Demo home will test impact of electric vehicle charging on grid

BMW and home energy management software developer Tendril show how electric vehicle charging technologies might be integrated into the smart grid.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

Automaker BMW is teaming up with energy management platform developer Tendril to build out a demo home in Mountain View, Calif., that helps integrate electric vehicle charging infrastructure more tightly into an end-to-end management system for controlling residential energy consumption.

The idea is to monitor and manage the impact of BMW ActiveE electric vehicle charging on home energy consumption using the Tendril Connect cloud-based energy management platform and the Tendril Energize application for home energy management. Tendril is working on the demonstration in conjunction with the BMW Technology Office USA.

Among other thing, a homeowner would use Connect to help schedule the best time for an electric vehicle to be charged. For example, maybe you only want your car to pull energy from the solar panels, or you want it to charge during off-peak hours. Conversely, the homeowner wants to tap some of the charge in the vehicle's battery when the electric grid is operating at capacity. Tendril Connect would also support that scenario.

From the utility's point of view, the Tendril energy management software could help it determine when charging electric vehicles might put a strain on the grid.

The components of technology in the demonstration home will include the Tendril software along with smart thermostats, a solar panel installation, appliances, residential lighting and other "smart devices" that can be used to demonstrate various management and demand situations.

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