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Ford Bi-Directional Charger for Ford EVs (and maybe Powerwalls?)

BIC1

Member
Feb 19, 2020
89
16
Missouri USA
Just saw the old news today that Sunrun will be installing 80 amp bi-directional charging stations for the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning EV

Sunrun To Install 80-amp Charge Station For All-Electric Ford F-150 Lightning

Any thoughts out there on being able to integrate this into an existing 12 kW solar & PW system? I have one PW, waiting 14 months now for my second PW. Apparently, the F-150 would be the equivalent of 6+ PWs. I would guess this also goes into the Ford Mustang Mach-E in 2022. I'm assuming this will push Tesla to match this feature sooner than later. Details at:

Ford details F-150 Lightning

"But a second Level 2 charger, called Ford Charge Station Pro and working at 80 amps, charges the standard battery in the same 10 hours, but reduces extended-batter charging time to eight hours instead of 14 hours. The Pro charge station also offers another compelling feature: it is the central piece in the F-150 Lightning’s bi-directional charging capability Ford dubs Intelligent Backup Power. With this setup, the F-150 Lightning can supply as much as 9.6 kW of power back to the home in the event of residential power failure. The capability for bi-directional charging was envisioned when the SAE International standard for the widely-used Combined Charging System (CCS) charging-cord connector was developed; Ford added that certain other modifications to the home electrical system are required to enable Intelligent Backup Power. A fully charged pickup could supply a typical home’s daily usage of about 30 kWh for up to three days."
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,820
1,195
East Bay NorCal
You'll see a short discussion about the Ford Lightning EV and implications to home resiliency and general energy management here.


The older thread could probably benefit from your subject line since it's hard to tell that old thread is about Ford lol.

=================

(moderator note: agreed, and done. Thread title changed, and link in your post here updated)
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
9,488
10,672
Riverside Co. CA
You'll see a short discussion about the Ford Lightning EV and implications to home resiliency and general energy management here.


The older thread could probably benefit from your subject line since it's hard to tell that old thread is about Ford lol.

We did have a bit of a discussion, in the thread @holeydonut mentioned, but I dont think there was much discussion about possible integration into any sort of existing powerwall setup.

Thats an interesting topic. I have no idea, but you have to have the specific charge station they mention in that article (the regular one supposedly wont work).

As to whether this will "force tesla to offer something like this", I dont think for any current tesla vehicle owners, since the charge port is not bi directional AFAIK. I have always thought that, eventually, this "might" come to people who have both tesla vehicles AND tesla powerwalls, but not people who dont have both, for various reasons.

One of which, which ford does not have to worry about, is there are still too many tesla vehicles out there with "free unlimited supercharging", and people absolutely positively 100% would go charge their vehicles at a supercharger, and run their home off them. Ford doesnt have that problem.

Another of which is, tesla sells batteries, so has no incentive to compete with themselves by making rolling powerwalls.

Unless they end up with cars sitting on docks they cant sell, I dont expect tesla to ever do this.

Now, back to whether this would somehow integrate with a tesla powerwall or something, I doubt the there would be any integration. Maybe it could slot in like a generator currently does, where the tesla system doesnt see the generator? That likely would be possible.
 
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bevo

Member
Mar 10, 2021
51
25
Irvine
Will Tesla ever let tesla owners use their EV to power the house? Yes, of course.
The technology is already available. They already have TEG (the brains of the system). Whether you put dumb powerwalls or rolling batteries on the other side is trivial.
In a couple of years when essentially every car brand has an EV and many will have solutions for supplying power to the house, Tesla would be at a big disadvantage not to offer a solution.
I, for one, will certainly buy a rolling battery that can power my house in an emergency. Would probably prefer to buy a Tesla, but would not hesitate to purchase the F150.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,924
7,716
Visalia, CA
Will Tesla ever let tesla owners use their EV to power the house? Yes, of course.
At Battery Day, Elon Musk seems to reason that there have not been enough demands for V2G to offer the feature:

“Vehicle to grid sounds good but has much lower utility than people think,”

“We actually had that with the original Roadster. We had vehicle-to-grid capabilities — nobody used it.”
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,157
3,207
Northern California
Will Tesla ever let tesla owners use their EV to power the house? Yes, of course.
The technology is already available. They already have TEG (the brains of the system). Whether you put dumb powerwalls or rolling batteries on the other side is trivial.
In a couple of years when essentially every car brand has an EV and many will have solutions for supplying power to the house, Tesla would be at a big disadvantage not to offer a solution.
I, for one, will certainly buy a rolling battery that can power my house in an emergency. Would probably prefer to buy a Tesla, but would not hesitate to purchase the F150.
The TEG is only part of the solution. As it is currently implemented it is an AC switch. Telsa would have to add an inverter to convert the DC in the vehicle's battery to AC and then wire this inverter to TEG. The Cybertruck has an inverter to power tools not sure it has the capacity to power a house. The other Tesla vehicles would need such a large inverter, which for most be dead weight 99.99% and reduce range during this 99.99% of the time. Another option would for be for Tesla to add a way to tap the DC vehicle batteries and an inverter on the wall connected to the TEG. Perhaps with a new Tesla Wall mounted charger/inverter box,

I have a SolarRoof and Powerwalls so am very interested to see if this could be accomplished. I also have a new Model X, and F-150 Lightning as backup, on order. I am very interested to see the price of the charger/inverter(?) that SunRun is providing. But, based on our solar install I would not be surprised if the total cost of installing the capability to power the house from an F-150 is pretty expensive. $5,000+ would not surprise me by the time you bought the charger/inverter, created a critical loads panel, rewired to split the loads, got permits and inspections, etc.
 
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cali8484

Member
Jul 8, 2018
231
137
California
At Battery Day, Elon Musk seems to reason that there have not been enough demands for V2G to offer the feature:

“Vehicle to grid sounds good but has much lower utility than people think,”

“We actually had that with the original Roadster. We had vehicle-to-grid capabilities — nobody used it.”

I would agree with his statement on V2G. I have no interest in discharging any battery for the purpose of feeding the grid. V2H is a completely different scenario and Musk supports it.

 
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BIC1

Member
Feb 19, 2020
89
16
Missouri USA
I'm not interested in V2G, only V2H as a way to add backup capacity for my one PW (been waiting 14+ months for PW#2). Since I may never need my backup PW, it might be money sunk like insurance you never use. But, with say, the Ford F-150, I could get to use an EV daily while also having the equivalent of 6+ PWs on standby without having to buy the 6+ PWs. I'm already invested in the Gateway & wiring, so presumably installation costs would be minimal. No extra wear and tear on the vehicle batteries as would only be for rare backup power.

I called Sunrun. No info yet on Ford bi-di, but expects some soon. Rep noted since they install PW as well, might be an opportunity for integration.
 

bevo

Member
Mar 10, 2021
51
25
Irvine
The TEG is only part of the solution. As it is currently implemented it is an AC switch. Telsa would have to add an inverter to convert the DC in the vehicle's battery to AC and then wire this inverter to TEG. The Cybertruck has an inverter to power tools not sure it has the capacity to power a house. The other Tesla vehicles would need such a large inverter, which for most be dead weight 99.99% and reduce range during this 99.99% of the time. Another option would for be for Tesla to add a way to tap the DC vehicle batteries and an inverter on the wall connected to the TEG. Perhaps with a new Tesla Wall mounted charger/inverter box,

I have a SolarRoof and Powerwalls so am very interested to see if this could be accomplished. I also have a new Model X, and F-150 Lightning as backup, on order. I am very interested to see the price of the charger/inverter(?) that SunRun is providing. But, based on our solar install I would not be surprised if the total cost of installing the capability to power the house from an F-150 is pretty expensive. $5,000+ would not surprise me by the time you bought the charger/inverter, created a critical loads panel, rewired to split the loads, got permits and inspections, etc.
Bi-directional charging means AC to DC going in and DC to AC going out all while using the same hardware. Tesla won't have to add an all new DC to AC inverter, they would simply replace the diodes with transformers on their current design. There are videos on Youtube about this. It's simple change.
With the Texas weather issue recently, there's lots of energy insecurities and people will be looking for V2H solutions.
No respectable self-proclaimed "energy" company can sit still while "car manufacturers" offer energy solutions for V2H.
 
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jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,157
3,207
Northern California
Bi-directional charging means AC to DC going in and DC to AC going out all while using the same hardware. Tesla won't have to add an all new DC to AC inverter, they would simply replace the diodes with transformers on their current design. There are videos on Youtube about this. It's simple change.
With the Texas weather issue recently, there's lots of energy insecurities and people will be looking for V2H solutions.
No respectable self-proclaimed "energy" company can sit still while "car manufacturers" offer energy solutions for V2H.
Thanks for clearing up the issue of the inverter. That sounds like a straightforward change.
 

cali8484

Member
Jul 8, 2018
231
137
California
Bi-directional charging means AC to DC going in and DC to AC going out all while using the same hardware. Tesla won't have to add an all new DC to AC inverter, they would simply replace the diodes with transformers on their current design. There are videos on Youtube about this. It's simple change.
With the Texas weather issue recently, there's lots of energy insecurities and people will be looking for V2H solutions.
No respectable self-proclaimed "energy" company can sit still while "car manufacturers" offer energy solutions for V2H.

Bi-directional charging is not necessarily even desired for V2H. There are situations where you want to charge and discharge at the same time. It's straight forward for EV manufacturers to just add a separate inverter for V2H powered by the traction battery.
 

bevo

Member
Mar 10, 2021
51
25
Irvine
Bi-directional charging is not necessarily even desired for V2H. There are situations where you want to charge and discharge at the same time.
When would you want to charge and discharge at the same time? If you are charging, then that means you already have an energy source.
 

cali8484

Member
Jul 8, 2018
231
137
California
When would you want to charge and discharge at the same time? If you are charging, then that means you already have an energy source.

It's quite common for off-grid systems which is effectively what V2H is during grid outages. So, V2H could be powering the house loads while charging from a generator or an off-grid solar system to avoid drained batteries at night or during cloudy/smoky days.
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,157
3,207
Northern California
It's quite common for off-grid systems which is effectively what V2H is during grid outages. So, V2H could be powering the house loads while charging from a generator or an off-grid solar system to avoid drained batteries at night or during cloudy/smoky days.
So you are saying the vehicle battery operates like a powerwall.

Where the TEG (or other smart current switch) can pull from the vehicle and/or the solar and combine sources to meet the needs of the home. And then when there is excess power from a solar array, generator, etc. that can flow into the vehicle to recharge, again like a Powerwall.

I would assume, the switching would be fast, but, at no moment in time is the vehicle's battery both sending and receiving power.
 
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Southpasfan

Member
Jun 2, 2019
454
578
Pasadena
We did have a bit of a discussion, in the thread @holeydonut mentioned, but I dont think there was much discussion about possible integration into any sort of existing powerwall setup.

Thats an interesting topic. I have no idea, but you have to have the specific charge station they mention in that article (the regular one supposedly wont work).

As to whether this will "force tesla to offer something like this", I dont think for any current tesla vehicle owners, since the charge port is not bi directional AFAIK. I have always thought that, eventually, this "might" come to people who have both tesla vehicles AND tesla powerwalls, but not people who dont have both, for various reasons.

One of which, which ford does not have to worry about, is there are still too many tesla vehicles out there with "free unlimited supercharging", and people absolutely positively 100% would go charge their vehicles at a supercharger, and run their home off them. Ford doesnt have that problem.

Another of which is, tesla sells batteries, so has no incentive to compete with themselves by making rolling powerwalls.

Unless they end up with cars sitting on docks they cant sell, I dont expect tesla to ever do this.

Now, back to whether this would somehow integrate with a tesla powerwall or something, I doubt the there would be any integration. Maybe it could slot in like a generator currently does, where the tesla system doesnt see the generator? That likely would be possible.
I think what Musk meant was that the actual use cases are narrower than Powerwalls.

The main difference between a Powerwall and a car is that the Powerwalls sit there all day and are charged by the sun. An EV is designed to be out there driving around.

It would probably be nice if everyone with an EV basically had a few hours of backup power, which is what I suppose Ford is getting at, but of course (a) the car has to be at the house, (b) the car has to be charged up, and (c) if its a true, Texas type disaster, maybe you would think twice abound running down your EV battery.

Oddly, if Tesla added this functionality it would be great, for say, me, who could add to my 3 PW's with the almost six PW's sitting in the bottom of my Model 3, it would enable me to be off grid completely as long as I made sure to charge the car up along with the PWs.

Having gone through a PW installation, by the way, I don't think the set up is anywhere near as simple as getting a Sunrun/Ford wall charger, there is a lot more to making sure that nothing is back-fed to the grid. The Gateway has to be wired in a certain spot, its not just like a wall charger.
 
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cali8484

Member
Jul 8, 2018
231
137
California
So you are saying the vehicle battery operates like a powerwall.

Where the TEG (or other smart current switch) can pull from the vehicle and/or the solar and combine sources to meet the needs of the home. And then when there is excess power from a solar array, generator, etc. that can flow into the vehicle to recharge, again like a Powerwall.

I would assume, the switching would be fast, but, at no moment in time is the vehicle's battery both sending and receiving power.
Not quite. PW is a grid-interactive inverter/battery system so it's more complicated technically and logistically. PW is more like V2G. V2H is like an off-grid system with a transfer switch to ensure that. Simultaneous charging/discharging in off-grid systems is straight forward similar to how your iPhone battery can be charging from a wall wart charger while discharging to power the phone functions. Also, unlike PW, you can charge EV's from generators as needed.
 

charlesj

Active Member
Oct 22, 2019
1,181
251
Monterey, CA
.... But, with say, the Ford F-150, I could get to use an EV daily while also having the equivalent of 6+ PWs on standby without having to buy the 6+ PWs. ...
Unless the grid down even happens after F-150 nearly depleted battery. ;):)

And yes, 6 PWs would go a long way in powering a house even partially, during winter months grid down event when solar production is way down.
Monterey had such an even in some part of the city for 2+ weeks. A good friend of ours house was 50 deg as they could not heat it and house, an older one, poorly insulated.
 

Southpasfan

Member
Jun 2, 2019
454
578
Pasadena
I will speculate a couple of things. Since it can be done, I'm sure Tesla will get around to it. Since solar and PWs is a more elegant solution to energy than using the batteries in an EV to run a house, it would not be on the top of the list.

It may well be that utilities will have a blind spot to this, since without solar (only an EV), you don't really need an "interconnection agreement" since there won't be any electricity pushed back to the grid. I haven't had a big problem with my utility, but it doesn't take much reading around here to see those who have..

Reading this thread and after a bit of reading on the F150 lightning though, I do find it interesting that so many people (not on this site, mind you) still understand so little about power.

In the comments on the F150 and Cybertruck, you actually have people thinking if they charge electric power tool batteries that the car will run out of juice. Thus, demonstrating a fundamental misunderstanding of how much energy is actually in an EV battery pack v. the battery for a power tool. A cybertruck will have a 200 kwh battery pack. The Ryobi electric lawn mower has a battery which, if I did the calculations right, is at .24 of a kwh.

If Ford goes ahead, I would say the marketing that buying an EV gets you a Truck, a truck which can power all your electric stuff on a jobsite easily, and, when you install the $1,000 home charger you might well do anyway, a bonus electric back-up generator that the "bonus electric back-up generator" will be a good selling point even if the actual use cases are rare.
 
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cali8484

Member
Jul 8, 2018
231
137
California
the "bonus electric back-up generator" will be a good selling point even if the actual use cases are rare.

That's exactly why V2H for backup power will likely be much more popular than dedicated home battery systems. Even for people who experience fairly frequent grid outages there is no financial ROI for a high capacity home battery system that can last for multiple days of grid outage. V2H is a much more economical backup power solution than home battery systems for occasional grid outages even ones that last for days. Home battery systems will likely remain the best choice for people who primarily want TOU arbitrage but it's likely a much smaller market than the backup power market.
 

Southpasfan

Member
Jun 2, 2019
454
578
Pasadena
That's exactly why V2H for backup power will likely be much more popular than dedicated home battery systems. Even for people who experience fairly frequent grid outages there is no financial ROI for a high capacity home battery system that can last for multiple days of grid outage. V2H is a much more economical backup power solution than home battery systems for occasional grid outages even ones that last for days. Home battery systems will likely remain the best choice for people who primarily want TOU arbitrage but it's likely a much smaller market than the backup power market.
The thing is, without a home battery system one's "ROI" is entirely dependent on the utility's position on solar in general (see, to my mind, ridiculous limitations on the size of systems) and NEM in particular.

As I have stated to a degree bordering on being a bore, I don't find "ROI" to be a useful metric for figuring out what to get. I much prefer "price per kwh over 20 years" for an apples to apples comparison. That's because whether you do nothing, get solar, or solar and PWs or just use the EV for backup, you have to pay monthly for energy regardless. "ROI" is useful if one is comparing two investments. Solar and PWs are not an investment in that sense. The question is simply continue to get your power "publicly" or to "privatize" your own power generation.

Where I am at, the price per kwh is about 23 cents on average. LADWP is good because they do not do wide TOU swings, but that's not the point.

Solar alone, for my roof configuration, in SoCal, is about 10 cents per kwh. With Powerwalls about 16 cents. Once I figured out both of those numbers were significantly less than 23 cents I hit the order button.

V2H will, if implemented and if customers understand it, is the easiest way to get backup. Rather than have a generator sitting there waiting for a power outage why not have an EV you can drive around in the meantime. Its not the best engineering solution, but it is a solution that's for sure.
 

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