Cars could shed their image as energy hogs and become mobile storage points for the electric grid, if engineers backed by the National Science Foundation get their way. Hybrid electric vehicles might even feed unused electricity back into the grid and earn money for their owners, not unlike how some homeowners who create renewable energy can sell back electricity to utility companies.
The concept of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) integration would do away with simply considering hybrid electric cars as energy consumers that require stations or places to plug into the electric grid and recharge their batteries.
"Cars sit most of the time," said Jeff Stein, a mechanical engineer at the University of Michigan who leads the NSF-funded effort. "What if it could work for you while it sits there?"
Such future vehicles would essentially double as mobile holding tanks for electricity while sitting unused in their garages. That could prove especially useful if the electric grid begins to rely more on renewable sources of energy such as solar or wind power, which provide intermittent energy that requires storage.
But major challenges lie ahead for this vision. Stein's team has made some progress in understanding how battery health and life is affected by constant charging and recharging, because "what's good for the battery isn't necessarily good for the grid," and vice versa.
The engineers also want to understand how future ownership of hybrid electric vehicles affects the electric grid, and specifically the reliability and stability of the grid. Our advice -- take a look at Google's project to create "smart charging" software for electric cars.
Great. But your power bill is not going down. . .ever. Even if we get fusion working you're paying for every electron you use.
I was just talking to one of my Prof's the other day about how this would never work. You lose energy during every transfer! Plus, who wants an electric car that never has a full charge.
..that thing will never fly, and we have airplanes
..wireless electricity?? impossible!!!.. and yet
.. Everyone knows the world is flat!!!!
If 'it can never work' is the first thing you think when innovation is tabled then please regress into the troglodyte that you are.
I REALLY hate nay-sayers. where is YOUR big idea???? shaare with us how YOU would improve the world please.. Matter of fact, I dare you to do something other than sit on your ass and express your inept and unfounded drivel.
exactly my thoughts...
They havn't even got electric cars too work with and they're already desighning cool exterior looks and all these applications... ELECTRIC CARS wont get into the commercial stage, PERIOD. (at least for the next several centuries, and even then I doubt they will be used!)
even more reinforcement on my statement, this is pure bullsh**
techfreakface U sound like, U work for the oil company's. Ah
a electric That needs to be charged. Sounds like what oil company's want U to believe to. How about a electric car that charge's its on battery's it self. And charges while in motion. U want to charge the cars battery's simply drive it. The things the oil company's never want anyone to know. The Tech U ask. Its been around since 1900. Yes the year 1900. Because oil company's stood to lose millions the cried like little babes to the government. Guess who bought the rights to that Tech then flushed it down the toilet. But they didn't figure on someone in the early seventies. Getting sick tired of charging His RC tug boat to recreate that tech for his toy. Yes people its real & possible now.
Great idea moving forward. Let's hope they get the wrinkles out of it. Infinitely flexible and abundant storage capacity is a real must-have if we're to dump coal-fired utilities from the grid.
Battery technology is moving ahead leaps-and-bounds (I hve two e-Bikes) ... so I have no doubt this idea is doable.
Cost-wise I would hope the Governments would offer significant subsidies for individual battery purchases to offset the dual usage mode of operation.
That would be foolish with current battery technology, batteries have a life measured in charge cycles if you use up all your cycles to make a few bucks you'll be kicking yourself when you have to pony up for new batteries. If EESUs turn out to not be a fraudulent lie this objection may not apply.
I've got a better idea. How about a power supply system that can be throttled up or down to meet demand? Like hydroelectric, coal, natural gas, geothermal, or nuclear power plants? Just a thought.
Some sort of power accumulation/storage plants can be developed all over the world. Whatever extra electricity is available can be stored in this plants for later use.
Ideally the power is produced where it is needed when it is needed but some power accumulation plants can add flexibility to the overall system.
One simple power plant will be a heavy weight lifted and lowered in an underground shaft.
Second type : compressing air.
Third type: flywheels.
All those Toyota Priuses in the CA sun and nobody thought to put solar collectors on the rooves? Didn't IBM just invent some sort of super cheap solar panel that doesn't use rare earth metals? So, while they're sitting there in that hot sun, soaking up all those photons, they could pass on those electrons into the grid and earn the owner of the car some $$.
Even if they don't plug the car into the grid to earn some money, it can still somewhat charge the car, right?
I mean, a few thousand or tens of thousands of sitting cars collecting solar power has got to put a dent on the energy shortage, right?
exactly my thoughts...
They havn't even got electric cars too work with and they're already desighning cool exterior looks and all these applications... ELECTRIC CARS wont get into the commercial stage, PERIOD. (at least for the next several centuries, and even then I doubt they will be used!)"
You got it wrong, Phyxnutt means to say that E-cars WILL happen. Read before posting.
Second ELECTRIC CARS WILL get into
the commercial stage for it is INEVITABLE and that stage my friend has already Started, the big oil GNOMES will put a snare in it's progress for a long time still yes
but eventually they too will have to support it and will.
And that i can assure you of my friend.
Yes these can be throttled, but they are also the very things that are contributing to so many of the environmental problems that society is trying to counter.
If solar panels can be mass produced in sufficient quantities to cover the exterior of all these glass cased high-rises and the roofs of all these warehouses and industrial buildings, then there would be plenty of electricity to go around. The problem is funding, which in turn is a political issue.
Absolutely! For some reason, however, as soon as you say 'solar car' people instantly assume that solar power cannot power a normal sized car. Meanwhile, these same people are putting solar back-up units on their RVs to power the AC.
i dont want to waste my unused battery life to recharge the grid.
i want to make as much miles to the kilowatt i can get.
..also, it seems that people do not see that power does not have to come from just one source. I am not against fossil fuels. there could be a constant velocity diesel generator that delivers power directly to wheel motors (michelin now has these), the gas cars we currently have can generate electricity simply by placing a magnet underneath them and having them drive over solenoid embedded roads. (which per car is not much but factor in the millions of miles of road and the millions of cars...)
Oh wait! before you say it let me,..... IT WILL NOT WORK!!!..
@phyxnutt If you were a true physics nut, you would know the second law of thermodynamics, you can never get more energy out than you can energy in, it defies the conservation of energy.
We use gas in cars not because it is the most efficient, but because we can get the toque and power out of it that we can't from electric motors. Don't quote me on this, but I believe the highest efficiency gotten out of an IC engine is something like 58%, the HIGHEST. You can get like 90% out of electric, but only at low power inputs and outputs. Other than the oil companies, this is probably a major obstacle for electric cars.
That stuff aside, I don't understand what this article is trying to say really. Isn't the point of hybrid cars so that drivers can use battery power instead of gas? If they discharge their batteries every time they park, not only are they adding another step to the chain of inefficiency, they make hybrid drivers no longer hybrid.
@rpenri The third generation of prius does have a solar panel, I believe it produces enough power to work the ventilation system.
@mjforrest, really? Hydroelectric, natural gas, geothermal, and nuclear power plants (which produce about 47% of our electricity) are contributing to environmental problems? What problems? Coal of course produces a lot of pollution but there are ways to mitigate that. Since solar and wind make up less than 3% of our energy sources and we get almost half (49%) of our electrical power from coal, chances are pretty good that finding ways to burn coal efficiently will have a much greater environmental impact and substantially greater return on investment than some hair-brained electric-car-battery power-buy-back scheme. It's nice to fantasize about a fossil-fuel free future, but it won't be here for quite a while yet.
"You can get like 90% out of electric, but only at low power inputs and outputs. Other than the oil companies, this is probably a major obstacle for electric cars."
Not at all an obstacle whatsoever, it is extremely easy to tweak a motor for torque, speed, or a balance between both.
Design the motor and drive train for torque, you will retain 80-90% efficiency.
No need to overpower the motor if it does what it's designed for in the correct application, And if you do, your efficiency goes down to 70% still much higher than IC's
"Highest efficiency gotten out of an IC engine is something like 58%, the HIGHEST"
:) Even if it is true, i never and my millionare neighbour
never got to drive one of those. And cars have been around for over a 100 years. The age of the tech behind IC's is
Stove Stokers have no choice but to pave the way for E-Power.
@CoolHand.... what part of my comments implied that you could get more energy out than you put in?
As far as torque, the torque generated by an electric wheel motor is instantaneous and does not require a transmission.
it would also be to your benefit to include references when you quote arbitrary efficiency statistics.
I think the continuous increasing demand for electric power could be supplied by aneutronic reactor due to its ability of producing electricity directly with an efficiency exceeding 90%, without steam turbines and neutron emissions.
@phyxnutt - Here is my world changing idea. How about a beta decay material like Strontium to make electrons and an alpha decay material like Lithium to suck electrons and Vandergraff spheres to store the charge build up between the two to create a nuclear decay battery with huge electromotive potentials. Then we could make electrostatic lifters and float to work in flying cars. There should be enough electrical potential for an ion thrust engine or a tuned maser heterodyne thrust magnetron.
@rbrtwjohnson - Looks like another polywell cathode reactor. Good luck on keeping your superconductors working with a fusion fire at core.
@phyxnutt Using gas to run your motor to turn your wheels to move the car to produce energy by going over a magnet. That is the sequence you are suggesting, but like I said it just adds another inefficiency since you should be using all the energy produced by the engine to move the car alone. And I didn't cite because I didn't want to put the time into just stimulating conversation, hence the "I thinks" and the "something likes" as well as the DON'T QUOTE ME ON THIS. Thank you.
"Even if it is true, i never and my millionare neighbour
never got to drive one of those. And cars have been around for over a 100 years. The age of the tech behind IC's is
@Electrix, I think I'm misunderstanding, you've never driven a non-electric powered car? Or are you saying you've never driven an IC engine that efficient?
What i'm saying basically is ic has been around for more than 100 years, yet they could only improve it to 58% efficiency over that period. And that type of efficiency
if it exists, is not in the majority of cars worldwide. Further an ic's power output degrades
over time whereas electric motors does not.
To kill an electric motor you need to kill the magnets,
which can be done but only if you try really hard, and why would you. The list of benefits of electric is
endless. I won't list them all unless asked.
@nonsquid - This fusion reactor has neither physical cathode nor virtual cathode created by electrons. Instead, it has a high voltage applied at the core region, and the superconductors are keeping working cooled by liquid helium.
Working the ventilation system to keep the car cool is a trivial thing in the grand scheme of switching from oil to renewable energy.
I agree with people not wanting to waste their batteries recharging the grid, but how about using captured solar energy to do it? The problem with solar power is that you need a place to mount all those solar panels. Typically, you need acres and acres of uninhabited land, which takes away from humans and nature.
Well, cars when not inside a garage sit in the sun and take up space already. Especially in cities, parking lots, side streets, etc. Instead of letting them sit there taking up space, we can utilize them to lessen the strain on the electric grid. The bigger the city, the cheaper the electricity! All those cars sitting in parking lots waiting for their owners to leave work can also earn their owners money, or at least make power cheaper for everybody. All those parking meters can be swapped out for a parking plug that can pump precious energy into the system. Instead of paying money to park, you can off-set the cost of parking by powering the city! The bigger the solar panel, the cheaper the cost of parking or no cost at all. Small cars with small panels that only give out so much juice have to pay more since they're putting in less. The exact details can be ironed out later...but you all get my point, don't you?
How about adding solar panels to the walls of buildings and roofs in the city,
Or how about a solar covered freeway, you keep the sun from shining in your eyes while driving and, the panels is in nobody's way for it is overhead the freeway.
I'm really confused as to how this will help anything. Hybrid cars get their electricity in two ways, pulling it from the grid when plugged in, and by burning fuel. Basically the whole idea here is using your hybrid as a generator, which would be nice if the power goes out and you can power your house with your car, but how could anyone argue that this is efficient or a possible revenue stream, or clean? Basically the idea is, lets burn fuel in our cars while we're not driving in order to power our homes.
Homeowners who install lots of solar panels and wind turbines and actually produce a lot of renewable energy can sell that energy back to the grid. But your car's engine doesn't make renewable energy, nor will it produce enough to power your entire house, let alone extra to sell back to the grid.
The US electrical system has serious issues with regulation,and the solution to this point has been systems that can react with production to demand efficiently and quickly. Thus, baseload demand has been carried by fixed sources - nuclear and hydro being the cleanest. These sources do not ramp up well. Nuclear reactions take time to get going, and work best at a steady burn. Hydro can be ramped up and down, but only by fluctuating retained water levels (a self defeating proposition, since a "tidal lake" would have signifigant sediment issues.
Carbon sources have been used to meet demand.
So, peak and base power have been used to meet instability on the consumption side (which increases cost for the production side).
Adding variable production means even more volitility in the grid, and more dependence on carbon sources to match that volitility.
This, is a sinister attempt to put that cost on you, the consumer. If batteries were cost effective for energy storage, the electric producers would build battery banks for that purpose.
Instead, if that charge could be inflicted upon you with your new car, the electric company gets a batter bank that you pay for and pay to replace. I know I would extend the life of my $10,000 car battery by subverting the software - as would most everyone else.
If the electric company is worried about the increased demand on production from electric cars, then what it needs to do is move to peak pricing with smart meters. That way people choose to charge their cars off peak rather than stealing battery life from them.
No, I don't work for an oil company, im just a realist, this tech is barely in development stages, someone mention getting the "wrinkles" out of it, more like rips in their whole technology when they realize how inefficient this is for the public, point blank, people won't buy it.
Sorry, ezap, but apparently you have NOO knowledge in basic physics when you said:
"How about a electric car that charge's its on battery's it self. And charges while in motion."
:D :D :D
Remember something called "The Law Of Conservation Of Energy" buddy? Well it goes like this (in simple language) -----energy cannot be created or destroyed------
Well then, how about you hook up generators too the car wheels, the engine makes the wheels spin, whe generator creates energy and the loop continues, wonderfull idea *sarcasm*, and Iv got some perpetual motion machines up my sleave too...
If you don't want too go that extreme, if you generate power from wheel motion, wouldnt you just slow down the wheels spinning motion and thus require EVEN MORE power too be used too sustain it's motion, while the power "generated" loses voltage as it travels in this retarted "loop" of yours?
There are people here on popsci that really don't have a clue...
@technofreakface That was what I said to phyxnutt! Hopefully having someone else say it will help him understand what I meant by saying he was violating the second law of thermodynamics.