Energy

Researches show that a private vehicle stands idle for an estimated 95% of its lifetime. This very fact builds the premise for energy as a value area. Batteries in electric vehicles store electricity, and when not in use for commuting, electric vehicle owners can trade/ sell/ utilize the stored power and can earn additional revenues.

Additionally, electric vehicles can be charged from Renewable Energy sources and actually help in contributing to grid stability by storing wind power in night and solar power in day and in turn help in proliferation of Renewable Energy and contribute to reducing GHG emissions.

In the sections provided below we will understand how energy stored in the electric vehicle batteries can provide value to its owner, and areas where you can evolve your business in utilizing power from electric vehicle batteries:

Renewable Energy and Electric Vehicle Charging System

The combination of a solar panel system/wind energy system/both and electric vehicle charging station brings several benefits and provides a cost-effective way to produce and make use of solar energy/wind energy/both.

You can provide the customer with the type of Renewable Energy panel system that can provide enough energy to fuel their electric car.

Storing excess energy

Storage of renewable energy is necessary. Otherwise, the power produced must be consumed directly or fed into the public grid – otherwise, it is lost.

Thermal mass and water tanks are the two primary methods of storing solar energy in solar space heating systems.

Wind turbines can use excess power to compress air; this is usually stored in large above-ground tanks or in underground caverns.

Equipment

In case of Solar energy, Solar inverters are an important piece of this puzzle. Before the generated solar energy can be used by most of the devices and appliances, it must be converted from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). This is also the case for fueling an electric car with solar energy. With increasing people adopting solar and electric vehicles, certainly the demand for inverters will go up. You can build your business around providing the inverter at lease, rent or even provide it at subscription!

Lastly, the actual charging port will be installed and connected to the inverter so that it can draw the electricity and send it into the electric car’s battery. You can also become a provider of complete solution, solar panel provider, solar inverter provider and charging port provider.

Smart Solutions

Storage systems bring several benefits apart from storing excess energy. These benefits include:

Frequency Rotation (guiding the grid’s electric frequency on a real-time basis) Providing transmission and distribution support which in turn smoothens out the energy flows.The easy integration into the smart grid structures make batteries an invaluable asset. Smart solutions will play a fundamental role. For now, the major challenge to the expansion of electric vehicles comes from lack of effective charging. However, if electric vehicles are made part of the grid through a specially modified smart electric vehicle charger, batteries of electric vehicles can provide ancillary services to the power grid while charging the electric vehicle in the most optimal way:

  • Homes could leverage local photovoltaic (PV) setups paired with storage. When the car isn’t in use, the energy storage capacity increases by that of the electric vehicle’s battery and can be used for energy backup or storing from the rooftop solar panel

  • For public, commercial, industrial, or apartment buildings, local PV could be paired with large-scale energy storage to optimize the building's energy consumption. Every building would also enjoy smart charging stations for the electric vehicles owners who can decide whether they want to share the excess energy from their electric vehicle battery with the building and get remunerated (in case they go straight home and after that charge their electric vehicle) or they are looking to get their own vehicle charged.

  • In the case of electric vehicle charging stations as such, pairing smart chargers with large-scale energy storage could provide energy for fast charging without creating an unexpected burden to the power grid.

Virtual Power Plant (VPP)

A VPP is a cloud-based/virtual system that aggregates the capacities of heterogeneous distributed energy resources (DER) such as solar power equipment, batteries, electric vehicles, wind turbines, etc. Power utilities, renewable energy operators, energy producers and retailers, VPP operators, and building managers are some of the key stakeholders involved. This system functions for power generation, intra and inter electricity trade, sale and purchase of power in the market.

In simple words, VPP is to a traditional energy plant what the internet-connected desktop computers are to the mainframe computer. Both can perform advanced computing tasks, but VPP can also perform energy management functions.

VPP provides an efficient way of utilizing power from electric vehicles in grid balancing or trading in the electricity market (at peak time for energy arbitrage). This concept has opened up a new avenue for revenue generation if your business is based as fleet operators, bus operators, etc. that can play a role in VPP architecture.

VPP, however, will require a power network integrated with secured communication network, protocols for data sharing and cyber security, etc., to operate, which, with reference to India, could be possible in a medium to long term horizon.

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