What is bidirectional EV charging?

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EV charger installation is fast becoming a must-have service in the service of a solar installer.more Solar manufacturers start offering EV products, Solar contractors typically have the right connections and knowledge to make separate electrical connections in the garage. so we need to offer contractors new installation opportunities.

How conventional unidirectional EV chargers work

SolarEdge EV One-Way Charger

Essentially, all EV chargers installed before 2023 can only flow power in one direction from the power source (home, business, charging station, etc.) to the electric vehicle. All EV chargers move power in the same direction, but there are different types such as level 1 and 2 chargers and fast DC chargers. Level 1 and 2 chargers only transfer power. The electric vehicle itself takes the supplied AC power and converts it to DC power to charge the vehicle’s battery. Fast chargers do the AC-to-DC conversion themselves, supplying DC power directly to the vehicle.

How a two-way EV charger works

A two-way charger allows you to charge your EV’s battery on a regular basis, as well as export EV battery power to your home or the grid. This V2G (Vehicle-to-Grid) and V2H (Vehicle-to-Home) power transfer is also collectively known as V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything).

This is a major breakthrough in the EV and energy storage market. Electric vehicle batteries are an underutilized asset. This is a Portable Energy Storage System (ESS) with much higher capacity than the stationary ESS options currently on the market. Being able to use EV battery power for more than just driving could change the way customers and utilities think about adopting solar power and battery storage.

Nissan using Fermata two-way charger

“The Nissan Leaf has 4.5 powerwalls under the hood and comes with free leather seats and air conditioning. is worth it. fermata energy.

two way charger just It’s starting to hit the market. By early 2023, 2 bi-directional chargers only Fermata Energy’s FE-15 charger and Siemens’ Ford Charge Station Pro are UL 9741 certified, a standard that covers bi-directional charging equipment and includes the ability to transmit power to the grid. But with many other companies including Wallbox and Enphase working on their own two-way chargers, 2024 and 2025 should bring more options to the market.

Bi-directional chargers are much more advanced in technology than uni-directional EV chargers and thus lag in development. A more powerful inverter must be installed to allow AC to DC power exchange. That double power transfer creates heat, so more fans and higher rated enclosures should be used. Add software development to allow consumers to use their chargers like they would any other smart device, and allow utilities to access that power, and suddenly you’re building much larger and more complex products. Become.

But once bi-directional chargers are UL-certified and on the market again, solar contractors should have no problem learning to install new products. All you need to know how to install an ESS or solar inverter is install a two-way charger.

still to do

There is growing interest in bi-directional charging, mainly for the following reasons: ford announcement The 131 kWh battery inside the F-150 Lightning can be used as an emergency backup for home use. Although still an advantage as a secondary application for EV batteries, the real benefit of bi-directional charging and V2X lies in its interaction with the grid.

Ford exhibits emergency backup function

“Most people today think of V2H as a backup power source, and it’s because of the Ford Lightning,” said Shawn McLaughlin, CEO of a home energy management company. emporia energy“Early adopters are bought as spares and go viral when they can cut electricity bills by 50%. and it will only be used while the grid is stopped.”

Utilities and grid operators will need to participate to make this possible. Some have already seen the benefits of using V2X to access large-scale energy resources without having to build or maintain a site. Many utilities are now Virtual Power Plant (VPP) Program, so you just need to add EV as an accessible option. V2X software makes this possible.

Fermata has been accustoming the utility to V2X capabilities for the past few years. The company’s V2X software allows the EVs used by employees of the city of Brillville, Rhode Island to send back power Submitted to National Grid for reimbursement through the ConnectedSolutions program.

Bi-directional charging offers many energy-saving potential for both homeowners and grid operators. Over the next few years, both technology and regulation should advance rapidly, allowing this interactivity of his V2X to thrive.

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