Intelligent charging and discharging make the electric car part of the energy revolution due to it’s potential for bidirectional charging.
Bidirectional EV charging is exactly what it sounds like: EV charging that goes in both directions. Whilst with unidirectional (one-way) EV chargers, electricity flows from the electric grid into the electric vehicle, with bidirectional (two-way) EV chargers, electricity can also flow out of the electric vehicle.
But how does this work? Well, when an EV is charged, AC (alternating current) electricity from the grid is converted to DC (direct current) electricity, the kind that can be used by a car’s motor. This conversion is carried out by either the car’s on-board converter or a converter located on the charger.
Then, when you want to use that energy stored in the EV’s battery for a house or send it back to the grid, the DC electricity used in the car is then converted back to AC electricity.
In this illustration, we will be using a photovoltaic system which consists of a DC wall box, power storage system aka batteries, and a connection to the grid.
Charging with your own power:
The photovoltaic system provides the home with power and charges the electric car’s battery while at the same time powering the home’s systems like the AC unit and kitchen appliances.
This step is defined as charging with self generated power or can be power supplied by the energy grid.
Discharging power stored for the short term:
The electric car can then supply the building with electricity when the photovoltaic system (or the grid) is not providing power or during peak times. Also in the specific case of a photovoltaic system, the car can supply power at night when the sun goes down.
During off-peak hours, the electric car is charged up to the target State of Charge (SOC) through the domestic power supply or power grid.
Emergency power supply:
Should the power supply fail, the electric car can kick in to power the home at a moment’s notice.
Optimized charging with departure timer:
Intelligent charging charges the electric car to the required range by the time of departure that has been set.
Self-sufficient, stand-alone operation:
Electric cars can also supply electricity to buildings with no connection to the power grid and this is the game changer of bidirectional charging.
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