Thursday, August 04, 2011

The beginning of the real green revolution.

Electric cars and less expensive batteries begin playing the role of dynamic storage that can respond to variations in supply of local solar or intermittent wind energy. It's far from a breakthrough, but it's a good first step.

The system uses the Leaf charging station to draw from the car's lithium ion batteries and feed current into a home's electricity distribution panel. The 24 kilowatt-hours of energy storage in the Leaf is enough to power an average Japanese home, which uses about half the energy of an average U.S. household, for about two days.

If a person pays a higher price for electricity during peak times, it's possible that charging a battery at night and drawing on it during peak times could save consumers money. That's the vision of many battery companies which envision home energy storage as a way to store energy from the grid or solar panels.

The problem with Nissan's proposed setup is that after the car battery is drained, e.g. during a blackout, it becomes useless for transportation too. Not good. They need a source of cheap and/or intermittent energy that would be wasted if not stored in the battery.

In system terms, they have to solve a synthesis problem, not just graft Leaf onto an existent grid. Maybe they should make a deal with Google to build distributed local storage infrastructure.

tags: innovation, synthesis, storage, s-curve, source, control, energy, 4q diagram, environment, trade-off, breakthrough, example

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