July 2014 Minutes

We held this month’s meeting at Rose’s house in McLean (thanks Rose!).  Aside from solar electricity and heating, Rose provided us with fresh baked bread, and a meeting room normally used for bluegrass and such.  Anyway, on to the vehicles- even the pizza guy was using an Insight.

Charlie called the meeting to order at 7:25, with a roll of club officers, then honored guests.  Boris and Stanley, employees of ASUS, were visiting for an EV study and dissertation.  The two will make recommendations to the Taiwanese government.  Others in the meeting introduced themselves, including some new faces due to the Virginia location this time.

hdr3Our featured guest was Brandon, from the University of Delaware.  Brandon arrived in a UDel AC Propulsion EV, a converted 5-door based on a Scion.  Brandon’s project will suggest policies for DNREC (Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control).  This is in part based on a survey he gve us.  One aspect of the survey was extender batteries- the concept of add-on modules for longer trips.

Brandon then spoke at length on V2G- “Vehicle to Grid” power and billing.  Yes, getting paid for having an electric vehicle.  At the moment, the University of Delaware is running longer-term programs on frequency regulation of the grid using parked EVs.  Minor amounts of charge capacity are either supplied or drawn as needed, to keep the AC frequency at 60 Hertz.  In exchange, the grid pays the EV owners for the priviledge.  The UDel fleet includes cars parked on campus, as well as participants at home.  More owners and EVs are wanted, though you must be a Delmarva Power customer for this particular program.

Ony two small circuit boards, and light programming, were needed for V2G.  The standard J1772 connector was already capable of doing bi-directional power.  In the big picture, frequency regulation is charge neutral.  The utility averages out your power flows within 15-minute segments so that your state of charge remains pretty much as it was.  In exchange, the utility pays you about $5 per day, in Spring and Fall.  Payments rise (perhaps dramatically) during power emergencies, typically ocurring on a few Summer and Winter days.

Note that this is frequency regulation, NOT peak shaving (attempting to power the grid in tight moments using stored energy).  Peak shaving would require a decent fraction of the population.  Nor is this peak shaving by unidirectional throttling, either- that experiment is already going, from AeroVironment and Pacific Northwest National Labs.  Retroactively named “V1G“, this features an EVSE that can sense problems with the grid, then back down its current accordingly to ease demand.

Paul from Annapolis mentioned his organizing work for this year’s Drive Electric events, Sep. 21 and in some places that whole weekend.  The club discussed updating and reprinting more brochures, flyers, and EV placards for quick reference to passersby.  This went up to freestanding kiosks and possibly dealer representatives and cars for the Drive Electric event at Annapolis City Dock.  Paul and others felt they got a good response from prior years (when it was “National Plug-In Day”), and want to step it up for this Fall.

Similarly, Jeff updated us on his efforts towards Virginia locations for Drive Electric days.  Multiple malls and shopping plazas are being considered, and possibly a smaller event that Tuesday.  Charlie mentioned that the downtown DC Drive Electric site (National Mall, 3rd St) still needs volunteers as well.  Like the Annapolis location, we are seeking promotional ideas such as T-shirts.

In Tesla news, member Rob sold his; he has plenty of EVs, but is still in the market for a different Tesla.  Dave met Leilani Münter at an event in Virginia, with about eleven other EVs present.  Münter, a race car driver, is touring her Tesla from North Carolina to Chicago.

Upcoming, the motorcycle manufacturer Zero will be holding ride-and-drives at Falls Church’s Coleman Powersports, while volunteers are being solicited for a Mini Maker Faire in Silver Spring the weekend before Drive Electric.  The annual Tour of Solar Homes is also coming, and also in our target market, and also seeks EV owners to promote the cause for the Tour.

Internally, the club sought ideas and volunteers for another edition of the Power of DC drag race, possibly in coordination with the SCCA.  It’s been a while, maybe time for another drag.  Charlie solicited more club officers for next year, while offering donated solar security lights.

Lastly, a warm welcome to new faces Dennis, Oliver, and Noah.  The meeting then broke for discussion, mingling, and the last of the snacks.  Hope to see your new faces next month!

3 thoughts on “July 2014 Minutes

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