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Doty WindFuels is a subgroup of Doty Scientific - a small company founded by my father 30 years ago. We are currently developing a new energy paradigm - a process for using variable renewable energy to convert CO2 into liquid hydrocarbon fuels and chemicals. The products would be called... More
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  • EV's Will Not Reduce Wind Curtailment. 45 comments
    Jun 6, 2012 4:47 PM

    First, we must understand why wind is curtailed:

    Wind energy is variable, and to some extent unreliable. Due to the extreme ramp times involved in the baseload coal plants, most power companies will not operate wind energy that is greatly in excess of their spare natural gas capacity. If the wind drops, then there has to be enough dispatchable power to cover the load, or you get a brownout or a blackout. This is mitigated somewhat by the distribution of dispatchable loads throughout a region, and certainly throughout a hub on an ISO… but as a region builds out wind power then this will eventually become a concern, and curtailment occurs.

    Furthermore, a power company has to make a call in anticipation of a windy night as to exactly how much they choose to tamp back their coal plants. If the wind is sustained and provides constant power throughout the night, they get very high profits on selling a product that has near zero marginal cost... But if the wind rises and falls, they have to constantly ramp up their peakers near max then tamp them back only to ramp them back up again... All while ramping and tamping their larger CCGT plants as quickly as they can - making the night FAR more expensive than it would have been had they just tamped down the coal plant a little less and pitched the blades on the wind turbines.

    The much lower price of gas has dramatically reduced the instance of nightly curtailment - because they can now plan to have a natural gas power plant running at moderate capacity through the night which can more adequately ramp up or down while leaving the minute-to-minute changes to the peakers.

    In 2012, it's likely that less than 3% of the potential wind energy generation will be curtailed, though as natural gas prices rebound the instance of curtailment is certain to rise again, possibly back into the 10-15% curtailment range.

    But even with today's low NG prices the power companies will pitch the blades and let the energy go in response to minor but rapid changes in wind speed, because it's too much of a headache to try to slam the peakers that rapidly up and down... so they'll use blade pitching to try to get a reasonably constant energy level from the wind turbines once their battery reserves are full.

    This complexity also causes a great deal of daytime curtailment. Since the baseload capacity is typically ramped up near maximum, there again is a narrow range of operational flexibility from the peakers and the natural gas plants… so again there will be some energy discarded by pitching the blades. For instance: in 2010 throughout MISO, nearly 40% of the wind curtailment occurred during peak hours. In 2011, ~58.9% of the wind curtailment occurred during peak hours.

    Another reason for curtailment comes with wind farm design itself: If a power plant builds out a 100 MW wind farm, it's not uncommon for them to only build an ~80 MW (or less) capacity transmission line connecting that wind farm to the grid. The major transmission lines are expensive enough that it isn't cost effective for transmission to be built out with sufficient capacity to handle rare 100% loads. Obviously, during extremely strong winds the blades will have to be pitched back or locked down because the transmission lines wouldn't handle the full load. Due to the very low price of natural gas, this is probably the majority of the issue surrounding wind curtailment today, though as we've discussed before the price of natural gas will not hold, and as the price of natural gas rises, the night-time curtailment of wind will once again occur nightly throughout the wind belt.

    All of the above actions of the power companies are, of course, dictated by the minute-by-minute variation in RT price on the ISO hubs... which is another layer of complexity that I chose to avoid by replacing the ISO hub by a purely rational decision maker - which is fair enough for this post.

    Finally, blades are locked down in winds that exceed the maximum rated wind for that particular turbine, but this represents a very small percentage of current wind curtailment.

    None of this is intended to disparage wind power. As a renewable generation technology that is truly cost competitive with coal on a $/MWh basis, wind has expanded at a tremendous rate and is now generating over 4% of the nation's electricity, and will eventually exceed 20%. But there are complications with wind, and those complications cause curtailments. The higher the penetration of wind, the greater the amount of curtailments that will be required. Understanding why wind is curtailed will help resolve these issues and avoid distractions or fantasies - such as the notion that charging EV's overnight will reduce wind curtailments. They won't. What is needed to reduce wind curtailment is a fast-response demand response. This is often envisioned as some form of grid-to-grid storage, but that narrowing of focus is a distraction. What is critical, however, to reducing curtailment is to have some rapid flexibility of demand that can accommodate a rapidly changing supply.

    The EV charging cycle:

    Plugging in an EV represents an absolutely constant demand increase from ~7:00 pm until ~5:00 am. There's no demand response enabled here... there's just a dependable higher baseload demand. The most profitable response for this will - in all cases - be for the power company to just tamp down their baseload power a little less each night to accommodate a higher baseload demand. (for more on this, see: http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/1005406-glenn-doty/702131-recent-analysis-from-the-union-of-concerned-scientist-is-garbage).

    EV Potential vs Reality:

    If an EV owner had a 3-phase ultra-fast-charger hooked up to a smartgrid controller which could immediately ramp-up or tamp-down the charging rate based on 5-second pricing signals from the local ISO... then you would have an option that would clearly take advantage of the variable energy bursts from the wind and you would directly reduce wind curtailment. But that type of set-up would add ~$5,000-$10,000 to the price of owning an EV, and would still only function during the times in which your EV was hooked up to such a system.

    No current EV owners have such a thing. For current EV owners, and those unwilling to invest another ~$5,000-$10,000 in making them clean, the energy they are powering their cars with is almost certainly coal-sourced.

    Without some kind of ultra-fast charger (which would experience EXTREMELY high charging losses) hooked up to a rapid response smartgrid controller, then an EV is going to be consuming baseload power with absolutely no impact on the rate of wind curtailment, minimization of load following, peaker utilization, optimal capacity utilization, or any other system management concerns or system carbon intensity reduction concerns.

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Comments (45)
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  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29565) | Send Message
     
    I truly appreciate your understanding of how the power system works and your willingness to freely share that knowledge with others.
    7 Jun 2012, 01:04 AM Reply Like
  • Glenn Doty
    , contributor
    Comments (1116) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thanks John.

     

    Just as I appreciate your understanding of energy storage, and your willingness to freely share that with your readers.

     

    You're making a more significant impact in public awareness than I am, but I can help.

     

    :)
    7 Jun 2012, 08:08 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29565) | Send Message
     
    I like to think I'm pretty insignificant but given the number of people who know nothing about investing but seek me out to criticize I guess it's possible that my reach could exceed my grasp.
    7 Jun 2012, 09:16 AM Reply Like
  • Glenn Doty
    , contributor
    Comments (1116) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » You might be the only one really speaking out against the EV hype. Every single other blogger out there that notices EV's exist seemingly has done nothing but wave pom-poms.

     

    There are many smart people who have looked at EV's and determined that this doesn't work, and since you've been the lone voice in the wilderness crying out against them, they've rallied to you - posting links on renewable blogs. That's how I stumbled across Seekingalpha.

     

    I think you've got a bigger voice than you suspect. It's clear that Musk fears you or he wouldn't pay so many bloggers to gum up your comment section.
    ;)
    (this last was tongue-in-cheek... sorta)
    7 Jun 2012, 09:26 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29565) | Send Message
     
    It's a darned good thing that I've never believed I had power to move the markets because I'd be crestfallen by the fact that Tesla goes up every time I write about it.

     

    They really do have an incredibly effective PR and marketing group, and who knows, if they can manufacture cars without a hitch and shove 20,000 units a year into the market the value may hold.
    7 Jun 2012, 09:43 AM Reply Like
  • marketquant
    , contributor
    Comments (1272) | Send Message
     
    > EV represents an absolutely constant demand increase from ~7:00 pm until ~5:00 am. There's no demand response

     

    I've seen info from folks working on V2G and "V2G half" that indicates that adding it would cost only a couple thousand dollars for each vehicle (including the charger and other stuff) -- and that enough grid ancillary service revenue can be generated to more than pay for the upfit (including calculations for the cost of battery degradation).

     

    However, other research indicates a real world V2G business case could only be made for an aggregation company (and most of the profits would flow to them).

     

    Who would the aggregators be? Perhaps universities or large businesses (with green leanings) would install a dozen or more V2G parking spots to seize on the opportunity.

     

    The dream, of course, is that every EV would include at least V2G half and become a grid asset.
    7 Jun 2012, 09:33 AM Reply Like
  • Glenn Doty
    , contributor
    Comments (1116) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Marketquant,

     

    I had hoped to respond to this today... but it's been busy in the lab and I've got busy-work on top of that. I'm not ignoring the query, but I won't be able to answer until much later tonight.

     

    I might turn this answer into an instablog post.
    7 Jun 2012, 03:12 PM Reply Like
  • marketquant
    , contributor
    Comments (1272) | Send Message
     
    Kempton and his group at the Univ of Delaware is working with PJM. That is basically who I'm referring to.

     

    I generally agree with the notion that if there is action in this arena that an aggregator will be necessary (for communications, billing, nitty-gritty, and so on). Maybe zipcar?
    7 Jun 2012, 10:43 PM Reply Like
  • Glenn Doty
    , contributor
    Comments (1116) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Finally:

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    Sorry for the delay Marketquant.
    8 Jun 2012, 01:33 PM Reply Like
  • GreenRiver
    , contributor
    Comments (3837) | Send Message
     
    "If an EV owner had a 3-phase ultra-fast-charger hooked up to a smartgrid controller . . . "

     

    And that EV owner must be in a commercial building - residential service in the US is 100% single phase.
    7 Jun 2012, 12:27 PM Reply Like
  • Glenn Doty
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    Comments (1116) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Greenriver,

     

    That's why I assumed it would cost so much. The owner in question would have to get industrial service run to his/her house, then have the smartgrid controller installed, then wire up the garage. Ouch.
    :)
    7 Jun 2012, 12:45 PM Reply Like
  • GreenRiver
    , contributor
    Comments (3837) | Send Message
     
    As far as I know, the NEC and all local building codes prohibit 3 phase residential service. The only exception I know of is that 3 phase service can be provided for multi-family buildings, but the service to each unit still must be single phase.

     

    You'll never see a 3 phase fast charger in anyone's home, at any price. Pink unicorns are slightly more common.
    7 Jun 2012, 07:39 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29565) | Send Message
     
    I have three-phase power at the house. Granted it's Swiss power that runs at 50 hz but it's still three phase, just like everybody else. The only reason I'm even aware of that fact is we've had a couple times over the years where one of the phases gets knocked out for a couple hours but the other stays up. When that happens, we lose the stove, oven and half the lights in the apartment, but the other lights stay on. It's the craziest thing I've ever seen.
    8 Jun 2012, 01:01 AM Reply Like
  • GreenRiver
    , contributor
    Comments (3837) | Send Message
     
    Freestanding single family dwelling?

     

    In typical Amero-centric fashion, I was thinking of the electrical and building codes in the US as being replicated everwhere. ("NEC" refers to the National Electrical Code in the US.)

     

    I would assume that residential service elsewhere in Europe mirrors that in Switzerland? And Europe makes far more sense, with its dense development and high population density, as a market for EV's than the US does.

     

    In some respects, it makes more sense to have uniform electrical service for both commercial and residential customers. I believe the current situation in the US is a legacy of the Rural Electrification Administration, a New Deal agency which subsidised provision of electricity to rural areas in the US. As a young field engineer for a power company, I can remember an older engineer pointing out old REA transmission lines still in use, in the 1980's. It was far cheaper to run a single conductor; rather than the 3 conductors required for 3 phase service. Most of rural America first received power as a result of the REA; and most current urban residential areas were farmland during the Roosevelt administration.
    8 Jun 2012, 07:39 AM Reply Like
  • Glenn Doty
    , contributor
    Comments (1116) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Greenriver,

     

    Fair enough, and thank you for the info. I have never specifically dealt with NEC regulations, so I know very little and I must defer to you.

     

    I must say that I don't understand the idea of RESTRICTING someone from getting 3-phase power... I don't believe it will help the average homeowner, but if they WANT more power and are willing to pay, I don't see why they are restricted from getting it.

     

    That said, I'm aware you didn't write the rules, you are merely reporting them. I hereby drop the speculation that there would ever be a means by which electric vehicles could significantly reduce wind curtailment in the U.S..
    8 Jun 2012, 08:08 AM Reply Like
  • GreenRiver
    , contributor
    Comments (3837) | Send Message
     
    Now, I admit that I've never seen even a schematic of a fast charger for an EV, but I would assume (yes, I know) that the incoming AC power is rectified to provide a DC current source and that the entire system then runs from that DC supply.

     

    If that is the case, then there is no reason at all that a fast charger couldn't be designed to operate on 220 single phase.

     

    But if 3 phase service is absolutely mandatory for the fast charge system, then a better choice than the expense of a 3 phase service is a rotary phase converter. These devices provide true sine wave 3 phase power to feed a 3 phase device. A rotary converter is essentially a single phase electric motor driving a 3 phase electric generator, with all the windings wound on a common armature - the one master winding drives the armature, and power is taken off of the 2 slave windings. Typical losses are about 5%.

     

    A lot of 'hobby' machinists have found that the cheapest alternative for powering a 3-phase lathe or mill at home is the phase converter, and the rotary units don't de-rate the HP of the machine - and they're typically cheaper than replacing the motor on the machine.
    8 Jun 2012, 11:53 AM Reply Like
  • Glenn Doty
    , contributor
    Comments (1116) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Greenriver,

     

    A 220 single phase "fast charger" would take far too long recharging the battery to impact wind curtailment. The goal here would be to satisfy the entire battery charging requirements within a few 5-15-minute windows. A 220 single phase "fast charger" would still require too much time to satisfy the charging demands of the battery in the narrow windows that the power company would like, and would probably not justify the complication and expense of a dedicated smartgrid charge controller. But of course that was more tongue-in-cheek than anything, as we all know that no residential grid could handle a many such chargers anyway.
    8 Jun 2012, 12:18 PM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (2165) | Send Message
     
    There is nothing inherently "faster" with 3-phase vs 2-phase. Watts are watts, and voltage determines how many watts delivered per conductor. 3-phase has some advantages in motor design, but not for charging equipment.

     

    The two real limitations are total power available at the pole, and maximun charging rate of the battery. No battery can be charged in 15 minutes, regardless of the power available, just like you can't roast a turkey in 15 minutes, no matter how hot the oven.

     

    In the theoretical land of hopium, if all residences had battery UPS (perhaps like Axion's mini Powercube), large quantities could be used to absorb excess power at night, and release it in the afternoon peaks.
    8 Jun 2012, 12:34 PM Reply Like
  • Glenn Doty
    , contributor
    Comments (1116) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Rick,

     

    Please understand that I do not believe this is PLAUSIBLE - in terms of a real-world scenario... but the EV newsworld has recently been flooded with articles discussing 15-minute 3-phase chargers.

     

    In my next post - discussing vehicle-to-grid - you'll get a better impression of what I believe the actual potential of distributed ultra-fast-charging is.

     

    Here's one example, but a google search would turn up hundreds:
    http://bit.ly/LDpPeb

     

    That was what I was referring to.
    8 Jun 2012, 12:46 PM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (2165) | Send Message
     
    Glenn, I know you are much too reasonable to subscribe to instant charging; I was hoping to educate the interested.
    8 Jun 2012, 02:28 PM Reply Like
  • Glenn Doty
    , contributor
    Comments (1116) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Rick,

     

    Thanks for clarifying, I was worried that I had somehow dropped in your esteem!
    ;)

     

    You should enjoy my more recent post, which I just finished today at lunch after working on it last night:
    http://seekingalpha.co...
    8 Jun 2012, 04:01 PM Reply Like
  • Nick Butcher
    , contributor
    Comments (805) | Send Message
     
    Your assumption is correct - any offboard or onboard charger, fast or slow, can be designed to work just fine off single phase. The only issue is having a sufficient current rating on the supply to meet the power level you want to reach.
    5 Jul 2012, 04:06 PM Reply Like
  • Nick Butcher
    , contributor
    Comments (805) | Send Message
     
    3 phase power actually has quite a few advantages in charger design. While you're right that the fundamental issue is watts, and there's nothing to stop making a single phase charger as fast as you like, three phase gives much more balanced power flow which means the DC bus capacitors in the converter have an easier time of it and hence are smaller and cheaper. Much like in motors :-)

     

    As for your 15 minute claim... you should probably let Mitsubishi and Toshiba know their press release has a typo :-) http://engt.co/LXcIWa
    5 Jul 2012, 04:10 PM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (2165) | Send Message
     
    From the press release: "80 percent in just 15 minutes", NOT 100%, for a battery of only 10kw. Won't drive very far... the 24kwh LEAF only get about 50 miles of highway driving with the a/c on.

     

    Yes, you can cook a turkey breast in the microwave in 15 minutes, not the whole turkey.
    5 Jul 2012, 07:09 PM Reply Like
  • Nick Butcher
    , contributor
    Comments (805) | Send Message
     
    80% is 'charged' for most everyday purposes.

     

    As for the size, it's pretty obvious that if you can charge a 10kWh battery in 15 minutes you can charge a 20kWh battery in 15 minutes at twice the power. Aerovironment or ABB will be happy to sell you a suitable charger. The only issue is vehicle packaging and cost - mitsubishi are targeting the city runabout segment and hence decided to sacrifice range for small size and weight. With a 15min recharge time it's not much of a range sacrifice either.
    6 Jul 2012, 02:09 AM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (2165) | Send Message
     
    Nick, sorry to be such a nit, but there are often heat dissipation and cell balancing issues when charging large batteries at high rates. Their press release said 10kw for a reason.

     

    Yes, if you have two separate charging systems to two separate batteries with totally separate BMS, and have enough space to keep them apart, and can afford the weight penalty and the cost penalty....

     

    Note the press release says nothing about depth of discharge. We know 100% discharge bricks the Tesla's batteries...

     

    Toshiba may well have an improved battery. However, their press release is so full of loosey-goosey it is hard to see whether it is truly an improvement technically, or just creative writing.
    6 Jul 2012, 10:03 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (7604) | Send Message
     
    "We know 100% discharge bricks the Tesla's batteries..."

     

    False. We know that 100% discharge and not recharging it for weeks bricks the batteries, and not just Tesla's. You can in fact do a 100% discharge followed by a recharge within at least week or so.
    7 Jul 2012, 09:42 AM Reply Like
  • Nick Butcher
    , contributor
    Comments (805) | Send Message
     
    Yes - their press release said 10kWh for a reason. The reason being - that's the size of the pack in the iMiEV.

     

    I suspect there are three reasons that they went for that pack size.

     

    1. Cost
    2. Weight
    3. It can be charged from 0 - 80% in 15 mins with a standard Chademo charger

     

    At the cell level I agree with the heat dissipation issues; a 20Ah cell able to charge 0-80% in 15 mins would not necessarily imply that a linearly scaled 50Ah cell could acheive the same thing. But at the pack level it's pretty trivial to scale them (as long as you keep the minimum dimension the same).

     

    Check out the Toshiba website for SCIB - there is plenty of detail there on charge rates, various DOD, lifetime, temperature performance etc. http://bit.ly/w2Krdn
    You'll notice it mentions 20Ah cells at the end - they delivered on the promise, and that's what Mitsubishi are using.
    7 Jul 2012, 10:04 AM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (2165) | Send Message
     
    Glenn, well done blog (and its earlier companion piece). I responded to you comment on JP's article, so I won't repeat them here (unless you want them). [Been very busy for the last few days, so that is why te slow responses]
    8 Jun 2012, 09:46 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (7604) | Send Message
     
    I'm not understanding why a 3 phase supply is necessary to allow V2G throttling of EV's charging at 20-40amps. Why not just a signal to the charger to throttle charge demand up or down?
    14 Jun 2012, 09:56 AM Reply Like
  • Glenn Doty
    , contributor
    Comments (1116) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » JRP3,

     

    At 20 amps, it would take ~10 hours to recharge a Nissan Leaf. At 40 amps it would take ~5 hours.

     

    The result here would be only a 2.4 kW demand response in frequency regulation per charger. That's ~$0.12/hour in maximum potential savings for the power company that would only be realized in an indeterminate number of hours/day in which an EV happens to be plugged in while curtailment is needed (sometimes this is at noon, sometimes this is at 6:00 pm, sometimes this is at midnight... etc..), in return for an $800 smartgrid controller. No thanks.

     

    There are minute-by-minute swings in RT price that can easily exceed $300-$400/MWh, and using frequency regulation to address that can be extremely profitable to the power company, but these fluctuations can only be taken advantage of if a large portion of the charging needs for your car can be accomplished in a very short time, and your load can be cycled quickly. Hence I was speculating on an ultra-fast charger. But there's no scenario that I can imagine where the small charging needs of an EV will justify the cost of the smartgrid controller.

     

    Our WindFuels paradigm would use a single smartgrid controller to ramp or tamp a 10-50 MW load, which obviously justifies the grid complexity of adding on a smartgrid controller... for an EV, cycling between 2.4 kW and 4.8 kW... it's just not enough to be worthy of the solution - which means the problem must then go unsolved.
    14 Jun 2012, 12:46 PM Reply Like
  • Nick Butcher
    , contributor
    Comments (805) | Send Message
     
    You're assumption for the Leaf recharge time (10 hours at 20 amps) only holds if the car returns empty every night. Given the vehicles range (100 Miles) and the average daily driving distance (around 30 miles) the assumption is unreasonable. While it will no doubt hold on occasion for individual cars, it will almost never be the case for a fleet-wide average. On average the fleet will have 3 hours of full rate charging to do, and ten hours in which to do it. So there's plenty of scope for active demand management while still delivering fully charged vehicles in the morning.

     

    You also don't seem to be accounting for the fact that the EVs charging station will be just another item within the home energy controller (/smart meter) domain. Smart meters are already being widely deployed, and the incremental cost of including the EV within the managed loads is small and getting smaller. Several charge point manufacturers include it as part of their package offering to the utilities.
    5 Jul 2012, 04:16 PM Reply Like
  • Glenn Doty
    , contributor
    Comments (1116) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Nick,

     

    The 100 mile range is bogus. That assumes that someone is going to travel on a straight flat road at >50 mph without climate control.

     

    The true range is going to be somewhere between 60-70 miles for most driving conditions and less than 50 for extreme heat or high speed driving.

     

    Smart meters essentially are an outdated idea to try to shift power demand from peak daytime usage to off-peak nighttime usage. They do this by giving preferential pricing for off-peak energy and punitive pricing for high-demand period. Smart meters do NOT change loads based on pricing signals. That's a much higher level of "smart" technology - one that is much more expensive to install, and is not very broadly used. The expense associated with "smart" load control is very high. It will likely cost ~$800/charging station in order to upgrade a local grid to accommodate that, and the result of "smart" controlled charging will almost always be a sharp reduction of charging power available during peak hours.
    5 Jul 2012, 06:34 PM Reply Like
  • Nick Butcher
    , contributor
    Comments (805) | Send Message
     
    I won't quibble about the range because it's irrelevant - the EPA say 340wh/mi, so delivering sufficient energy for an 'average' days driving will take under 5 hours from a 20A 120V connection. So, plenty of scope for demand management.

     

    As for cost - Glen Canyon made all the other smart meter manufacturers cry at the start of this year by releasing a model for $50. They're aiming for $25, and I don't think they'll have much trouble getting there. That gives you a connected meter with all the functionality necessary to allow your EV (and any other smart energy home devices) to manage load according to whatever profile the utility might decide to impose.

     

    For frequency regulation in europe you don't even need the meter - the EVSE can do all the necessary control internally. In the states it needs to be able to receive the target power from the grid, but as Enbala have proven this is so profitable that they give away the equipment required for free and simply share in the profits with the consumer.
    6 Jul 2012, 02:22 AM Reply Like
  • Nick Butcher
    , contributor
    Comments (805) | Send Message
     
    Sorry - by 'connected' meter above I mean a meter that forms a node in a wireless communications network. Not a 'connected' meter as in 'installed' - that's obviously extra and could run to a couple of hundred bucks in the states (about a 30 minute wiring job, including probably a electrical supply shutdown for the house).
    6 Jul 2012, 03:39 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (7604) | Send Message
     
    As I've mentioned EV owners can already monitor and control their charging remotely, no reason utilities can't tap into that existing capability.
    6 Jul 2012, 09:10 AM Reply Like
  • Glenn Doty
    , contributor
    Comments (1116) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Nick,

     

    The point was - and is - that you aren't solving the issue facing the grid of inconstant power production from wind with a "smart" power meter. That was not the design intent of the device, and it doesn't serve.

     

    Currently regions with high wind penetrations are seeing between 5 and 15% of their potential wind energy curtailed.

     

    The idea put forth above is that you can "throttle" the charging based on smart meters so that there need be no further wind curtailment. A "smart" controller would be involved, not just a "smart" meter - which would also be needed... and the end result would be 2.4 kW of load control..

     

    If you are correct and it only costs $350/smart meter, and each smart controller only cost $100 more than a regular controller... in order to stop 50 MW from being curtailed for 5% of the time during business hours (10 hours a day for most business, 12 hours a day for large retail), you'd have to spend 9.4 million dollars on smart meters and smart chargers, and you'd recover between 9.1 and 11.1 GWh/year of wind power.

     

    If you were in a class 5 wind zone (assumed since we're talking about a grid with high wind penetration that is facing curtailment), that $9.4 million could be used to set up another 9.6 MW of wind turbines (six 1.6 MW towers) which would be curtailed 15% of the time, but would still generate a total of 21.4 GWh/year... and would force a greater shift from coal to natural gas.

     

    Which of these options makes more sense?
    6 Jul 2012, 09:52 AM Reply Like
  • Nick Butcher
    , contributor
    Comments (805) | Send Message
     
    Similar economics to those that dictate the size of transmission line connecting the wind park to the grid :-)

     

    The latter option is better as you present it, clearly. But wind curtailment is not the only motivation for installing smart meters, nor are EVs the only load that comes under management. The power level per meter is therefore higher (space and water heating are also pretty flexible), and the economic benefit per managed kW is also higher (as it's not just wind curtailment that's absorbed, but also ramp rates of other generation that are limited etc).
    6 Jul 2012, 10:05 AM Reply Like
  • Glenn Doty
    , contributor
    Comments (1116) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Nick,

     

    You've spelled out exactly the reason that I feel that smart meters are a perfect solution to yesterday's problem, and are rapidly rendering themselves obsolete as the grid adapts to more renewable energy. Solving the wind management issue - the title of the article and the subject of discussion herein - does not require SHEDDING load, it requires suddenly increasing load. THAT is the potential benefit of a "smart" EV charger, and the only possible way that charging EV's could ever be anything other than 100% fossil-sourced. And the economics for such a thing is simply foolhearty, and will thus never be implemented. EV's will continue to source all of their energy from natural gas and coal... mostly coal.
    6 Jul 2012, 10:11 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (7604) | Send Message
     
    "mostly coal"

     

    A claim which you still cannot quantify.
    7 Jul 2012, 09:45 AM Reply Like
  • Glenn Doty
    , contributor
    Comments (1116) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » JRP3,

     

    I can quantify it for any given region and for any given charging schedule. It will be a different response for the marginal increase in demand used to satisfy any given charging schedule in any given region... so when talking about the situation in general you use generalities.

     

    I can't tell you exactly how much precipitation will be reduced by 2100 over any given city... because the models have different results for different regions and at different GHG levels... But I can tell you that desertification of the interior of large land masses is a consensus modeled effect of global warming.

     

    The failure to specify an exact ratio in no way invalidates the truth of the general statement for the general case. Your nit-picking on this is beneath you.
    7 Jul 2012, 10:56 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (7604) | Send Message
     
    I don't think so. You make a bold general claim but can't produce any data to support it. In the meantime coal use drops further as NG increases to the same percentage, for the first time ever, 32%.
    http://bit.ly/L0XBes
    The problem is your claim is counter to what is actually happening. I know you think this is a short term effect, and it may be, but currently things are trending in the opposite direction from what you propose.
    Further you automatically characterize any coal percentage in a grid area as marginal load response, when it is my understanding that in the LA area purchased coal power is on a fixed supply agreement, which means it's base load, so any additional load will not come from coal. Since CA is going to have the largest number of EV's for quite a while this significantly shifts the overall emissions profile for EV's.
    8 Jul 2012, 10:02 AM Reply Like
  • Glenn Doty
    , contributor
    Comments (1116) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » JRP3,

     

    I'll get to the natural gas issue soon, but it's far too complex to summarize in a short reply (I had hoped to get an article written over the weekend, but too many distractions arose... I'll finish it tonight).

     

    As for the "baseload vs marginal", OF COURSE coal power is baseload. That's the nature of coal. But baseload power is adjusted to fit baseload demand. Overnight charging would be baseload demand... so adding new baseload demand will be met with coal.

     

    BTW, many of the natural gas contracts in the LA region are also on fixed supply agreements. That doesn't mean what you think it means. A coal company in that region could ramp up power beyond the fixed supply agreement, and try to simply sell it in the RT market through the CAISO hubs... they are simply not contractually allowed to sell less energy per hour to a given bulk purchaser than what is agreed at the agreed upon price.
    9 Jul 2012, 09:00 AM Reply Like
  • Glenn Doty
    , contributor
    Comments (1116) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » JRP3,

     

    I finished my article about natural gas usage:

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    12 Jul 2012, 09:34 AM Reply Like
  • armanut86
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    nice & well said but you cant just say no to something that is theoretically possible.even though i think you said a very beautiful thing that has to be evaluated more carefully.
    8 Oct 2012, 07:08 AM Reply Like
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