Smart grids have the capacity to provide smooth power supply to every home or commercial establishment connected to it. At present, such systems exist only on a small scale owing to the expensive nature of setting them up. Now, Mitsubishi, the Japanese conglomerate, has completed work on a smart grid demonstration system called M-tech Labo that uses the rechargeable batteries of EVs for electric demand leveling in factory facilities. The Toyota Institute of Technology plays an advisory role in the project.
The M-tech Labo is one of Japan’s four smart grid initiatives that aim to demonstrate how such systems can make a big difference in ensuring smooth and uninterrupted power supply. It will exhibit load shifting by being charged during the night when power demands are low and will store renewable energy in rechargeable batteries whose power will be routed back to the grid when needed by offices and factory facilities.
The companies engaged in building and operating the system comprise of Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. All three are of the view that using used rechargeable batteries and those from EVs will significantly lower the cost of setting up smart grid systems instead of dedicated batteries that are very expensive. The companies are looking to move towards greener energy systems for a sustainable society wherein CO2 emissions are reduced and energy requirements can be met more easily.
For this year, the group will attempt to demonstrate a reduction of power fluctuation at MMC Nagoya Plant’s administration building which will use energy from M-tech Labo at a max power of 50kW. The target is set at a 33 percent reduction of the 180kW fluctuation range. The companies will also validate the Electric vehicle Integration System of EVs by aggregating data of available dischargeable capacity of each electric vehicle while still letting them be used as a means of transport.