Today’s plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) require an overnight charge back at your home, but scientists at Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) have found a way to use these PHEVs as large mobile batteries that can be integrated and used in powering your home.
CSIRO engineers have modified PHEVs to carry a 30Ah NiMH battery, being capable of holding a battery charger and a 6kWh charge. This allows the cars to plug into and charge with electricity from on-site renewable energy sources or from the grid. The idea is to transform PHEVs into mobile battery banks, capable to power a home.
According to CSIRO scientist Phillip Paevere, the plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have been equipped with instruments that will monitor the travel patterns of different users and also allow the residual power left in the batteries at the end of the day to be available for other uses. While the vehicle isn’t being used, its NiMH batteries could be used to store energy or run appliances.
“When not needed, the parked car in the driveway could potentially become a large battery store and energy source for the house, running appliances or storing off-peak or surplus electricity generated from on-site renewable generators, such as solar panels,” he added.