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First Ever Collaboration to Accelerate "Vehicle to Everything" Technologies

 
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I have been getting these posts from EERE (Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy) for many years.  This one is unusual I THINK.  I highlighted the subject in red below, and the link is at the bottom.  It's from the "Office of Technology Transitions," (which is the first I've heard of that, but that doesn't mean much).  I've been interested in the subject for a very long time!  ... but don't know who to trust these peculiar days lately.  
So I thought I'd post it here.

"Office of Technology Transitions Department of Energy Announces First of Its Kind Collaboration to Accelerate "Vehicle-to-Everything" Technologies
COMMERCE, CA -- The U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) and partners today announced the Vehicle to Everything (V2X) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will bring together cutting-edge resources from DOE, DOE national labs, state and local governments, utilities, and private entities to evaluate technical and economic feasibility as we integrate bidirectional charging into energy infrastructure. The MOU will also advance cybersecurity as a core component of V2X charging infrastructure.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) conservatively estimates that 130 million electric vehicles (EVs) will be on the road globally by 2030. As the number of EVs grows and especially as larger trucks and buses electrify with larger batteries, there will be opportunities to use those batteries to also support the grid.

Bidirectional plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) present immense potential for increasing the country's energy security, resilience, economic vitality, and quality of life while supporting the electrical grid. A bidirectional EV fleet could serve as both a sustainable mobility option as well as an energy storage asset that sends power back to everything from critical loads and homes to the grid. A bidirectional fleet could also create new revenue opportunities for EV owners or fleets.

"The MOU signed today represents a collaborative approach to researching and developing novel technologies that will help unify the clean energy and transportation sectors while getting more American consumers into electric vehicles," said Deputy Secretary of Energy Dave Turk. "Integrating charging technology that powers vehicles and simultaneously pushes energy back into the electrical grid is a win-win for the future of clean transportation and our energy resilience overall."

The Department of Energy also announced today it is tackling the technical challenges and barriers to the integration of tens of millions of EVs with the electric grid, commonly referred to as Vehicle Grid Integration (VGI) through the EVs@scale lab consortium, which brings together six DOE national laboratories to conduct RD&D in the areas of Smart Charge Management, High Power Charging and Facilities, dynamic Wireless Charging, Codes and Standards, and Cyber Physical Security. In addition to addressing the near-term challenges to VGI to benefit all EV stakeholders, the Lab Consortium will conduct high risk, high reward research on the EV charging and grid integration technologies the U.S. will need in the future.

This collaboration can accelerate and enable bidirectional PEV integration into the electrical grid by identifying and resolving barriers, accelerating commercialization and customer adoption, factoring in security by design, and improving coordination between the electric and automotive sectors through establishing cybersecure bidirectional charging station demonstrations, collecting and analyzing demonstration data, and preparing technoeconomic analyses to evaluate the business case for V2X.

As signatories, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 11 and the National Electric Contractors Association Los Angeles are demonstrating an important commitment to ensuring that a skilled and qualified workforce is required to install bidirectional PEV charging infrastructure.

Participants in the V2X MOU include the United States Department of Energy’s Offices of Vehicle Technologies, Electricity, Technology Transitions, and Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response, as well as The California Energy Commission, The California Public Utilities Commission, The City of Lancaster and City of Lancaster Community Choice Aggregator, The City of Los Angeles, Fermata Energy, First Student, Ford Motor Company, General Motors LLC, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers– Chapter 11, Lion Electric Inc., Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Lucid Group, Inc. (Lucid Motors), the National Electrical Contractors Association – Los Angeles, Nissan, Nuvve Holding Corp., Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Rhombus, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and Zeem Solutions.

Following the announcement, V2X MOU signatories celebrated the agreement. "This groundbreaking agreement couldn’t come at better time as the EV market is taking off and the grid is moving towards 100 percent clean electricity in California and beyond," said California Energy Commission (CEC) Commissioner Patty Monahan. "Unlocking vehicle-to-everything integration is critical to fully realizing our clean energy future and this new collaborative is a significant step in the right direction bringing all the players involved together to move the market forward."

"V2X technologies are essential to accelerating the adoption of EVs and to scaling renewable energy on the grid," said David Slutzky, Founder and CEO of Fermata Energy. "We are excited to build on our existing partnerships with many of the MOU members, by working with regulators to expand the reach of V2X and demonstrate its value to consumers, utilities, OEMs, and communities."

"Nuvve is proud to be included in this collaboration with the Department of Energy and other partners to demonstrate the importance of intelligently electrifying vehicles as we transition to a decarbonized world," said Gregory Poilasne, chairman and CEO of Nuvve. "Since our founding, we have been focused on vehicle grid integration technology with a strong focus on bidirectional vehicle charging, and we look forward to showing how Nuvve’s intelligent energy management platform bridges the gap between the energy and transportation sectors."

Kevin L. Matthews, Head of Electrification for First Student said, "As the largest operator of school buses and leader in yellow bus electrification, we are proud to participate with the U.S. Department of Energy to accelerate the development of vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies. We are committed to working with utilities and other stakeholders to create a V2X solution that supports the utility grid and our operations. We believe that school buses are ideally suited to do just that."

Pacific Gas & Electric remarked, "PG&E is excited to collaborate with this distinguished group to advance vehicle-to-everything technologies and accelerate expanded access that will revolutionize how we power our everyday lives. We are proud of our role as a clean energy leader and remain focused on meeting California’s clean energy goals and the needs of our customers today and in the future."

Rick Sander, CEO of Rhombus Energy Solutions stated, "Bringing together critical infrastructure teams and DOE is essential in order to accelerate the deployment of V2X / bi-directional charging. DOE can play an important role in driving the compliance to a standard that allows rapid adoption and moves us all closer to our zero emission goals."

"Developing clean energy innovations like V2X technology is key to building a more equitable, sustainable, and climate-resilient future for our communities," said San Diego Gas & Electric Vice President of Energy Innovation Miguel Romero. "We are piloting V2G school buses in the San Diego region and look forward to expanding our efforts to include consumer vehicles and fleets in the future."

"Southern California Edison is proud to partner with the Department of Energy and others in this groundbreaking effort to unlock the tremendous potential of electric vehicle batteries to help power our homes and businesses and to serve as an important additional resource for the grid," said Pedro Pizarro, president and CEO of Edison International, parent company of SCE. "As the growth of EVs in the U.S. continues to accelerate, we look forward to exploring together bidirectional EV charging solutions that bring the most value to our customers and are safe, easy to use, reliable, and secure."

"Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is proud to be part of this far-reaching collaboration. By bringing government, utility, research, auto manufacturers, and other private industry thought leaders together, we’re poised to accelerate vehicle-to-everything solutions that can fundamentally reinvent how we supply clean energy to customers across the United States, safely, reliably, affordably, and equitably. SMUD is on track to eliminate all carbon emissions from our power supply by 2030, and collaborations like these ensure we continue to provide clean energy solutions that improve the quality of life for our customers – today and for generations to come."

"The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), Los Angeles, is very pleased to be a part of this ground-breaking MOU and collaboration to accelerate the advancement of vehicle to everything. NECA is committed to this effort and will provide a nationwide network of qualified contractors that partner with IBEW to ensure the most skilled and trained workforce available."

Bob Holycross, VP, Chief Sustainability, Environment & Safety Officer, Ford Motor Company said, "As Ford leads the EV revolution, we’re excited to help our customers unlock the energy potential of their electric vehicles, whether it’s using their F-150 Lightning to power their home in an outage or their E-Transit to run their tools on the job site. We’re proud to be lending our expertise to this partnership and look forward to continuing the conversation with the Department of Energy, California Energy Commission, and others to accelerate the deployment of V2X technology."

Read the complete Memorandum of Understanding here.

https://www.energy.gov/technologytransitions/articles/department-energy-announces-first-its-kind-collaboration-accelerate
 
Jenn Lumpkin
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well I'll say a few words.  This seems to me a brilliant idea, first of all.  However, it involves a great deal of trust in government:  owners of electric vehicles pay for electricity;  which can be shifted away from them, into the grid;  who keeps track of what goes out, and when/does the electricity get returned?  who keeps track of that?  can they be trusted?  are they honest?

what if you need to use your electric vehicle and find its batteries are drained by this system at a time when YOU need it?  Who decides priorities on need?  

could this system be used to control peoples' use of their vehicles by government?  

a lot of questions.  A really interesting idea, though, but hugely depending on trust in the "overseers."
 
pollinator
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Can you please summarise that wall of text? I'm not sure what I am supposed to be getting from it. What does "Vehicle to Everything" even mean?
 
Jenn Lumpkin
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Looks like this is mostly being done in California so far (I THINK?)  
I get it about the "wall of text."  What it's saying (as I interpret it) is:
PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BUY ELECTRIC VEHICLES WITH BATTERIES.  BUT.
THE BATTERIES ARE GOING TO BE SET UP SO THAT THEY CAN BE CHARGED, OR ... SO THE CHARGE CAN BE RETURNED TO THE GRID!
WHO controls this system is NOT MENTIONED (and it's super-important I THINK).  

I'll say one more thing.  A couple years ago I bought an electric lawnmower with lithium-ion batteries.  
The batteries failed and couldn't be recharged about a year later.  
The lawnmower cost me over $300.  
It's totally useless now.   Man, makes me mad!!!  It's a beauteous piece of equipment, but without use of the batteries, it just has to sit there taking up space!
How much worse would it be if peoples VEHICLES they paid umpteen dollars for ... became useless ... or controlled as to whether they can be powered, and not by you?

 
Jenn Lumpkin
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okay, one more thing about the nature of humans.  
This cartoon came out several months ago BUT what I see in it is ... the nature of human beings.
for-thee-but-not-for-me-with-jets.jpeg
[Thumbnail for for-thee-but-not-for-me-with-jets.jpeg]
 
Jenn Lumpkin
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and re-reading the "wall of text," this paragraph mentions "stakeholders," and as I understand it, the "stakeholders" would be "the people who own the electric vehicles and batteries."    https://asq.org/quality-resources/stakeholders

VGI is "Vehicle Grid Integration."  

"The Department of Energy also announced today it is tackling the technical challenges and barriers to the integration of tens of millions of EVs with the electric grid, commonly referred to as Vehicle Grid Integration (VGI) through the EVs@scale lab consortium, which brings together six DOE national laboratories to conduct RD&D in the areas of Smart Charge Management, High Power Charging and Facilities, dynamic Wireless Charging, Codes and Standards, and Cyber Physical Security. In addition to addressing the near-term challenges to VGI to benefit all EV stakeholders, the Lab Consortium will conduct high risk, high reward research on the EV charging and grid integration technologies the U.S. will need in the future. . . . "

Another big potential problem would be "cybersecurity," I THINK.
I've been re-reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo;  the girl is really good with computers, and ends up transferring the bad guy's ENTIRE ACCOUNT to her own.  oh.  hunh, could somebody do that with the whole electric grid?  hmmm
 
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I'm going to guess that something like V2X works at an enormous scale, with more cars and certainly more infrastructure than we have right now.
If your electric car was/could be ALWAYS plugged in when it was parked anywhere, then it could always be topped up possibly at or near 100% SOC.
If the utility could only access the top 10% of your battery, then it's unlikely that you would be left "stranded". Just 1% or 2% of half a million car batteries is a lot.
Some sort of net-metering would likely handle the accounting of storage/usage, like many with solar panels already do for their generation.
 
Michael Cox
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Ok, I get the picture now. I read about this years ago, albeit without all the obtuse jargon! It is actually a brilliant idea.

The two big problems with renewable energy are that sources tend to be diffuse and variable (wind, sunshine dependent etc...). On a grid level, there needs to be a way to store huge amounts of energy. The a larmost cost effective systems are batteries, but these are still prohibitively expensive.

But more and more energy use by consumers is for charging up batteries, in things like powerwalls and electric cars. For the vast majority of consumers they will use a tiny proportion of their total storage each day.

What these systems do is allow the consumer to SELL some of the stored energy back to the grid, at times when renewable supply needs supplementing. This makes sense when consumers are able to BUY cheap energy eg when the sun is shining. They make a small, but worthwhile, profit on the difference. It is their reward for loaning their infrastructure to the grid.

Your fear, if I understand you correctly, is that *someone* will appropriate the energy stored in your car, and you'll be unable to get to work in the morning. As always, the devil is in the detail.

Secondly, car manufacturers will only install this in their vehicles if their customers want it. If customers believe it will cost them money, or leave them stranded, they won't buy that vehicle. In practice this means that the car manufacturers have strong incentive to set these up in a way that protects their customers, and gives them a profit.

Lastly, there is a bit of understanding about how the grid works that will help. Electricity is transmitted at 50Hz frequency. When there is an oversupply (eg a sunny day) the frequency increases slightly 51/52Hz. When there is strong demand on the grid, and not enough supply, the frequency drops slight eg 49Hz. This is easily detectable by the car charger itself. It can be used to only charge a vehicle when there is plentiful energy in the grid. It can also be used to decide when to sell energy back to the grid. It doesn't need a command from some central electricity company; it is built in to the nature of the grid itself.

What it will take for consumers and grid companies to adopt this, is for grid to be much more flexible and fair with consumers who are selling energy back to the grid. Currently tariffs to sell energy back to the grid are prohibitive, and the rates paid for energy are artificially low (in many cases).
 
Jenn Lumpkin
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EERE is a good agency to watch;  lately they've been reporting on a lot of innovative things they're doing.  

One thing to wonder about, is batteries.  IF massive numbers of people here are going to shift to battery-operated electric vehicles, THEN we will need a lot of batteries, eh?  
Axios had an article about how the U.S. needs to make its own anodes and cathodes;  and there's a lot involved in making batteries;  this whole article is worthwhile reading I think:
https://www.axios.com/the-race-to-dominate-the-new-battery-economy-119e0479-46a7-47ec-885f-f00079c4adb5.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_axioswhatsnext&stream=science

So even if EERE wants to start using all those batteries it's thinking will be all over the country, as a potential way to save and dispense energy, we still have to HAVE the batteries.  

And the other thing about electric vehicles, as opposed to gas-powered, would be "how to charge them," on long trips, since charging batteries takes TIME;  you can't just stop off at the electricity station, as we now stop at gas stations, and take off again after a few minutes of fueling up.  We've had a Volt since 2013;  charging is NOT convenient;  thank goodness for Volt's capacity to use either/or gas or electric, because if you want to travel very far, the electric charge runs out and you're not going anywhere unless you shift to gas.  I love our Volt though!   In the past when we went on long trips, we just ran on gas except for the beginning few miles and after we arrived at some relative's house and could plug in with their electric, while the time spent charging was while we were sitting around at their house (or went somewhere in THEIR car).  

"Office of Technology Transitions" has its work cut out for it!!!   I've pondered over the years how the huge present network of gas stations could be replaced with something else  wow, what a problem, and no answer I can think of ...
 
Michael Cox
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Jenn Lumpkin wrote:

And the other thing about electric vehicles, as opposed to gas-powered, would be "how to charge them," on long trips, since charging batteries takes TIME;  you can't just stop off at the electricity station, as we now stop at gas stations, and take off again after a few minutes of fueling up.  We've had a Volt since 2013;  charging is NOT convenient;  thank goodness for Volt's capacity to use either/or gas or electric, because if you want to travel very far, the electric charge runs out and you're not going anywhere unless you shift to gas.  I love our Volt though!   In the past when we went on long trips, we just ran on gas except for the beginning few miles and after we arrived at some relative's house and could plug in with their electric, while the time spent charging was while we were sitting around at their house (or went somewhere in THEIR car).  



I don't think it is a reasonable to argue that EVs are fundamentally flawed based on your experience with the VOLT. The Volt is not a true EV; it's battery size is tiny compared with current generation EVs which means it use pattern is going to be very different. Particularly for longer journeys.

The longest journey I would do on a semi regular basis is about 140 miles, to visit family. All modern EVs would comfortably do that distance in one charge.

I think the whole premise of hybrid vehicles is dubious; they contain all the complicated mechanical parts of both systems. They need a petrol engine, and all the typical wear and tear issues associated with that. Then you also need the electric motors, and associated battery (albeit smaller) and control systems. You have two complete systems that duplicate each other, and the maintenance of a petrol motor is a substantial ongoing cost. So it increases the cost of both building and running the vehicle. And the limited battery size means that you are restricted in convenience and range.
 
Jenn Lumpkin
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Lucky you, to only have to travel 140 miles to visit family!   However, a lot of people do have to travel long distances on occasion.

Yeah, the newer EVs do go further on a charge.  And most of the time, most people don't go on long trips;  which is why we like our Volt for everyday travelling around.  But the flexibility to be able to travel long distances and if needed, re-charge quickly, is not there for non-hybrid EVs.  Yet.

If there was a good bus system where people could travel conveniently on a form of mass transit that doesn't use a lot of gas for the un-usual loong trips they might want to take, that might work.  Except for the peculiar possibility of another pandemic such as our most recent one, where you just don't want to be in an enclosed space with others and have to rely on such things as masks which don't really work from what I've read.

Getting back to the TIME it takes to charge batteries, I haven't read about the newer EVs and how long DOES it take to recharge the batteries, from empty to fully charged?  And the idea that the batteries' power can be taken, and then returned, would entail how much TIME would be involved?  I'd guess it could be scheduled ... like an appointment.  "we will remove power from your battery on xx/xx/xxxx at xxxx o'clock xm;  and we will recharge your battery on xx/xx/xxxx at xxxx o'clock xm, which will take approximately "x" hours.  If you agree, please press one.  If you disagree, please press two."  
 
 
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Jenn Lumpkin wrote:
If there was a good bus system where people could travel conveniently on a form of mass transit that doesn't use a lot of gas for the un-usual loong trips they might want to take, that might work.  Except for the peculiar possibility of another pandemic such as our most recent one, where you just don't want to be in an enclosed space with others and have to rely on such things as masks which don't really work from what I've read.



A little off topic, but I wonder whether a variant of motorail, where you take your car on a train for longer journeys, might work for e-cars. Whilst on the train (obviously an electric one) they could be recharging ready for use at the other end. Takes traffic off the road ...etc.
 
Jenn Lumpkin
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Hi Nancy Reading!  It's nice to get input and ideas!  

My thought on carrying your vehicle by a mototrain (I had to look that up, btw) would be, a lot of extra weight to be carried a long distance;  how much energy would that use?  

Just had another thought.  Your EV is only as good as its batteries, yes?  Changing out the batteries can be very expensive I THINK.  And charging and recharging batteries means wear and tear on the batteries, I THINK.  Like for instance, Eneloop batteries are good for 1800 charges (or whatever it's up to now), after that they're worthless ... right?  So to un-charge and re-charge your vehicle's batteries is going to wear out the batteries faster, and your vehicle will lose value depending on how good its batteries are, ... is that right?

 
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If the alternative is driving your car that distance (or flying) then it may not be less efficient than motorail.

Figures show that driving releases 117.7g of carbon per person per kilometre, in comparison with travelling by train, which releases just 5.7g of carbon per person per kilometre.

from french motorail that seemed a bit vague, I'm not convinced that figure isn't being taken out of context. I found another source https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326633309_Study_of_the_Efficiency_of_Passengers'_Motorcar_Carriage_by_Using_Multicriteria_Methods  which unfortunately had a complex model taking other factors like time and convenience into account which concluded that motorail was better, but the details were a bit opaque for me to be completely convinced! I'm a bit surprised the answer isn't clearer. Obviously it still does depend on a lot of other factors, but you'd have thought someone would be doing some joined up thinking.

You're right about charging being wear and tear on the battery, it would need to be a smart charger that couldn't overcharge, charged evenly across the cells etc, much of that is built into the vehicle I believe. I can't believe they would get away with providing batteries that don't last a reasonable amount of time in a vehicle. It used to be that the batteries were just leased for that reason, but the technology has come on significantly over the last 15 years.
I quite like the idea of motorail/train since you get your own transport to and from the terminals, so all that convenience and flexibility, together with the leisure/work time whilst someone else is doing the driving for you.

(edit - link not embedding)
 
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Amazing stuff ...

It's a good thing that our cars will talk to everything, because many folks will be living in them, having been kicked out (economically) of all other forms of housing ... unless you are doing what many folks on permies.com are doing ...

I also had very high hopes, out of the CoVID disaster, that there would be an incredible jump in "working from home" ... it seems to have fizzled out. Business is falling back into the old ways (we have to see your behind in the chair, to believe that you are working). This was a chance to reduce traffic, congestion, pollution, etc. ... wasted?

I really like "hybrid" cars ... smaller gas engine, battery system, each helping the other ... that also seems to have fizzled out. I can't buy a pure E-V due to cost, range, etc. ... I might have swung a hybrid ... sigh.

My bicycle is looking better ... for only a few thousands, I can make it all-electric.
 
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I tried reading your second link, Nancy, you're right, it's complicated.  And mototrains are not available most places, I THINK.  That link talks about
"The proposed methodology has been experimented for transportation along the Sofia – Plovdiv – Burgas route."  
(I looked up the route:  https://www.bing.com/search?q=sofia%20to%20burgas&qs=n&form=QBRE&=%25eManage%20Your%20Search%20History%25E&sp=-1&pq=sofia%20to%20burgas&sc=9-15&sk=&cvid=28E73D35763546A0A20AD403388635CA   )
238 miles, all in Bulgaria.  Yeah, that would really be nice, to just let the train carry your vehicle and yourself ... and it's a tourist route so I'd guess that's why it has a mototrain. ... oops, no, according to the article:  "n this research the assumption is made that there is transportation by motorail trains."

The quote about "Figures show that driving releases 117.7g of carbon per person per kilometre, in comparison with travelling by train, which releases just 5.7g of carbon per person per kilometre." ... is kind of unclear to me;  they're talking about 5.7g of carbon per PERSON, but don't mention if that includes the person's vehicle.   If it does include the vehicle, then these mototrains are an excellent idea, seems to me.  If.  

The electric grid is super-important to all of us, anyway.  I just hope "they" are able to make enough batteries for everyone at not too huge a cost.  And that they get some lawyers involved on behalf of "the people."
 
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Jt Lamb, IF I had to live out of my electric vehicle, I'd be very concerned about whether and when the batteries would/could be charged!

Ive read some stuff online about "social credit," as a system;  oh for heaven's sake, ... maybe you'd get "social credit" for allowing your car's batteries to be drained and then recharged?

 
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Car batteries need to be sufficiently light and efficient to be used in a mobile asset. However, they have a limited number of charge/discharge cycles before their efficiency decreases to the point they're useless.

Sooo.... using your car batteries as a back up to the electrical grid is in the opinion of Hubby (electrical engineer by training), a bad idea for the battery owner. Emergency, or certain niche uses excepted.

What we need is to expand our research into every imaginable infinitely cyclable electricity storage system - because pumped hydro only works in special places as do several other proposed systems - or at the very least, cost-effective, common element, low pollution, battery systems that don't need to move. Distributing these to people's homes so we loose less energy to long power lines for most of our energy use or at least people's neighborhoods, is fine so long as toxicity and safety are considered.

There is work being done in that area, and we can use *all* the collaboration we can get!
 
Jenn Lumpkin
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What would be an " infinitely cyclable electricity storage system," Jay?  
 
Jenn Lumpkin
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searching on permies, I found this:
https://permies.com/t/34845/electricity-storage-breakthrough

and this:

https://permies.com/t/28066/Practical-Alternative-Energy

regarding "passive solar," though, one thing I've wondered for a long time is whether capturing the sun's energy, even in glass buildings, adds to warming the earth?  Because once the energy is not bouncing back into space, but captured and used some way, that's a net gain in the energy stuck and held on earth, (but I dunno much about it, just wondering!)  



 
Jay Angler
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Jenn Lumpkin wrote:What would be an " infinitely cyclable electricity storage system," Jay?  

Yes, I doth exaggerate - every thing man makes deteriorates eventually - the Pyramids of Giza are a little shabbier than they were  4600 years ago. However, there is too much "if it lasts 50 years that's wonderful" attitude and I was trying to imply that we need to stretch that a lot if we're going to cool Planet Earth down a little while still enjoying the benefits of power beyond human and horse. Even bicycling, which is more efficient than cars, generates a fair bit of rubber, has embodied energy in the metal in the bike, and increasingly, has batteries with a relatively short lifespan likely measure in years rather than decades let alone longer.
 
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The problem with renewable energy is it destabilizes the grid.
For instance, power is going along fine, it's a sunny day and the wind is blowing.
The natural gas, nuclear, coal etc. plants are just barely adding power if at all.
Then the clouds come in and the wind stops,.. but people still want power.

Hard to ramp up a large steam-powered plant fast,.. that's where the batteries come in.
To fill in until the power plant comes up,.. then the wind and sun come out and the plants are all going strong.
Where do you put all that extra energy,.. in some batteries,.. or better said a storage device.
Until the steam plants can slow back down.

The other option or additional option is to reduce the load and have a smart house for example shut off the unnecessary loads like washer or dryer.
That's the direction I think we are headed.

 It seems to me a storage device at a home is a good use for something heavy, like a flywheel or I hear there are iron/air batteries coming out.
Leave the lightweight batteries to transportation.
I do worry about continued cycling wearing them out.

i wish I could find the documentary I saw on PBS,
about the engineer who worked with windmills
then realized how bad it messed with the current grid,
telling us what the future needs to cope with it and how the grid can become so much more efficient.
He seemed like one person screaming in a storm of opposition ,
telling people things they had never heard and explaining where we need to go.
 
Michael Cox
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Jenn Lumpkin wrote:Hi Nancy Reading!  And charging and recharging batteries means wear and tear on the batteries, I THINK.  Like for instance, Eneloop batteries are good for 1800 charges (or whatever it's up to now), after that they're worthless ... right?  So to un-charge and re-charge your vehicle's batteries is going to wear out the batteries faster, and your vehicle will lose value depending on how good its batteries are, ... is that right?



Modern battery tech is really pretty good these days. Yes, they do degrade with charging cycles, but they don't catastrophically fail, they gradually decline. And even then they decline by a few percent. Most users won't notice or care that their maximum battery capacity declines from 100% to 90% over 5 to 10 years. Recently a Tesla was pulled in for service after over 400,000 miles of heavy use. It's batteries were declining, but still totally adequate, at a mileage well beyond the mileage that most typical cars would be retired.

And even a car with batteries that has declined a bit has good value; there is an active market in second hand vehicles and many people - myself included - will happily snap up a car with a partially reduced battery life. It would still be totally adequate for our own use.
 
Michael Cox
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craig howard wrote:The problem with renewable energy is it destabilizes the grid.



These issues are no surprise though. Engineers in these fields have been working with these realities for 20 years, and businesses are evolving their infrastructure and investments to cope. I don't feel it is reasonable to claim that no one is talking about these problems, or that they are impossible to resolve. The discussions aren't visible, because you are describing the new "business as usual" situation.

Yes, various bits of infrastructure need to be enhanced, but the grid has been in a perpetual state of growth and evolution since power was first generated and distributed.
 
Michael Cox
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Jay Angler wrote:Car batteries need to be sufficiently light and efficient to be used in a mobile asset. However, they have a limited number of charge/discharge cycles before their efficiency decreases to the point they're useless.

Sooo.... using your car batteries as a back up to the electrical grid is in the opinion of Hubby (electrical engineer by training), a bad idea for the battery owner. Emergency, or certain niche uses excepted.



Not if you get paid for it. Same as if you drive your personal vehicle for work, and reclaim mileage. You don't just claim the fuel cost, you claim the depreciation of your vehicle due to wear and tear.

And the proposals I have seen for this have all been around using these systems as peak demand smoothing. The classic example is when you reach half time in the world cup final and 30 million people all stand up, use the loo and turn the kettle on at once.  Five minutes of drain of your car battery in that period is going to be a vanishingly small amount of wear and tear.

We aren't generally talking about bulk storage of energy - ie draining your battery from full down to near empty over a number of hours.
 
Michael Cox
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For those following this conversation, I highly recommend the book

Sustainability: Without the Hot Air

It is an older book, I think published in 1995, but is an in depth analysis of the state of the UK energy systems and the scalability of the renewable power. It talks specifically about these issues of grid storage and variable energy production. Much of what was outlined as possible back then has actually come to pass.

It was written by one of my uni professors, who has sadly since passed away :(
 
Jt Lamb
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I was being facetious about living in your (electric) car, but not by much ... if you visit your local walmart, you might see car-charging stations. This is a good contrast to the other side of the parking lot, where you might find more than a few folks sleeping in their cars.

I ran an experiment for about 6 months in winter-time, sleeping in the back of my F150 w/ car topper shell (stealth) while working an IT job far from my home/family, to both save on hotels and to see if the shell could be rigged up to sleep/shower, make coffee & store food, etc. A 4-day a week job, so only 3 nights per week. This in a city notoriously unfriendly to such stealth methods. Walmart & Sam's Club parking lots were a lifesaver. My experiment worked ...

However, there were cars in the parking lot around me with entire families, and a few towels in the window for privacy/insulation, and they were not running the same experiment ...

I'm not sure I'll see a Tesla in that other side of the parking lot, but maybe it will be a Ford Lightning, or a very enterprising individual who's rigged up some lithium batteries and a car-charging interface to them.

Electric car prices are so astronomical that I can't see when they are available for the rest of us; it's why I had high hopes for hybrids ... may have to build my own. Financing an electric car is the "new" financing a house ...

+1 to the better cycle performance of today's LiFePO4 ... swapped our lead batteries out of the house battery-bank for this new tech, and it's everything they claimed it would do. Massive discharge, (seemingly) endless cycles, no maintenance ... wow.
 
Jenn Lumpkin
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Jt Lamb, I read an article yesterday that said Ford Lightning F-150 is not available to new customers anymore ... citing something like supply chains.
That article from Axios about batteries is quite concerning (link posted earlier).
But yeah, another article I read this morning was about Blackrock and Vanguard buying up every single family home that comes on the market.  Bummer for people that want to buy a house in my opinion.

Michael Cox said:  "Modern battery tech is really pretty good these days. Yes, they do degrade with charging cycles, but they don't catastrophically fail, they gradually decline. And even then they decline by a few percent."  
Our Volt's batteries are declined somewhat but we don't drive much, but yeah, those batteries are good.  The lithium batteries for the electric lawnmower I'd mentioned earlier, however, died.  Suddenly.  I was actually mowing up leaves when the battery ran out, I went to recharge it, and it wouldn't recharge.
If you look at the link on Amazon (which I'm not sure I should post since I'm extremely critical of this lawnmower at this point), check out the one-star reviews;  multiple people have had the same problem.  In fact, I've checked several battery-operated lawnmowers and NOW I ALWAYS check the one-star reviews ... particularly about what they're saying about the batteries.

As far as what the stored power in batteries would be/could be used for, I read another article this morning, about beaming energy through space.  
Nobody's SAYING ... hey, this would only be used to top up the grid when electricity is needed and we'll put it back.  At least, I haven't seen that.  
The article about beaming energy (possibly eventually even FROM space) doesn't mention "where does the energy come FROM?"  
 https://www.nrl.navy.mil/Media/News/Article/3004608/nrl-conducts-successful-terrestrial-microwave-power-beaming-demonstration/



 
Jt Lamb
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It's funny to extoll the virtues of LiFePO4 (lithium) batteries, as it's pretty much a rule at this point of the technology, and then an exception is thrown out to it (one particular vendor's issue). Every rule has an exception (or 2, or 3), but hopefully it won't negate the rule.

Lithium is good stuff, and beats the lead out of ... lead batteries.

In the case of tool/yard-implement batteries, there is always a chance that the battery, through heavy use or something, will get itself into a state where it doesn't seem to want to recharge ... the charger throws its code for "dead battery". Luckily, there's all kinds of tips for "waking up a supposedly dead battery"!

Don't know what troubleshooting you've done, but either find out this vendor's support page to wake up the battery and get it charging again, or youtube and others will have the tips & processes.

My ryobi tool batteries occasionally do the same thing to me ... sometimes it's as simple as plugging it in to the charger multiple times; which, if you think about it, means it's putting a tiny bit more charge on the battery with each plug/unplug cycle, to the point where there's enough juice in the battery for the charger to recognize it again.

Hope this helps ...

PS: I'm pretty sure I'll never sell enough chickens to get a Lightning ... I might be able to afford a "Spark" or even "Single Electron" version!
 
Michael Cox
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Jenn Lumpkin wrote:
Our Volt's batteries are declined somewhat but we don't drive much, but yeah, those batteries are good.  The lithium batteries for the electric lawnmower I'd mentioned earlier, however, died.  Suddenly.  I was actually mowing up leaves when the battery ran out, I went to recharge it, and it wouldn't recharge.
If you look at the link on Amazon (which I'm not sure I should post since I'm extremely critical of this lawnmower at this point), check out the one-star reviews;  multiple people have had the same problem.  In fact, I've checked several battery-operated lawnmowers and NOW I ALWAYS check the one-star reviews ... particularly about what they're saying about the batteries.



Yeah, there are a lot of cheap batteries out there that are basically junk. I've looked into this extensively when trying to figure out options for ebike batteries. We think of a battery a single block, but each battery in a unit like an ebike or lawn mower maybe have 20+ individual battery cells. Those cells need to be wired appropriately to each other, and then a battery management system (BMS) is necessary to balance the charging across all the cells and to protect them. The whole thing needs waterproofing, insulation etc... All of those from the cells up are opportunities for manufacturers to cut corners and skimp on quality. That is not to say that the tech is inherently bad, but if you make a battery from cheap junk your end product will be cheap junk.

Car manufacturers have a vested interest i making absolutely top notch batteries; they can't afford for their customers to return cars with battery faults under warranty. And the reputational damage if they did would destroy them.
 
Jay Angler
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Michael Cox wrote:

 That is not to say that the tech is inherently bad, but if you make a battery from cheap junk your end product will be cheap junk.

Hubby bought some backup batteries for an electric chainsaw from an after-market producer. He knew as soon as they arrived and he felt the weight that they were junk. Less than half the weight of the Name brand and not worth even the low price he paid. Definitely not what was advertised.
 
craig howard
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Good point.
The weight of a large output battery (meaning not AA or AAA) should be listed in any ad.
This even applies to lead batteries.
 
Just put the cards in their christmas stocking and PRESTO! They get it now! It's like you're the harry potter of permaculture. richsoil.com/cards
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