Pecan Street’s Engineering Team hosted a talk about the latest on Vehicle to Grid (V2G) technology on June 5, 2020. The discussion included highlights from our recent V2G demonstration project, Tesla’s recent V2G announcement, and an overview of Pecan Street’s ongoing research EV research.
More About V2G Technology
You may have heard about V2G in the news recently with the announcement of Tesla’s new bidirectional charging capabilities. In short, bidirectional charging, or V2G-equipped electric vehicles, act as Energy Storage Systems when they are parked and connected to a charger. This technology has long been hailed for its potential to improve the efficiency and value of intermittent renewable energy like solar and wind. However, widespread adoption has been impeded by technology roadblocks.
Pecan Street recently completed the first trial of a Vehicle to Grid (V2G) system in Texas as part of the Austin SHINES project. During the first year of the demonstration phase, Pecan Street successfully had the vehicle participate as a Behind the Meter (BTM) asset to aid Austin Energy in reducing its peak load during ERCOT’s Four Coincident Peak (4CP) events. Additionally, Pecan Street was able to show the viability of V2G systems that prioritize driver needs by ensuring availability of a minimum driving range at all times and demonstrating that no significant battery degradation occurred from the daily charge/discharge events.
The project shows the potential value of V2G by demonstrating how electric vehicles can respond to discharge calls in the summer when outdoor energy storage systems were unavailable during critical peak events due to high temperatures. The project also demonstrated the successful use of an EV for both energy storage and transportation applications. However, we identified challenges that suggest that the market is not fully prepared to deploy this technology. Our hope is that by identifying these challenges we have laid the foundation for addressing these issues and accelerating the deployment of this technology to market.
About the Speakers
Scott Hinson, CTO, Pecan Street – Scott leads activities and electrical research at the Pecan Street Lab. He worked at a thin film CIGS solar module manufacturer where he led module packaging, performance, certification and reliability efforts. Prior efforts include work in the military, medical, consumer and oil industries developing power supplies, precision measurement equipment and inductive heating technologies. Scott received his B.S.E.E. from The University of Texas at Austin with undergraduate specializations in both communications systems and power distribution. Scott was awarded the 2015 Outstanding Engineering Award for “transforming the world’s understanding of consumer and community electricity usage” by the IEEE Power Engineering Society Central Texas Chapter. He is also a contributing author to Transmission & Distribution World Magazine.
Andrea Tosi, Power Systems Specialist, Pecan Street – As Pecan Street’s power systems specialist, Andrea supports the hardware design and software development for a variety of projects. She received her B.S. in electrical and computer engineering and her M.S. in sustainable design from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining Pecan Street, she led the Austin Energy team that designs, installs and tests grid-scale energy storage installations. Following her interests in renewable energy and emerging technologies, she has participated in projects such as the NexusHaus – a house that competed in DOE’s Solar Decathlon, traveled to Japan to study renewable resources in remote areas, and researched how solar panels and green roofs could work together as synergistic systems in Austin and how such technologies have social impacts on our daily lives.
Moderated By: Colin Rowan, Communications Director, Pecan Street – Colin has more than 20 years of experience in corporate, political and cause communication and has managed Pecan Street’s communication activity since the organization’s founding. He’s worked for PR firms, candidates and an international non-profit organization and now runs an independent consulting firm. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in political communication from The University of Texas at Austin.
About Austin SHINES
Austin’s Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV (SHINES) is a DOE-funded project that integrates energy storage at distribution feeders in order to increase the amount of solar generation. The project team developed and deployed Energy Storage Systems at utility, commercial, and residential levels. These assets are all controlled by Doosan’s Distributed Energy Management Optimizer (DERO) platform.