Hello again! In the last few weeks, I've been reading and researching if and how your EV's battery can be used to power your home in the event of a power outage. Turns out, the answer is yes...with a giant "but"... Read on to learn more!
The question: Can you use your EV Battery to run your home during a power outage? Yes, you can use your electric vehicle (EV) battery to run your home during a power outage, provided your EV is equipped with bi-directional charging capabilities and you have a bi-directional charger installed at your home.
Bi-directional charging allows energy to flow in both directions between the EV and the grid, which enables you to use the stored energy in your EV's battery to power your home during a power outage. To use your EV battery as a backup power source, you would need to connect the bi-directional charger to your home's electrical system, and then connect your EV to the charger. When the power goes out, you can then use the energy stored in your EV's battery to power your home until the power is restored.
It's important to note that the amount of energy stored in your EV's battery may not be enough to power your home for an extended period of time, so you may still need to use a backup generator or other backup power source in some cases. Additionally, bi-directional charging is still a relatively new technology, and not all EVs and charging stations are equipped with these capabilities.
Overall, while using your EV battery to run your home during a power outage is possible, it's important to consider the limitations and requirements of bi-directional charging before investing in this technology. Other things to consider are whether or not your chosen EV has the firmware installed that will allow it to deploy itself as a battery-backup for your home.
Below are a few types of bi-directional EV charging styles (with descriptions of what each acronym means). If you're considering using your EV battery as a source of backup power, you will want to first ensure that your EV has one of the below-described acronyms associated with itself. If not, it's possible that using your EV battery as a backup power source might not be an available option at this time:
V2G: V2G stands for Vehicle-to-Grid, and refers to a system in which energy can flow in both directions between an EV and the grid. This allows EVs to act as both a consumer and supplier of energy, which can help to balance the grid and reduce the need for large power plants.
V2H: V2H stands for Vehicle-to-Home, and refers to a system in which energy can flow in both directions between an EV and a homeowner's home. This allows homeowners to use the stored energy in their EV's battery to power their home, reducing their reliance on the grid.
V2L: V2L stands for Vehicle-to-Load, and refers to a system in which energy can flow in both directions between an EV and a load, such as a battery or an electric appliance. This allows EVs to act as a source of energy, which can be used to power other devices.
Finally, Bi-directional electric vehicle (EV) charging can bring several benefits to homeowners who have EVs. Here are some of the ways that bi-directional charging can benefit homeowners:
Lower energy costs: Homeowners with bi-directional EV charging can use the stored energy in their EV's battery to power their home during times when electricity costs are high, such as during peak hours. This can help to reduce the amount of energy they need to purchase from the grid and can lower their overall energy costs.
Increased energy independence: With bi-directional EV charging, homeowners have access to stored energy in their EV's battery, which can be used to power their home during power outages or other emergency situations. This can increase their energy independence and provide them with a backup source of power.
Improved energy efficiency: Bi-directional EV charging can help to improve the overall efficiency of the energy system by enabling energy to flow in both directions between the EV and the grid. This can help to reduce energy waste and improve the overall performance of the grid.
Potential income streams: In some cases, homeowners with bi-directional EV charging may be able to sell excess energy stored in their EV's battery back to the grid, generating an additional income stream.
Overall, bi-directional EV charging can bring a range of benefits to homeowners, including lower energy costs, increased energy independence, improved energy efficiency, and potential income streams. These benefits can help to make EVs and renewable energy a more attractive option for homeowners, and support the transition to a more sustainable and resilient energy system.
Currently, DPI Solar is exploring partnerships with two different Bi-Directional EV Charging manufacturers. Once we select the brand we feel will deliver the best experience to our customers, we will update our blog with a write-up and real-world experience of that product for you to consider.
* A WARNING * Due to the way that bi-directional EV charging CAN work with your home, it's important to understand that this is a very new technology and should only be installed by licensed electricians who are coordinating and familiar with your local electrical company's guidelines for installation of said technology.
A critical safety component of these chargers is that they meet UL1741 guidelines - meaning that they won't discharge their power onto a "dead" utility grid. All currently installed solar inverters are designed to disconnect themselves from the utility grid in the event of a power outage. This prevents your home from becoming an "island of power" in the middle of a "dead" power grid. This safety feature helps to protect the utility workers (linemen) from being electrocuted when working on lines they assume to be "dead" (de-energized).
If you do choose to deploy a bi-directional EV charger, it is of the upmost importance that you do so with full compliance of your local electric company's guidelines as well as any and all current electrical code requirements to prevent your system from accidentally energizing a "dead" (de-energized) power grid.
Much like a backup generator must not send its power onto a "dead" utility grid, so must you also avoid doing the same with a bi-directional EV charger coupled to your EV's battery during a blackout - for your safety and the safety of those linemen who are working to restore your power at your home.
Hope you've enjoyed this as much as I've enjoyed researching it!
Call us when you're ready to take the next steps on your solar (and EV charger) journey!