Home Energy system Electric Cars Could One Day Power Your Home: Here’s How To Do It

Electric Cars Could One Day Power Your Home: Here’s How To Do It


Electric cars could help power millions of homes for years to come, just by harnessing the power of their batteries. The electricity contained in the vehicle’s battery could be reconnected to the grid instead of being stored. The technique was developed in Japan and our research will help understand how to best use it in the UK.

Many electric vehicles (EVs) are produced with the ability to use their on-board battery to send power back to the power supply to which they are connected.

Whether it is the owner’s home or the power grid in general, these technologies have been driven by governments and electric car manufacturers primarily to balance demand on the power transmission grid, or the network.

The ability to use these huge connected batteries is in line with the future management and delivery of cleaner grids – instead of burning fossil fuels to generate electricity, we should harness clean renewable sources such as wind power. and solar when they are plentiful, and store electricity in batteries when not. Thus, by charging electric vehicles from renewable sources, we can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

The plan sounds good, but is tricky because electricity is difficult to store. But we already store huge amounts of electricity – in our cars. With around 1% of the 27 million UK households currently owning an EV, each with an average battery of 60 kWh, those 300,000 EVs could store an incredible 18 GWh of electricity that could usefully be used to power homes.

That’s more than the Dinorwig pumped storage plant in Snowdonia, the UK’s largest storage facility, which stores around 9 GWh.

By 2030, the UK could have nearly 11 million electric vehicles on the road. Assuming that 50% of these vehicles are able to feed unused energy back into the grid, this would open up the possibility of powering 5.5 million homes.

How can we make it happen?

In order for cars to power the grid on a technical level, three things need to happen. First, a two-way energy transfer from the car to its charging point should be made possible. This system is known as the grid vehicle and was first introduced in Japan after the Fukushima disaster and the subsequent blackout.

But other areas of development are needed to deploy the technology. These include the installation of vehicle charging equipment to the home network, vehicle compatibility and changes in the energy market. There are also two competing types of fast charging equipment, which will need to be addressed, perhaps with units having both types of connectors.

The third part of the technical puzzle is to ensure the support of the electricity distribution networks. Some parts of the network are unable to have a significant amount of power returned from the connections at the same time, so local networks have to make sure they can cope.

Engage the drivers

Once the technology is in place, how do you make sure people engage with the program? We seek consumer acceptance and knowledge of vehicle-to-grid systems, with the goal of showing drivers how the technology works and preventing their batteries from draining when needed.

Right now, most trials are being conducted by energy companies or electric utilities, who want to understand how the technology works commercially and help balance the power grid. But we believe the focus should also be on cost benefits, eco-accreditation and driver convenience.

Charging electric vehicles with the cheapest energy and selling the energy back to the grid at peak times could save customers up to £ 725 per year. This adds to the fuel savings: an EV costs an average of £ 500 per year compared to £ 1,435 per year for a petrol or diesel.

Reducing the impact on the environment, saving on fuel costs, and powering your home with clean, cheap energy are all great benefits, but low car battery cases can lead to many unhappy homeowners.

Other concerns also include: the potential costs of installing compatible V2G chargers in the home; lifestyle impacts and disadvantages of delayed recharging of rechargeable electric vehicles (if the car powers the house); and fear of battery degradation (which some research indicates is justified, but outweighed by the potential benefits).

UK electricity and gas regulator Ofgem intends to invest millions of pounds in creating a more flexible energy system to support vehicle electrification and renewable energy production, and to make the transition to a low carbon economy more fair, inclusive and affordable.

If enough drivers took advantage of vehicle-to-grid technology, the UK could acquire the power generation capacity of up to ten large nuclear power plants and reinvest the savings in the development of clean energy and energy. flexible energy system.

The process will not be smooth. The solutions are numerous, but will require the support of power companies, even car manufacturers and finance companies. There are a lot of parts of the puzzle to solve, but since the average car is idle 95% of the time, the chances that its power source can be used for greener, cheaper life is huge.

Tom Stacey, Lecturer in Operations and Supply Chain Management, Anglia Ruskin University and Ying Xie, Professor in Supply Chain Management, Anglia Ruskin University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.