University of Warwick (UW) researchers have discovered how to use energy stored in electric vehicles to power large buildings without leaving them high and dry. The secret is smart management of vehicle-to-grid technology, which allows both the use of energy sitting in idle vehicle batteries and the improvement of battery life in those vehicles by about 10 percent. The resulting “smart grid” can determine how much power it can use without hurting the batteries, and will only take enough to improve performance and longevity.
For about two years, a research team led by Dr. Kotub Uddin analyzed some of the most advanced lithium ion batteries used around the world in commercially available EVs in order to create what may be the most accurate public domain model of battery degradation that exists today. They gathered data on power fade over time and overall capacity under just about any relevant conditions you can imagine, assessing for state of charge and temperature, as well as the depth and current of discharge. Once the team validated their model, Dr. Uddin used it to develop a smart grid algorithm. The algorithm calculates how much energy EVs need to execute their trips, and how much energy the grid can draw from their batteries — both to render them unharmed, and to improve their staying power.