Top 10 Smart Grid Developments in 2012

December 27, 2012 by Power Pulse1595211359

Micro grids (ac and dc), electric vehicles and chargers, distributed energy storage, standardization development and other areas related to the emerging smart grid will have significant impact on the power electronics industry in 2013. The smart grid is an area where international cooperation is becoming increasingly common. Significant developments have already begun and will accelerate in 2013. Early markets are emerging, but the really high growth rates are still 12-24 months in the future. The following "top 10" developments selected by the PowerPulse editors highlight important trends in various aspects of the smart grid that will continue in 2013 and beyond.

10: Delta Receives DOE Funding to Streamline Development of EV Charging Infrastructure

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Delta Products Corp. nearly US$2 million in research project funding. The research project will develop smart-grid enabled residential electric vehicle chargers over the next 3 years that will allow the quick deployment of charging infrastructure for plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) to help reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. Delta has teamed up with electric utility and automotive manufacturing companies in North America to develop innovative electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) to minimize the cost of communications between charger and grid, and meet local demand for smart charging.

The full story can be found here

9: GE Introduces Optimization Solution for Microgrids

General Electric (GE) announces its Multilin™ Microgrid Control System (MCS) designed to help permanently islanded or grid-connected microgrid operators integrate renewable energy resources and fossil fuel-based resources to optimize microgrid operation and minimize energy costs. Installing GE's MCS helps microgrid operators manage the storage and dispatching of energy resources so that the appropriate resources can be used when it's most economical. MCS also can help microgrid operators improve their asset utilization by integrating existing power system assets into the microgrid infrastructure improving their return on investment.

The full story can be found here

8: KACO New Energy Launches Powador-gridsave; with Batteries Supplied by Panasonic

KACO New Energy announced the new energy storage and management system Powador-gridsave. The compact-size system combines inverter, battery charging unit, storage and an intelligent management system in one case, including all dc- and ac-wiring.

KACO new energy is partnering with Panasonic, which provides the lithium-ion battery modules with a capacity of 1.35 kWh each — up to five modules can be fitted into the case. With a fully-fitted case, the Powador-gridsave can thus achieve a capacity of 6.75 kWh.

The full story can be found here

7: Siemens Studying Use of Direct Current in Buildings

Siemens, working together with European partners, is studying if and how direct current (dc) could be used inside buildings in addition to the usual alternating current (ac). This addition could save energy when used in certain applications, such as in office buildings. It could also be advantageous for the integration of renewable energy sources and for grid stability. The project, known as DC Components and Grid (DCC+G), is funded by a number of European research ministries and will run until spring 2015.

According to a European Union directive, buildings constructed after 2020 will have to be nearly energy-neutral. The main por-tion of their power requirement must be generated on site using renewable sources. In comparison, buildings are currently among the world's biggest energy consumers, being responsible for around 40 percent of the total consumption. Almost every one of today's consumption points in buildings utilizes dc. Every system or device has its own power supply that takes 230Vac from the low-voltage grid and converts it into an appropriate dc voltage.

The full story can be found here

6: DC Building Power Market Set to Exceed $2 Billion

Darnell Group's second-edition report, "DC Building Power: Emerging Trends, Application Drivers and Market Adoption Forecasts" provides the first quantitative forecasts for near-term and longer-term growth for this important emerging market. In the near-term this market is expected to arrive at a minimum "critical mass" of sales needed to cross the chasm into mainstream adoption. At that point, sales will exceed $2 billion annually. Also at that time, growth rates will accelerate. This report identifies the near-term growth and quantifies the longer-term maximum market (saturation) potential for these important emerging powering technologies.

The full story can be found here

5: Toyota Scraps Plans for Sales of New All-Electric Minicar: Misread Market and Emerging Battery Technology

According to Reuters, Toyota, which had already taken a more conservative view of the market for battery-powered cars than rivals General Motors Co. and Nissan Motor Co., said it would only sell about 100 battery-powered eQ vehicles in the United States and Japan in an extremely limited release. The automaker had announced plans to sell several thousand of the vehicles per year when it unveiled the eQ as an pure-electric variant of its iQ minicar in 2010.

The full story can be found here

4: AeroVironment Offers Home EV Charging Station on

AeroVironment, Inc. announced the expansion of its popular EVSE-RS home charging product line with the introduction of its new EVSE-RS Plug-In, which easily and securely plugs into a dedicated 240 volt outlet, eliminating the need to hardwire the charging station into the home. The station is SAE-J1772 compliant and recharges all battery electric vehicle (BEV) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) incorporating the SAE standard.

In addition to easing the installation process, the EVSE-RS Plug-In charger slides in and out of a wall-mounted bracket; this easy mounting method allows EV drivers to take their charging station with them when they move and allows them to charge at other frequently visited residences, such as relatives' homes or vacation homes equipped with a dedicated 240 volt outlet. The station comes with an installation kit and mounting template and retails for $1,099.00. The system is available for purchase through or by contacting AeroVironment at 888-833-2148.

The full story can be found here

3: GM and ABB Demonstrate Chevrolet Volt Battery Reuse -- World's First Use of EV Batteries for Homes

General Motors Corp. and ABB Ltd. showed the "next stage" in battery reuse, the repackaging of five used Chevrolet Volt batteries into a modular unit capable of providing two hours of electricity needed by three to five average American homes. The uninterruptable power supply and grid power balancing system was demonstrated during GM's Electrification Experience. The prototype unit provided 25 kW of power and 50 kWh of energy to power all the support lighting and audiovisual equipment in an "off-grid" structure used for the event.

The full story can be found here

2: IEEE Releases Free Report on Energy Storage, Distributed Generation, and Microgrids

The IEEE announced the public availability of a new report that it commissioned, detailing how energy storage, distributed generation and microgrid technologies stand to evolve given the rapid deployment of the smart grid across the globe over the next five years. Based on a survey of 460 global smart grid executives in September 2012, Zpryme Research & Consulting created the report, Power Systems of the Future: The Case for Energy Storage, Distributed Generation, and Microgrids. The report is available for downloading at no charge via the IEEE Smart Grid web portal or from Zpryme Smart Grid Insights.

The full story can be found here

1: American and European Standards Organizations Agree to Strengthen Cooperation on EV Standards

Cooperation on eMobility standardization was the focus of discussion during a Transatlantic Roundtable organized by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which took place in Brussels on November 28-29. This event brought together technical experts from industry, government, and other stakeholders from both sides of the Atlantic to compare and discuss standardization priorities for electric vehicles (EVs) outlined in the October 2011 Report of the CEN-CENELEC Focus Group on European Electro-Mobility and the April 2012 Standardization Roadmap for Electric Vehicles - Version 1.0, developed by the ANSI Electric Vehicles Standards Panel (EVSP). Information was shared on cooperative efforts already underway among organizations involved in electric vehicle standardization such as the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), SAE International, and Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL).

The full story can be found here