With customer-side incentives for electric vehicles (EVs) and trading in older gas-powered vehicles, and manufacturer-side investment, the future of transportation will be largely electric.
As EV adoption rate increases, demand for more EV chargers also increases. However not all chargers are the same and many advancements have been made in charger technology. Bidirectional charging in particular has created new opportunities for building and electric vehicle owners to contribute to electrical system stability and distributed energy resources.
Electric Vehicle Chargers: More than just one-way
Many traditional EV chargers take energy from the building or the grid to charge the EV battery, while bidirectional chargers allow EVs to discharge their battery and push power back into the building/grid.
Expending your car battery on anything but driving sounds counter-intuitive, but in fact allows for more strategic charging times to benefit vehicle owners and reduced pressure for building owners and grid operators.
The OEB and EV interest groups have already been looking into this to help Ontario’s energy infrastructure concerns and has funded studies on existing bidirectional systems and Ontarian driving patterns. Some highlights listed below:
California as a case study: saved customers over $500 million by shifting load profiles
Cars are parked 95% of the time, average commute is < 30min. They are excellent as a distributed energy resource/mobile storage resource
Old EV batteries can be reused in buildings
Timing is important, need to get bi-directional charging before 1d to save time and money
Large infrastructure savings
Of particular note are the last 2 points in the list above. It is of great importance that building owners choose and install bidirectional EV chargers as opposed to one-way chargers as replacement down the line will be very time consuming and expensive.
IESO Investment and Partners
In line with this, the IESO has announced an investment of over $1 million in a variety of vehicle to grid projects and partnered with LDCs, engineering companies and schools to develop this technology and explore more opportunities.
How We Can Help
Mann Energy Solutions (MES) is a professional consulting engineering company that specializes in electrical and energy solutions, including engineering and implementation. Our experienced electrical engineers can help work with your building’s unique profile to identify spare electrical capacity, energy saving opportunities, and design the best system for you. Our firm has hundreds of installed electrical and power projects and we have been in business since 1983. Some of our services include:
Free site walk-through by our experienced engineers and technicians to provide an initial site assessment
Engineering feasibility studies
Incentive study and application
Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) for a turnkey project
For more information or a complimentary assessment contact us through the main site, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (416) 201 9109 x 158.
Further Reading and Sources
Plug ‘n Drive - Used Electric Vehicle Incentive
Plug ‘n Drive – Scrappage Incentive Program
OEB Presentation – Vehicle-to-Building/Grid by Elson Advocacy