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“Smart” Frequency-Sensing Charge Controller for Electric Vehicles

Method for implementing demand response and regulation services to power grids

Argonne National Laboratory

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<em>Charging Circuit. Argonne&rsquo;s smart controller (FBCC) is shown on top.</em>
Charging Circuit. Argonne’s smart controller (FBCC) is shown on top.

Technology Marketing Summary

As plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) become more popular, they create additional demand for electricity. Their emergence also raises a host of issues regarding how, where and when car batteries should be charged—and the resulting load on the power grid.

Electric utilities strive to avoid large fluctuations in the power supply and to keep the system’s frequency stable at 60 Hz. In this way, they maintain balance in supply and demand and avoid severe imbalances that could lead to a system blackout. Large numbers of cars needing a charge at the same time could potentially tax the power grid.

To counter these challenges, scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have developed a “smart” frequency-based charge controller (FBCC) system for electric vehicles and a method for implementing demand response and regulation services to power grids.

Description

As plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) become more popular, they create additional demand for electricity. Their emergence also raises a host of issues regarding how, where and when car batteries should be charged—and the resulting load on the power grid.

Electric utilities strive to avoid large fluctuations in the power supply and to keep the system’s frequency stable at 60 Hz. In this way, they maintain balance in supply and demand and avoid severe imbalances that could lead to a system blackout. Large numbers of cars needing a charge at the same time could potentially tax the power grid.

To counter these challenges, scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have developed a “smart” frequency-based charge controller (FBCC) system for electric vehicles and a method for implementing demand response and regulation services to power grids.

Benefits

The charge controller is small, inexpensive to manufacture, and easy to install as part of any dedicated vehicle charging circuit. It can also be installed on a vehicle or its battery charger. Compatible with any vehicle that uses an alternating current (AC) power source, the “smart” system requires no maintenance. It is always on, operates automatically, and does not need communications or signals from the utility dispatch center to perform control actions. It permits better integration of intermittent renewable energy sources (such as wind and solar) into the power grid by quickly compensating for their variability. The charge controller is inherently safe to operate and is not vulnerable to cyber attack or terrorist threat. In addition to the benefitting electric utilities, the device also benefits consumers by increasing the reliability and security of the power supply, and reducing the risk of power outages and blackouts.

Applications and Industries

?   Power industry

?   Automotive industry

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Date
Application 20130033234
Application
20130033234
FREQUENCY BASED ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGE CONTROLLER SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR IMPLEMENTING DEMAND RESPONSE AND REGULATION SERVICES TO POWER GRID USING FREQUENCY DETECTION
Frequency responsive charging for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV), a frequency sensing charging system and a method are provided for implementing demand response and regulation services to power grid using frequency detection for a frequency-based charge controller for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV). A frequency of the power grid is continuously monitored and compared to a predefined tolerance band by a frequency sensor. Responsive to the frequency being outside the predefined tolerance band, the frequency is applied to a programmable logic controller. The programmable logic controller uses the applied frequency to identify a control action. A charge controller and a switch coupled to a battery charger receive respective identified control actions for controlling the battery charger.
08/05/2011
Filed
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
IN-10-049PrototypeAvailable02/28/201302/28/2013

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