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The Future of EV Home Charging and the Grid

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by gnuarm, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Active Member

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    Most heat pumps being installed these days are mini-split heat pumps. There are cold climate models available that (without using resistive elements) put out their full rated heating capacity at -5 F. I know because I have one. Even at -5 F it produces three kW of heat for every kW of electricity consumed. This doesn't violate Newton's 1st law of thermodynamics (conservation of energy) because the heat is not being created, it is being pumped from outside to the inside. And your 98.6 degree body temperature might make you think there is very little heat in air that is -5 F but, actually there is. You have to go all the way to absolute zero before there is no heat energy.

    Another way heat pumps efficiency can be increased in cold climates is to go to a ground source heat pumps (not all heat pumps are air to air). But even air to air heat pumps have made huge strides in cold weather efficiency by increasing the size of the heat exchangers, using highly efficient variable speed pumps and fans and tightly controlling the pressures inside the refrigerant lines to optimize cold weather performance. I'm really happy with the cold weather performance of my heat pump during those periods of time when the temperature at my ski cabin is between 15 and 30 degrees F. It's over three times more efficient that the electric baseboards it replaced (we don't have natural gas or propane) and this is more than apparent everytime I look at my electrical bill.
     
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  2. gnuarm

    gnuarm Model X 100 with 72 kW chargers

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    This is exactly what I am expecting. My concern is letting the utility drive the bus taking us to this point means the trip or the destination won't be optimal for us. It will be optimal for the utility. That's my concern in a nutshell. Whether it will happen is not really in dispute to anyone who can think a little bit. The issue is the sort of byzantine path it takes and how good or bad it will be for the consumers.

    Utilities seem to think in odd ways, or at least what they tell us they are thinking seems odd if not deceitful. I've seen them set rates that are contradictory to what is best for the system as a whole. The utilities are just like anyone else looking out for themselves first. I think we need to be part of the solution going forward to make sure the end result is best for us.
     
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  3. gnuarm

    gnuarm Model X 100 with 72 kW chargers

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    Hey guys, how about we end the side discussion of heat pump efficiency? It's not really relevant to the thread topic.
     
  4. dhanson865

    dhanson865 Active Member

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    Modern heat pumps are good to almost 0F. Only the oldest cheapest most inefficient heat pumps are having trouble at 30F.

    Of course that assumes you have your unit sized right or keep your thermostat set at a reasonable temp. It takes a bigger unit to overcome a bigger temperature differential between outside and inside.
     
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  5. brkaus

    brkaus Well-Known Member

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    The answer is “it depends”. There are many utility companies out there. Some private, some public, some co-op, etc.

    It will depend on the leadership of each of these individual companies to come up with a solution. There are so many options. A large swath of the US has smart meters for accurate and timely measures. EVSE or meters can be programmed to balance. Or rates can be adjusted to encourage proper usage and 3rd parties will come in and create solutions.

    Some utilities are run by good people with good intentions. Some by crooks go will take any opportunity to line their pockets. The answer will ultimately depend on the specific utility.

    In any case, I see this as a very long way off. Gives lots of time for them to plan on helping or self benefitting.
     
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  6. jjrandorin

    jjrandorin Another BMW convert

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    This topic seems like it should be in the energy section, not the model 3 section since this has zero to do with model 3 specific charging / batteries etc.

    The reason given around "there are more model 3s so I figured there would be more interest" is really "there are more model 3s so there are more posters / eyeballs here than other sections".

    What about this topic actually goes in the model 3 section, and not another "general" section or the "tesla energy" part of the forum, apart from wanting to reach more eyeballs?
     
  7. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Active Member

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    It's interesting that after discussing heat pumps and cold weather efficiency rather extensively, now you want to muzzle any further discussion of heat pump consumption in a thread titled "The future of Home Charging and the Grid".

    Personally, I think heat pumps cannot be ignored when discussing grid capacity and it's important that people understand the new generation of heat pumps have increased cold weather efficiency tremendously.
     
  8. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Active Member

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    Electrical utilities in the US are regulated monopolies. If the utility is lining it's pockets it's either the regulators who are crooks or they are just not effective regulators. The U.S. has a long and productive history of very effective utility regulation but I think the regulators have lost their community spirit and gone to thee darkside of allowing excessive profits through complex mechanisms that obscure where the money is going.

    If you want a good utility, you don't need an honest utility, you need a strong and principled regulator who is not in the utilities pocket. That used to be par for the course, now you have to take the regulator to court when they don't regulate effectively.
     
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  9. Lloyd

    Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    With battery technology improving and powerwalls becoming more mainstream, if the power companies become too restrictive, more people will go off grid and store and make their own power. It is quite possible for everyone with enough roof area to accomplish this.
     
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  10. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Active Member

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    A lot of municipalities have laws on the books that need to be overturned for this to occur. They allow the city to condem your property as unfit for human habitation if it is not connected to the electrical grid/sewer, garbage service, etc.
     
  11. gnuarm

    gnuarm Model X 100 with 72 kW chargers

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    The energy section is about Powerwall issues which this is not. While it is not specific to model 3s, in the context of the question model S and X cars are pretty much irrelevant since going forward there will be five times as many model 3 cars as there will be X or S autos.

    It isn't an issue of reaching more eyeballs. It's about the car that will actually have an impact on the grid and the overall problem of charging EVs. If I recall correctly, the model 3 is selling more autos than the entire rest of the EV market. The problem will happen because of owning model 3s more than any other car or even the rest of them combined.
     
  12. gnuarm

    gnuarm Model X 100 with 72 kW chargers

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    This is what I am talking about. First, the various utilities don't operate in isolation. They all network and attend conferences for the purpose of finding out what the rest of the utility world is doing and exchanging ideas.

    As I already said, the utilities don't always operate in the best interest of their customers. That is very apparent in South Carolina where there is a huge scandal over the failure of a nuclear plant project. Now the customers are being asked to pay for it even though not one kWh will be generated.

    I really don't think people are giving this much thought. The utilities are regulated by the state and often find their regulated profits tied to capital investment. So if they invest in more capital they can make more profits. Then they get to make the rate payers pay for the capital investment. Some growth of the distribution network may be inevitable, but without alternative ways of managing EV charging it will be easy to justify more distribution investment and higher rates. I just think the public should be part of the process shaping these decisions rather than just a passive customer paying whatever bills they send us. I do understand that most people are of the opinion that everything will work out. Sure, electricity will continue to flow. The question is how much you will pay for it.
     
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  13. gnuarm

    gnuarm Model X 100 with 72 kW chargers

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    No, the issue of heat pump usage should not be ignored in a discussion of distribution capacity. But the continuing debate about just how efficient a heat pump can be is not really productive in this context. I believe my comments were more about that heat pumps have limitations and that at some point the backup electric heat will be used greatly increasing electrical demand.

    I can't force anyone to talk about the primary topic. I'm just pointing out that a detailed discussion of heat pump efficiency is secondary and largely off topic.
     
  14. gnuarm

    gnuarm Model X 100 with 72 kW chargers

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    The regulators can only work with the information they are provided not unlike a court. If the utility shows that EV charging will swamp the distribution grid and no one offers other solutions, the regulators will have to approve expansion of the distribution grid. I think you are getting the idea.

    Someone needs to make it clear that there can be other solutions and this has to be done early. Waiting until the utility company has made proposals to the regulators means there won't be enough time to develop an alternative solution and present a coherent counter-argument. It's not a trivial problem to solve and will likely require a number of pilot programs to get equipment developed and a workable program thought out. Heck, right now I'm not sure we even understand all the issues involved.
     
  15. jjrandorin

    jjrandorin Another BMW convert

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    I strongly disagree that this is a model 3 topic. I took another look at the forums here, and the most appropriate place is "Energy, Environment, and Policy":

    Energy, Environment, and Policy

    This discussion is about ENERGY, and the grid, not model 3. I do not agree with your explanation for why its here vs there, other than eyeballs. Of course, its the internet, its ok to disagree... but I see no reason why this topic and discussion is not in the above forum, vs model 3, when there is a subform for energy discussions.

    Usually the next thing said is "dont read it if you dont want to", and thats appropriate, but I also think discussions should be in the appropriate place.
     
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  16. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Active Member

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    That's false. Regulators have wide powers. If they are strong enough to use them and not in the pockets of monied energy interests. They can comission their own studies if they don't think the utility is providing them with realistic projections.

    That's false too. Again, the regulators have a lot of powers and tools at their disposal (as long as they are willing to use them). They can effectively delay approvals until the utility has made a sound case that stands up to scrutiny.


    It's not clear why you think EV's pose such a problem to electrical utilities. If you understand the situation, rapid growth of EV's is actually a bonanza for the utilities and it should lower the per kW distribution cost due to the natural demand smoothing EV's will cause (they are not all that sensitive as to exactly when they are charged) and volume efficiencies. Most businesses would kill to get that kind of demand growth.
     
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  17. gnuarm

    gnuarm Model X 100 with 72 kW chargers

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    You keep chanting that regulators have "wide powers". But they don't do research and they don't invent anything. If no one makes efforts to figure out better ways to solve the problem of EVs loading local distribution we will simply be at the mercy of the utilities.

    I'm going to ignore your third paragraph because I have already addressed it numerous times and if you don't get it yet, I can't think of anything else to say. It's not about total load on the national grid, it's about local distribution loads. You need to learn the difference.
     
  18. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Active Member

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    The regulators don't need to do the research themselves, they can hire it out if the utility is feeding them BS. And, yes, the regulators do have wide powers, there's nothing wrong with pointing that out rather than acting like they are at the beck and call of the utility. That's what I call a regulator who's not doing their job!

    No, you need to come to terms with what multiple knowledgable people have been trying to teach you right here on this thread. When the local distribution grids are more fully utilized, the utility gains volume efficiencies. Those local distribution grids account for the bulk of the utilities distribution costs and they are not cheap to maintain. That cost has to passed on to the utility customer. Electric cars are not very time sensitive as to exactly when they charge (middle of the night is ideal) so they end up smoothing out power demand and increasing overall demand each day. That will create more profit for the utility and, if the regulator is doing their job, lower rates for the customer. I don't know why you are being so hard headed about this and continue to act like it is everyone else who doesn't get it.

    Take a deep breath, take a step back and listen to what people who know more than you are trying to help you understand. I know you believe you are the only one who "gets it" but that is not the case.
     
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  19. Behind

    Behind Behind on most things, but not in my car.

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    In Texas our grid is getting better and better. The wind farms have an excess of power late at night and early in the morning. We are on a pay-as-you-go plan and we get paid to charge our car sometimes. Most days we only pay .$07/kWh to charge the car and it drops if we use early morning rates.
    By the end of this year wind farms in Texas will be approaching 45% of our electrical output, with solar farms coming online in 2020. All of our utilities have been discussing using batteries like Australia for a couple of years now. As far as I know, the problem of electric cars using more than a grid could provide in not a problem. We are helping the grid through a transition period. Any time we need more, they can build and put a natural gas spiker in place in less than a year, greatly reducing overhead. They fire up and provide expensive energy in less than an hour, re-burning their waste with oxygen, with such a low pollution output one freighter going to China with American cars contributes more than a natural gas electrical generation plant could put out in a year.
    If it ever was a problem, we could all just install solar and some batteries to charge at night. Would take 3 months at most. As far as heating goes, we use natural gas. There is no grid load around here at night during the winter, although some areas did build all electric neighborhoods for reasons only known to the greedy builders. Some of the bigger petro chemical companies generate their own electricity and steam, so they don't burden the grid much either. Grocery stores and malls in the summer, well they do become a problem, but several locally have the means to generate their own electricity in case of storms or natural disasters, so in an emergency, they go off-grid and get tax rebates for it. The reason we have grid problems is because the utilities need to have grid problems to keep the prices up. Zillion ways to generate electricity, almost all are better than spewing incompletely burned fuel all over our neighborhoods and cities.
    You should have started your own forum about how laying induction electric rails under one of our lanes on our interstates and allowing any state with extra electricity to sale it to electric vehicles using the lanes we could build cheaper electric vehicles, have a secondary national grid, and use wind and solar energy a lot more efficiently. Then large cargo trucks would not contribute as much to the smog around our large cities, especially during the summer months, if they could just charge as they go between major cities.
     
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  20. gnuarm

    gnuarm Model X 100 with 72 kW chargers

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    Dude, regulators don't "hire out research". They don't have anything to do with research. Like I said, they are like the courts, the only evaluate the information available. If no one works on a solution to increased distribution demand by managing EV charging, the regulators won't have anything to go on. So please stop talking like the regulators are running the show. They have their role and everyone else has theirs.


    I've pretty clearly laid out what the issue is and I keep trying to explain the issue is not generation which many don't seem to get and according to what you posted above, you are one of those who don't understand the difference. So I give up, you can continue talking about an unrelated topic if you wish.


    It has nothing to do with breathing. It has to do with understanding. Perhaps if you just stepped back from your argument for a moment and look at the picture clearly you can better see that there are separate distribution for commercial and residential customers. It is when the two are each drawing a lot of power that the total network has it's peak loading which you continue to talk about. This is the late afternoon peak in the summer. The residential distribution has a different peak load and that is winter nights.

    Until you learn the difference between these parts of the utility network, there is no point in discussing this further with you.
     

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