Driving Vehicle-to-Grid Technology Forward

There is a step change coming in the transportation industry and it is being driven by technology. Electric vehicles are proving to be superior to gas and diesel models, not just because they are capable of adding zero emissions to our atmosphere.

Electric vehicles accelerate faster than conventional models. The electric drive systems allow for unlimited torque when the driver requests it and so does not suffer the lag of combustion engine systems. Just look at the marketing for the new Tesla Model S as the fastest production car in the world.

 Tesla Roadster: Elon Musk unveils 'fastest production car ever' in shock announcement. Elon Musk, the Chief Executive of electric car maker Tesla, unveiled a surprise new vehicle on Thursday night - a roadster that he said would be the "fastest production car ever"

Tesla Roadster: Elon Musk unveils ‘fastest production car ever’ in shock announcement. Elon Musk, the Chief Executive of electric car maker Tesla, unveiled a surprise new vehicle on Thursday night – a roadster that he said would be the “fastest production car ever”

Electric cars have far fewer moving parts ( 25 compared to 2000 ) than combustion engine vehicles. This provides an inherently higher level of reliability. Also this allows electric vehicle manufacturers to offer life-time warranties. Vehicle-to-grid technology is changing how we think about our transportation systems.

Full electric models like the Nissan Leaf just keep getting better

Full electric models like the Nissan Leaf just keep getting better

Another very interesting area of research that ultimately will impact the grid-to-vehicle system is that remote or at a distance charging. This technology utilizes the properties of electromagnetic fields and waves, to transfer power from a coil on the floor or embedded in the roadway, to transfer energy to a similar coil on the underside of an electric car, so that it in effect charges the battery without plugging in. Maybe even while the car is driving!

Nissan is also developing wireless electric car charging

Nissan is also developing wireless electric car charging

If indeed we are able to master wireless electric car charging it may be that we can develop vehicles for some applications that do not require batteries at all. I mean, if you can get power in a wireless way from the road you are travelling then what is the battery needed for? This is similar to electric trains or trams that have been around for decades that receive their power from overhead power lines.

Electric highspeed trains give us insight into tomorrows electric vehicles

I was recently on a train from Switzerland to Germany that was completely powered in this way. The grid of the future may also provide electricity ( clean I hope ) to the roadways for wireless vehicles.

The University of Delaware has expanded its collaboration with Nuvve Corporation, owner of the revolutionary vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology developed at the University, to further accelerate changes in energy and transportation.

The technology, already in commercial use in several areas of the world, points to a future where vehicles will routinely draw and discharge energy to the power grid.

Vehicle to grid chargers for electric cars

Vehicle to grid chargers for electric cars -Nuvve, a Delaware company based in California, gained exclusive global rights to market the technology in 2016.

“Our partnership with Nuvve Corporation demonstrates the University of Delaware’s abiding commitment to cutting-edge research and innovation. This collaboration opens up new horizons for synergizing the strengths of academia and industry in charting the future of clean and sustainable energy,” UD President Dennis Assanis said.

The University of Delaware’s students and researchers are–and will continue to be–a major force in the global transportation revolution.

Fast charging electric cars is so important

Fast charging electric cars is so important and an emphasis of vehicle-to-grid research

Electric vehicles with the UD-pioneered technology can charge or discharge their batteries back to the electric grid. The software aggregates all vehicles plugged into the system so that they perform in unison, helping to balance the grid’s supply of electricity with demand–in real time, on a second-to-second basis. Conventional power plants take several minutes to respond to grid demands.

Vehicle-To-Grid Technology Will Open Up Whole New Career Paths.

“The practical development of vehicle-to-grid technology at UD has evolved over many years, demonstrating the tremendous value of long-term thinking and sustained investment in research,” said Charlie Riordan, UD’s vice president for research, scholarship and innovation.

Our partnership with Nuvve helps secure the next phase of that research leadership and brings it even closer to broad availability on the vehicle market. This is a tangible example of UD’s entrepreneurial approach to addressing society’s most pressing needs.

Under the new agreement, Nuvve–led by CEO Gregory Poilasne–will hold the patents to the Vehicle-to-Grid technology and UD will hold an equity share in the early stage company. Additionally, UD will establish an advanced R&D center to expand its leadership in this technology.

“A major transition is underway in the world, and the University of Delaware is right at the forefront,” said David Weir, director of UD’s Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships (OEIP).

The technology pioneered here at UD will further accelerate the disruption that’s taking place and shake up the transportation marketplace.

Pioneering visionary

The visionary behind the¬†Vehicle-to-Grid technology is Willett Kempton, research director of UD’s Center for Carbon-free Power Integration and a professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE).

Kempton recognized the potential of V2G more than 20 years ago–in 1996–and became further intrigued with the idea of using electric vehicle batteries to help balance the power grid as intermittent clean energy sources (such as solar and wind) come online. He worked with a team of UD researchers and students including Fouad Kiamilev, a professor in UD’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Rodney McGee, lead electrical engineer on the project, to develop the electric V2G concept, both the software and hardware. UD launched the world’s first revenue-generating¬†Vehicle-2Grid project at the University’s main campus in Newark, Delaware, in 2013.

Kempton, who also is a co-founder and chief technology officer at Nuvve commented:

It’s rewarding to see an idea I dreamed up, and that our team has strived to make work reliably in practice, being implemented commercially across many countries.

Through the expanded partnership with Nuvve, UD will establish an R&D center, which Nuvve will support with at least $400,000 per year for the next seven years. The center will encompass work on the grid-integrated software and hardware in UD’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, policy work and software underway in the University’s Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory and in CEOE, and automobile testing at UD’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus.

V2G technology represents the future, and evolution of clean energy and this investment will position our students to be pioneers in the field.

Electric vehicles currently make up less than two percent of the vehicle market worldwide. That is changing, though. Nuvve’s Poilasne said electric vehicles are expected to permeate the global marketplace in the next three to five years.

“UD faculty and students are at the epicenter of it all. UD R&D must continue to ‘push the envelope’ on vehicle grid integration,” Poilasne said.

Weir said this research also fits perfectly with shared goals for job creation in Delaware.

I believe it’s the opening of a new job market, a whole new economic sector that will require a whole new set of job skills, for example, electricians and mechanics, and professional disciplines such as software engineers.

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