$ on frequency regulation and standby power plants.

If you agree to help the grid with your EV they will pay you to do so. They will save money compared to current regulation possibilities.

Sure it may hurt the battery, but if you get compensated enough money wise, isn’t it worth it?


It’s real simple, if the electric company buffers itself it can do so by purchasing batteries in huge quantities at low price. They will not pay you more than it would cost them to do it themselves. Therefore the degradation your battery suffers will always be more than the money you earn.

Surely it’s comnpletely dependent on price to EV users, the EV batteries will exist regardless of whether the utility batteries are built, if they can be used for the same purpose at the same cost or less cost to the utilities and the EV owners are compensated sufficiently that they are happy with this arrangement, then surely this is a superior arrangement for everybody concerned and most importantly for the environment as it clearly requires significantly less resources to deliver.
Given that battery degredation really doesn’t appear to be that big a deal once you get up into the 60 kWh+ segment I can see plenty of EV owners being interested.

Im with you Troll, hell no. I charge my car for i can able to use whenever i want. I dont stuck and my freedom of movement be strict because of v2

…except if utility offers you massive discount if you participate.

Sure, if you want to pay too much for your electricity, go right ahead and charge whenever and however you want.

Personally, I’d love to be part of a “G2V” system. I’d even do “V2G” as long as I can set the limits.

I don’t even like the idea of being able to send energy to the grid. I’d always worry that it’s being taken without my permission. On the other hand, as long as there is a “charge now” option, delaying the charge would be fine. Of course, you would pay more if you insist on charging right away.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

How fun would it be to be the utility operator that pulls the trigger to pause/start charging till it’s at the most expensive peak rate…….lol

The way to deal with this that makes most sense is to offer you a very low rate (~5 cents/kWh) if you use demand side V2G, and a high rate (~15) to use the “charge now” function.

Similar program is going on in Cali for over a year now for whoever wants to join (you get compensated a little), really nothing new here.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Very little.
And what you do get compensated for, you pay taxes on it…….lol

No taxes on a lower bill.

This along with V2G makes a lot of theoretical sense … in the long term. But there are massive show stoppers that will likely limit both for a number of years, unless a very significant battery breakthrough occurs related to cycling, and huge investments are made at the Grid level in the major cities where EVs are happening 1st, to move to Smart Grids. On battery side problem is cuurent LiIon batteries only last very few thousands full charge/discharge cycles. Adding extra grid-supporting discharges that will need to be compensated to extra charges over the same period can only happen without impacting Tesla-std 8Y unlimited mileage battery warranty if new battery techs with far more cycles are discovered, and the EV makers decide to give them to the grid instead of burning them to allow 350kW+ ultra fast charging. Then current electricity Grid in Europe is mainly set as a reverse tree, starting from our huge Nuclear plants and other massive production plants, down to the very last distribution point in the center of the cities. Never for distributed generation although some such limited capabilities exists, but not very much expandable in largest cities centers, without Billions of $ of… Read more »

I like the concept of smart charging, but saw a lot of utility focused attempts. Mobility is more important than smart grids features. In the Netherlands I have seen some cool progress from Jedlix and newmotion with great UI’s

This has always been, and will be for the forseeable future, a Solution looking for a Problem. Although the focus of this article already exists, as GM cars WILL have their charging shut down when commanded to do so by their ON-STAR systems, ostensibly if you are still paying for the service or not. V2G almost NEVER makes sense since as it is considered so difficult to charge up the car in the first place. The inefficiency of the charger and battery exactly triples, so it is rather analogous to the situation on March 2011 at Fukushima Daiichi where they had a total station black out, and TEPCO put out the call for employees to remove all their 12 volt car batteries from their cars to keep the instrumentation working. To normally operate this way is just silly – Utilities have handled successfully this problem for the past 100 years with load shedding and time-of-day agreements. If some place is so short of electricity to need V2G to bail them out, they’re in really serious trouble since the easiest thing to do is shut down the 2000 kw (and counting – the latest figure as given by Inside Evs) megachargers… Read more »

1980 technology.

Our REMC (rural NE Indiana) had this option for water heaters in 1980. If they were approaching a new peak load, they could shut off your water remotely for a few hours. It would average 6 or 7 times a year usually in the summer. Most people never realized it had occurred. In exchange, you received a lower rate all year long.

They would also release a public service announcement on local radio and TV asking for people to voluntarily reduce electric use for the next xxx hours. It was very effective.