Energy Internet and eVehicles Overview

Governments around the world are wrestling with the challenge of how to prepare society for inevitable climate change. To date most people have been focused on how to reduce Green House Gas emissions, but now there is growing recognition that regardless of what we do to mitigate against climate change the planet is going to be significantly warmer in the coming years with all the attendant problems of more frequent droughts, flooding, sever storms, etc. As such we need to invest in solutions that provide a more robust and resilient infrastructure to withstand this environmental onslaught especially for our electrical and telecommunications systems.

Linking renewable energy with high speed Internet using fiber to the home combined with eVehicles and dynamic charging where vehicle's batteries are charged as it travels along the road, may provide for a whole new "energy Internet" infrastructure for linking small distributed renewable energy sources to users that is far more robust and resilient to survive climate change than today's centralized command and control infrastructure. For more details please see:

Using eVehicles for Renewable Energy Transportation and Distribution: http://goo.gl/bXO6x and http://goo.gl/UDz37

Free High Speed Internet to the Home or School Integrated with solar roof top: http://goo.gl/wGjVG

High level architecture of Internet Networks to survive Climate Change: http://goo.gl/juWdH

Architecture and routing protocols for Energy Internet http://goo.gl/niWy1g


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Green Investment Opportunity for small business - on the move electric car charging

[I have long argued that we will not address the challenge of climate change as long as the utilities are in the loop. The utilities are very conservative organizations who generally think in terms of big mega-power projects and believe that all customers need five nines reliable power. Fundamentally, reducing power consumption is not in their self interest. They also struggle, for good technical reasons, with the issues of how to introduce large portion of renewable power into their electrical transmission grid. Also the cost of electrical power is going to increase because of cap and trade, even if the power comes from totally renewable sources. It is estimated that cap and trade will raise the price of electricity that is generated by coal plants anywhere from 60% to 300%. This will put competitive pressure on electricity that comes from renewable source as there will be increased demand for such electricity. As a result clean electricity will cost close to, or perhaps even cost more than dirty electricity if it is delivered over the same electrical grid.

If we are going to effect real change and create a new green economy we need to bypass the utilities. This was how the Internet revolution happened. God forbid, if the young Internet entrepreneurs of the day had to depend on the telephone company for the roll out of their Internet applications – we would still be using tin cans and string for our data communications.

A problem with most clean, renewable energy is that it is intermittent and unpredictable. One of the fundamental misconceptions many people have is that all applications need 100% reliable power. So a lot of research and development is going into building large storage facilities or massive continent spanning grids to distribute and load balance renewable power facilities in order to ensure reliable power. But a much cheaper and effective solution is to adapt the application to the availability of power. ICT applications are a good example. Computing services, clouds and networking applications can be quickly moved from site to site around the world where there is power available using high speed optical networks. This is the essence of the Greenstar project and several other research initiatives around the world. Next generation 5G wireless networks are also built around this same concept.

The same thinking can be applied to charging of electric vehicles. Right now there is a lot of hype about electric vehicles. But their Achilles heel is their limited range, expensive batteries and long charging cycles. There is also talk of using electric vehicles as back up storage devices for the grid – but this creates huge problems as most residential transformers are not designed to handle large power flows from the home to the grid. For this vision to become a reality the entire electrical grid will have to be rebuilt. It aint going to happen in our lifetime.

An alternate and much cheaper solution that does not involve any utilities is “on the move” electric vehicle charging. On the move systems work by placing a short power strip (remember the old slot car racing sets we had as kids?) in the road bed connected to a roadside windmill, solar panel array, or run of the river turbine under bridges. An inductive coil or direct contact probe is attached to the electric vehicle. A large discharge capacitor may also have to be installed. When the electric vehicle drives over the embedded power strip, it signals its request to purchase a short burst of power to recharge its batteries. The “On the move” system verifies the purchase request and energizes the embedded power strip to provide direct high current/voltage power to the vehicle – most likely through a capacitor to capacitor discharge coupling. The embedded strip is made up of many segments, each about the length of the electric vehicle, so that only the segment under the vehicle that requested the power is energized. The onboard capacitor in the electric vehicle slowly trickle charges the onboard batteries after driving over the strip. When there is no vehicle over the power strip it is completely de-energized for safety reasons.

None of the “on the move” systems need to be connected to the electrical grid and can be deployed and operated independently of each other. The only common requirement is a standard for the inductive charging and billing system. They can be deployed at all stop signs and traffic lights to allow for greater charging time when the vehicle is stopped at an intersections. Within urban settings the renewable power system can be located on a roof top and the power distributed using 400 HZ system over the existing copper to the street level “on the move” system.

On the move systems can be deployed by small entrepreneurs just about anywhere. Early applications include golf cart charging and campus vehicle fleets at universities and large industrial campuses. Charging golf carts is a big cost for many golf courses in both energy cost and frequent battery replacement because of frequent deep cycling. Shopping malls, drive through restaurants and banks are other excellent locations for “on the move” power strips. In the future you wont need to feel guilty using the drive-in as you will be doing it for good green reasons! Perhaps drive-in restaurants may offer inducements such as free hamburger while they recharge your car! Deploying “on the move” in public roads will require more extensive approvals and negotiations with various government and municipal departments.

“On the move” electrical vehicle charging systems address a number of short comings with today’s electric vehicles:
(a) It reduces the need for a large and expensive battery bank in the car as a smaller battery pack can be recharged frequently as the vehicle drives along the road, which also reduces the weight of the vehicles
(b) It reduces the need for a long recharge cycle after every trip
(c) Larger and heavier electric vehicles like buses and trucks can use the system perhaps with longer and more frequent power strips
(d) It enables much longer trips without stopping for refueling – whether it is gas or electricity
(e) It uses solely renewable energy and is not dependent on the construction of new nuclear reactors or power plants

Since on the move systems will use renewable energy there will be times where some roadways may not have sufficient power. Before drivers proceed on a trip they can check on the web to see which route is likely to have plenty of power for the on the move systems enroute.

If we are going to successfully address the biggest challenge facing the planet we need creative, out of the box solutions like this. It will be young innovative entrepreneurs who will come up with creative solutions – not your boring staid utility. – BSA]



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email: Bill.St.Arnaud@gmail.com
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