Is this a look into the future?

Sirfun

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Interesting article on Electrek about Tesla powerwalls working together as a Virtual Power Plant during a brownout in California. I look at this and imagine how EV batteries could actually help the grid, instead of be a major problem for the grid. Our EV's could have way more energy storage than powerwalls. And imagine how much power 1 million EV batteries could send to the grid as backup.

https://electrek.co/2022/08/18/teslas-virtual-power-plant-first-event-helping-grid-future/
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Green-Mario

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Been talking about this exact thing for about 4 years now. So has Tesla, Elon, and others following what EVs and the tech can and should do. Using EV batteries for grid balancing is likely not worth the wear it will put on your vehicle with current battery chemistries. Its not nearly a big a deal for grid scale batteries or even a homescale/powerwall battery losing some capacity with the drain and charging cycles as it is for your vehicle.

People who say that more EVs and batteries storing the power created by the grid is "bad" have very little idea of how power is generated or works. One of the most difficult problems with grid management is where to put power during over production periods. The constant balancing act needed to not blow stuff up is the real challenge, not having too many batteries to store power... but if you ask many of these same people what the solution to that problem is, I bet their answer would be fossil fuels.
 

ldjessee

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Tesla's software for load balancing the grid, timing, and when to charge and discharge batteries is very advanced.
 

rr6013

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Two months ago PG&E program reported 1763 signups for the VPP. Today’s test included 2342 signups of solar systems participating.
Interestingly, the test reported Powerwall numbers for the first time at 268.
Scoring the PG&E test of VPP peak production:
Solar Systems== 16MW
Powerwall== 1535kW
While SCE scored excess power from PG&E’s test:
VPP takeoff= 1.5MW

Roughly a resounding success but without fine grain statistics that AUS system was able to measure down under. Either CAL operator system is more forgiving or not as critical as AUS.
It showed that Tesla’s VPP distributed electric utility plan scales down under thinly provisioned or in a hyper-constrained demand environ. IDK if it works anywhere or everywhere but appears Tesla is on its way to finding out. Bully on them!
 

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Been talking about this exact thing for about 4 years now. So has Tesla, Elon, and others following what EVs and the tech can and should do. Using EV batteries for grid balancing is likely not worth the wear it will put on your vehicle with current battery chemistries. Its not nearly a big a deal for grid scale batteries or even a homescale/powerwall battery losing some capacity with the drain and charging cycles as it is for your vehicle.
I don't think the impact to the vehicle battery is as big as some people think it will be. When the volume of grid connected EV's increase, the amount of draw for them will be minimized and by a huge amount. This is obviously are dependent as some areas typically see no more than a 5-10 hours of power outage per year on average in the US.

While one would believe that home batteries are the better choice, per KWh of storage they are vastly more expensive currently and most use the exact same chemistry as EV batteries. Truth be told, it would be cheaper to replace an EV battery than a power wall on a per KWh basis. I image in the future, folks will have a grave yard of worn out EV with intact batteries parked behind their homes as power storage. LOL
 


electricAK

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EV's are only going to help the grid if households have the required safety/switching equipment installed to send power from the car to the grid. Since that equipment is expensive to install, it seems unlikely that this ever takes off on the scale needed to support the grid. Maybe if building codes require the equipment be installed, sure. But that sounds terribly expensive for homeowners. Maybe Tesla could provide the equipment for free when you buy a vehicle? Owner then pays install costs? IDK...
 

Green-Mario

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I don't think the impact to the vehicle battery is as big as some people think it will be. When the volume of grid connected EV's increase, the amount of draw for them will be minimized and by a huge amount. This is obviously are dependent as some areas typically see no more than a 5-10 hours of power outage per year on average in the US.

While one would believe that home batteries are the better choice, per KWh of storage they are vastly more expensive currently and most use the exact same chemistry as EV batteries. Truth be told, it would be cheaper to replace an EV battery than a power wall on a per KWh basis. I image in the future, folks will have a grave yard of worn out EV with intact batteries parked behind their homes as power storage. LOL
The last part of your comment I agree with. At the very least, it does set a price floor for the value of used EVs. I don't predict a future where beaters are selling on FB marketplace for $500. The batteries alone will make old, beaten down cars worth a good bit more than that just in raw materials alone. Not to mention an older vehicle that lost 50% of its original range is still fine as extra home/grid storage.

Expect the prices of home battery storage to drop rapidly as well. LFP chems make the idea of vehicle to grid far more interesting.
 

Crissa

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Been talking about this exact thing for about 4 years now. So has Tesla, Elon, and others following what EVs and the tech can and should do. Using EV batteries for grid balancing is likely not worth the wear it will put on your vehicle with current battery chemistries. Its not nearly a big a deal for grid scale batteries or even a homescale/powerwall battery losing some capacity with the drain and charging cycles as it is for your vehicle.

People who say that more EVs and batteries storing the power created by the grid is "bad" have very little idea of how power is generated or works. One of the most difficult problems with grid management is where to put power during over production periods. The constant balancing act needed to not blow stuff up is the real challenge, not having too many batteries to store power... but if you ask many of these same people what the solution to that problem is, I bet their answer would be fossil fuels.
What wear and tear?

Please, describe how much wear and tear VPP (virutal power plant) usage would be.

Even in the worst case, using it for backup power, a typical American household uses about 35% of a Model 3's range in a day - and that's without making any compromises, turning off extra stuff, etc. Very few places have powercuts like that.

EV's are only going to help the grid if households have the required safety/switching equipment installed to send power from the car to the grid. Since that equipment is expensive to install, it seems unlikely that this ever takes off on the scale needed to support the grid. Maybe if building codes require the equipment be installed, sure. But that sounds terribly expensive for homeowners. Maybe Tesla could provide the equipment for free when you buy a vehicle? Owner then pays install costs? IDK...
EVs shift power consumption to off-peak times, aside from DC fast charging.

So they already help.

-Crissa
 

CyberGus

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Sharing my power with the grid is all fine and good, if I have stationary storage and solar.

If my only stored energy is in my truck...ummm, no, that's my getaway vehicle. What if the power is out due to a zombie hoard?
 
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Green-Mario

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What wear and tear?

Please, describe how much wear and tear VPP (virutal power plant) usage would be.

Even in the worst case, using it for backup power, a typical American household uses about 35% of a Model 3's range in a day - and that's without making any compromises, turning off extra stuff, etc.

-Crissa
wear and tear specifically around what many charge and drain cycles do to a battery. If your car is plugged into your house, and sharing power with the grid that puts possibly multiple charge and drain cycles per day on your car. It would just accelerate the rate at which you "lose range" of the vehicle just due to the nature of batteries. You can see this same effect on Powerwalls and other home battery systems after a couple years of use.

Now, Tesla will likely use software and logic to prevent as much of that damage over time, but it will still happen. Best thing to do if you want to use you EV for grid backup is to lease it. Expect rules against using leased vehicles in this way for this very reason though.
 


GnarlyDudeLive

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wear and tear specifically around what many charge and drain cycles do to a battery. If your car is plugged into your house, and sharing power with the grid that puts possibly multiple charge and drain cycles per day on your car. It would just accelerate the rate at which you "lose range" of the vehicle just due to the nature of batteries. You can see this same effect on Powerwalls and other home battery systems after a couple years of use.

Now, Tesla will likely use software and logic to prevent as much of that damage over time, but it will still happen. Best thing to do if you want to use you EV for grid backup is to lease it. Expect rules against using leased vehicles in this way for this very reason though.
I am still not following the rational here. If say a CT that can power a home on a full charge for 2 days, you would need a power outage of 2 days to consume a single battery cycle. Worst case your area experiences 48 hours of power outage per year on average, that's only doing one cycle worth of wear and tear per year. Very minimal impact IMO. Now if your power in your area is utter crap, and you are down for 2 weeks per year on average then yeah, I could see some minor wear of an extra 7 cycles per year. But keep in mind even non-LFP Tesla batteries are good for 1000-1500 cycles. This is assuming you are only drawing power from the EV in power outages (or to help stabilize the grid) and not using it for power cost usage where your home electric plan has time of day rates meaning you charge when its cheap and use it later on in the day where it is more expensive. For that I would not recommend using your EV for even if it had LFP batteries.

Lastly I doubt you could even home charge more than 2 cycles in a day unless you have a very small battery in your EV. Home chargers just don't pump the electrons in like a super/mega charger does. I would not be surprised if the 500+ mile CT only could get 1 cycle worth of charge per day.
 

Green-Mario

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I am still not following the rational here. If say a CT that can power a home on a full charge for 2 days, you would need a power outage of 2 days to consume a single battery cycle. Worst case your area experiences 48 hours of power outage per year on average, that's only doing one cycle worth of wear and tear per year. Very minimal impact IMO. Now if your power in your area is utter crap, and you are down for 2 weeks per year on average then yeah, I could see some minor wear of an extra 7 cycles per year. But keep in mind even non-LFP Tesla batteries are good for 1000-1500 cycles. This is assuming you are only drawing power from the EV in power outages (or to help stabilize the grid) and not using it for power cost usage where your home electric plan has time of day rates meaning you charge when its cheap and use it later on in the day where it is more expensive. For that I would not recommend using your EV for even if it had LFP batteries.
I am talking about VPP or vehicle to grid use. Not for home backup. Very, very different things in my book. I would use my vehicle to power my home in the rare power outage (as you stated in your example). I would not V2G my vehicle to sell power, or provide power to the grid at a daily/hourly basis. Which is what is in discussion here I believe. The "virtual powerplant" or Vehicle to Grid concept is that of you essentially being a utility yourself. Selling power back to the grid when prices are high (demand is high) and charging when prices are low (generation is high, but demand is low), or charging to sell from your Solar panels etc. That kind of activity would run through ~1000 cycles within a few years

Edit - or in the case of a Powerwall, most users run off their powerwall when electricity is most expensive, draining that battery each day to save $. Charging it during cheaper times, or from solar if that system is in place. That puts regular charge and drain cycles on your battery on a day to day that I would not do to my Vehicle battery (outside of the rare extended power outage that my powerwalls couldn't cover)
 

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EV's are only going to help the grid if households have the required safety/switching equipment installed to send power from the car to the grid. Since that equipment is expensive to install, it seems unlikely that this ever takes off on the scale needed to support the grid. Maybe if building codes require the equipment be installed, sure. But that sounds terribly expensive for homeowners. Maybe Tesla could provide the equipment for free when you buy a vehicle? Owner then pays install costs? IDK...
This equipment and cost IMO should be provided by your utility company as they benefit the most from it from a cost perspective.
 

GnarlyDudeLive

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I am talking about VPP or vehicle to grid use. Not for home backup. Very, very different things in my book. I would use my vehicle to power my home in the rare power outage (as you stated in your example). I would not V2G my vehicle to sell power, or provide power to the grid at a daily/hourly basis. Which is what is in discussion here I believe. The "virtual powerplant" or Vehicle to Grid concept is that of you essentially being a utility yourself. Selling power back to the grid when prices are high (demand is high) and charging when prices are low (generation is high, but demand is low), or charging to sell from your Solar panels etc. That kind of activity would run through ~1000 cycles within a few years
I think VPP is a very unneeded IMO, so no I was not referring to VPP. The equipment to charge a 100kwh battery 5x-10x per day would be far more expensive than most homes could afford not to mention too few homes would even have enough power coming into the home or from their own solar system to accomplish this task.

If VPP was to take off, its going to be far more scaled back. Basically limited to your speed you can fully charge an EV, so at most 1-2 cycles per day.

Lets say your getting paid $2 per KW to sell your stored electricity. $2 x 100kwh battery = $200 x 1000 cycles = $200k. =) I would beat the shit out of my batteries for that kind of pay out. LOL
 

Crissa

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wear and tear specifically around what many charge and drain cycles do to a battery. If your car is plugged into your house, and sharing power with the grid that puts possibly multiple charge and drain cycles per day on your car. It would just accelerate the rate at which you "lose range" of the vehicle just due to the nature of batteries. You can see this same effect on Powerwalls and other home battery systems after a couple years of use.

Now, Tesla will likely use software and logic to prevent as much of that damage over time, but it will still happen. Best thing to do if you want to use you EV for grid backup is to lease it. Expect rules against using leased vehicles in this way for this very reason though.
You need to describe what this wear and tear is, though.

You driving to the store goes through 'multiple charge and discharge cycles'. Over a year, that's alot of store runs, sure, equal to maybe one or two full discharge cycles.

Per year.

The average car goes through fifty full charge discharge cycles in a year. Functionally, probably more.

So no, the 2% extra cycles you add by being in a VPP aren't alot of wear and tear. Along with that, you get protection from outages even further than static battery storage would give you - without buying extra batteries you'd rarely use.

-Crissa
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