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VEHICLE GRID TECHNOLOGY: Car power for your home
Here at Inhabitat, we feature numerous ways in which you can power your house. Whether by using solar panels, wind turbines, hydrogen, gas, and even geothermal energy, we can say that alternative sources of energy are slowly creeping into our daily usage. Well, now you can add cars to that list, with PG&E’s new vehicle-to-grid technology which allows you to power your house with your hybrid car!
During the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Alternative Energy Solutions Summit (boy, is that a mouthful), The California-based Pacific Gas and Electric Company showed the first use of a Vehicle to Grid technology, which works by adding a lithium battery to increase the vehicle’s ability to store electricity. The V2G technology allows these hybrid cars, which are normally charged by plugging them into a 110 volt outlet, to send the charge the other way in the case of an emergency or to offset some of the energy used at home, should the car not be required. It showcased this prototype by attaching a Toyota Prius, to a small electric heater and some lights.
Interestingly enough, this technology also has the added benefit of increasing the amount of renewable energy available to the grid. It allows the user, through an agreement with the utility company, to sell back the stored energy on the vehicle, which was collected at night, and send it back to the grid during peak hour, when demand is highest. The technology, as is usual with these prototypes, will not be available any time soon, and is not expected to have wide-scale development before 2012.
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