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Vehicle to Building Interaction

The increasing prevalence of electric vehicles (EVs) on the road and integration into the residential and commercial electrical systems has prompted concerns with local infrastructure charging capacities, costs, monitoring and control. Researchers are called to determine feasible and effective solutions to help mitigate risks of electricity service over-demand. Additionally, they are responsible for honing innovative strategies to optimize energy usage throughout the entire electrical ecosystem.

Engineers at the Center for Automotive Research conduct applied research that focuses on managed EV charging and complimentary smart grid topics, with an aim to create strategies that benefit electric utility companies’ monitoring and control systems thereby making consumers’ lives easier with cost reduction and increased connectivity between their sources of technology.

Vehicle-to-building interaction is one such convenience afforded to electrical suppliers and consumers. Through connectivity with the buildings, vehicles are able to indicate their energy levels and the types of services they can provide – allowing for better information flow. This can by leveraged be a microgrid, a system which typically contains a load (such as an electric vehicle or building lighting), generation source (such as photovoltaic cells, fuel cells or electric vehicle), and energy storage (such as batteries, fly wheels, compressed air or any other storage technologies). Researchers at CAR are actively working on their own microgrid testbed and aim to have it launched in the near future.

In all of their research efforts, CAR engineers aim to emphasize that electric vehicles are a truly exciting alternative to the typified automobile driving experience. While they are not only fun to drive, electric vehicles can save their users a great deal of money when it comes to fuel costs, as well.