The Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) recently began testing an electric vehicle aggregation system that uses a new Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standard for bidirectional power. This new SAE standard is based on Direct Current for faster charging.

The system, part of the Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security (SPIDERS) Phase II program, is controlling five DC fast-charge stations at the Fort Carson Army Base in Colorado Springs, Colo. In August, the system passed integration and acceptance testing, successfully aggregating electric vehicles from two vehicle manufacturers equipped with SAE-compliant bidirectional charging interfaces.

The bidirectional, aggregation system allows for energy to flow from the electric vehicles where it is being stored and into the grid to help the power grid when the base’s needs increase.

“SPIDERS is pioneering a new way of managing energy,” said Yaxi Liu, a research analyst also in the Automation and Data Systems Division. “The batteries in electric vehicles are used as cushions against fluctuations in the grid, creating more stability and resiliency while improving its ability to accommodate renewable energy. This helps satisfy goals of reducing dependence on fossil fuels and the impact of emissions.”

Moving beyond this test, if the use of electric vehicles as part of the larger grid system catches on, peak demands on the greater power grid could be reduced, helping reduce overall carbon emissions from the power grid.

Read more on the new SwRI project at heraldonline.com.

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