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Tesla, OFGEN and Autobidder

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Tesla, OFGEN and Autobidder

Old 4th May 2020, 07:34
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Tesla, OFGEN and Autobidder

IIRC the design of electric recharging points has already been changed to support vehicle-to-grid power charging. In principle everyone who buys a Tesla and plugs into a recharger could become a part of Musk’s network....

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/m...life-8d8mm9n25

Musk applies to boost grid’s battery life

Tesla is preparing to build a new British energy business through which it could control thousands of batteries in people’s homes to help National Grid to keep the lights on.

The electric vehicle and battery technology group run by the billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk applied last week to Ofgem, the energy regulator, for an electricity generation licence. Tesla has declined to comment on its plans but has indicated that the move is linked to a technology platform it has created called Autobidder. This enables it to control thousands of small household battery packs that charge from sources such as solar panels, aggregating and trading their power so that together they form a “virtual power plant” that can provide meaningful amounts of electricity to National Grid.

Although batteries do not actually generate power — rather storing electricity generated elsewhere and then discharging it — companies that want to trade power from batteries are still required by Ofgem to obtain an electricity generation licence. The licence, if granted, could also enable Tesla to build and trade power from large industrial-scale battery storage projects........

Mr Musk, 48, has built Tesla into the world’s second-most valuable carmaker, worth well in excess of $100 billion..... While Tesla is best known for its electric vehicles, it also sells battery technology. Its “Powerwall” home battery packs, which households can use to save surplus electricity they generate from solar panels, cost more than 6,000 in Britain. Tesla also sells industrial-scale batteries, known as “Powerpacks”, and in 2017 built the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery in Australia.

Batteries are seen as increasingly important to help to manage the shift to greener energy in Britain, including greater use of intermittent renewable power sources such as wind and solar.

The Times revealed on Saturday that National Grid had warned of a risk of blackouts over the coming bank holiday because unusually low demand during the lockdown could leave the electricity network overwhelmed by surplus wind and solar power. National Grid applied to Ofgem for the right to disconnect surplus power plants, warning that otherwise there would be a “significant risk of disruption to security of supply”.

If more batteries were installed in future, such surplus electricity could instead be saved for use when it is not sunny or windy. Other companies are already using “virtual power plants”, aggregating lots of smaller generators and batteries to trade electricity and offer services to National Grid, such as rapidly responding to fluctuations in supply and demand.

National Grid also sees big potential for electric vehicle batteries to be operated in a similar fashion. Tesla’s range of electric vehicles are not set up to support this “vehicle-to-grid” technology. However, Mr Musk has said that the company could revisit that idea and industry sources speculate that it could be a logical next step for Tesla.

Tesla’s electricity generation licence application was submitted on April 28 and if granted would authorise it to “generate electricity in Great Britain, the territorial sea adjacent to Great Britain or in a Renewable Energy Zone”.

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Old 4th May 2020, 07:40
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Worth noting that the 8 year battery warranty provided with Teslas specifically excludes their use as a source of external power.
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Old 4th May 2020, 08:03
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In addition, there are issues over making V2G work with CCS connectors, as used by Tesla in the UK and Europe. I believe that the only connector type currently supported for V2G is CHAdeMO, which seems to becoming one of the least popular DC fast charge connectors (CCS seems to be emerging as pretty much the standard DC charge connector). There needs to be stuff in the car to make V2G work, as for safety reasons there is no direct connection between the charge connector and the battery, the car has to wake up (the equivalent of turning the ignition on) and activate a contactor, once the right handshaking has been done between the charger and the car.

The big issue is that car batteries just aren't designed to have a high cycle life, as they don't need it. EV batteries are optimised for a modest cyle life and high charge and discharge current, whereas grid storage batteries need a high cycle life and only a very modest charge and discharge current.

An EV that has, say, a 250 mile range, and gets driven 30 miles a day on average through the year, only needs to charge maybe 45 times a year. A V2G system needs to charge once or twice a day to balance the demand peaks, so perhaps 10 times the cycle rate.
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Old 4th May 2020, 08:16
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So to try and understand, the customer purchases the batteries and Tesla provides the means of charging, is that correct?
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Old 4th May 2020, 08:35
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The big issue is that car batteries just aren't designed to have a high cycle life, as they don't need it.
As far as I understand it, the Tesla car, Powerwall and commercial Powerpack batteries are all essentially the same. Certainly, part of the Powerpack strategy is a symbiotic relationship with end of life batteries from Tesla cars. Both Powerwall and Powerpack have considerably higher cycle rates than the cars.
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Old 4th May 2020, 08:50
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Originally Posted by clareprop View Post
As far as I understand it, the Tesla car, Powerwall and commercial Powerpack batteries are all essentially the same. Certainly, part of the Powerpack strategy is a symbiotic relationship with end of life batteries from Tesla cars. Both Powerwall and Powerpack have considerably higher cycle rates than the cars.
I'm sure that Tesla are only using the same cells because they only really make one type of cell, though. We already know that the batteries in the car lose capacity with cycle life, as the car displays this, and Tesla assume that up to 20% capacity loss is acceptable during the warranty period. The Powerwall is going to lose capacity faster, just because it cycles far more frequently, although Tesla do put far more stringent limits on cycling for the Powerwall, and virtually remove the consumer's ability to control it to best suit the economics of variable rate tariffs. This is the primary reason I haven't purchased a Powerwall, I want to be able to tightly control when battery storage charges (when we're exporting from self-generation, and overnight during the off-peak period) and the Powerwall software doesn't allow that, it's pretty inflexible and uses a predictive algorithm to limit both charge and discharge. It does this to minimise battery charge/discharge cycling, but it's a PITA if your usage pattern doesn't happen to fit what Tesla have determined it should be.
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Old 4th May 2020, 14:37
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CCS has been designed with V2G in mind, the first test installations are working with that, but yes, it is not finally standardised yet. That is one area Charin e.V. is working on right now. However, most car manufacturers are not really enthusiastic about V2G, exactly for warranty reasons.
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Old 4th May 2020, 15:03
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https://insideevs.com/news/342354/ch...r-v2g-by-2025/
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