V2G and V2H charger: Next step Chamelion?
In The Netherlands there is a car sharing initiative called We Drive Solar, basically using car batteries as PV grid storage on the neighborhood-level, as opposed to home-level. In that neighborhood (Lombok in the city of Utrecht), they have long said they have installed public charge-points capable of Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G). It’s a General Electric model if I am not mistaken.
I confess I have always been a bit confused and sceptical. Renault is heavily involved in the project and have stated they will build “custom modified” ZOEs for the initiative. I assumed this would simply be a “pre-2019 CCS enabled ZOE” sort of prototype as it would make the most sense: they had to develop that anyway, so why not pull it a bit forward? But what was nagging me is the charge-points. Looked pretty standard to me with normal Mennekes type AC plugs. Would it even have enough space for a multi kW rated grid inverter?
An unidentified source, so unfortunately unverifiable, has told me that I was wrong, and it is really interesting news: The V2G will be AC based. And it makes a lot of sense really. If the inverter is on board, simple Vehicle-to-Home (V2H, or “V2G light” if you will) will be very easy to implement. No home based special chargers needed at all and normally the charge-point is connected to a separate fuse group anyway.
As for the technicalities (i.e. communications on how much to feed-in), I have no details. However, there is a US filed patent, resembling the other one I mentioned here, describing an extension to the existing charger with just a few components to make it V2G/H-enabled, which I regard as mildly corroborating evidence. From a hardware point of view, it only needs a second black module; the bigger one shown in the third picture of this post. Looks like the Chamelion charger, dismissed nowadays by many “as charging will go DC”, has some extra life in it! Interesting times ahead!
This would also mean that such car could be (in theory) used as power source for your off-grid vacation home – or as UPS in case of the grid black-out. Interesting. 😉