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Helping EVs to energise the city

The company has been participating in the V2G test bed project, conducted by Korea Electronic Power Corporation

Electric vehicles will become 'moving' energy storage systems
Electric vehicles will become 'moving' energy storage systems

Automotive supplier, Hyundai Mobis, is claiming to have become the first company in South Korea to develop a bi-directional on-board charger (OBC) for electric vehicles, which is key to the implementation of vehicle-to-grid (V2G).


V2G refers to using the idle power available when cars, such as electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) connected to the grid are parked. The electric vehicle is charged while connected to the grid, and the electricity remaining after the day’s operation is transmitted (and/or discharged) back to the grid. The electric vehicle effectively becomes a moving energy storage system (ESS).


In future smart cities, many electric vehicles will be charged at the same time. To reduce the resulting power load, V2G is essential. The successful development of the bi-directional OBC will enable Hyundai Mobis to respond more proactively to the global vehicle-to-everything (V2X, including V2G) market, which is expected to grow to KRW30 trillion ($26.7 billion) by 2025.


The electric power supplied by vehicles can be used as emergency power in households and cities. Four electric vehicles can supply energy that can be used by 20 households in a day. If more vehicles are available, the surplus power can be secured and large-scale black-outs may be prevented. Damages to industries due to black-outs are estimated to be KRW 650 billion a year in Korea.


The industry estimates that if V2G is applied to 100,000 vehicles, 500MW power, equivalent to the power generation of a thermoelectric power plant, will be secured. Currently, pilot V2G projects are being actively carried out in Japan, Denmark, the US and China.


To implement V2G, plug-in environment-friendly vehicles, bi-directional OBCs, bi-directional charging stations, and the discharge rate system are necessary. Bi-directional OBCs, which are key to power conversion, are not widely available around the world and so have never been mass-produced except for pilot projects.


Hyundai Mobis has been participating in the V2G test bed project, which Korea Electronic Power Corporation (KEPCO) has been conducting since 2015, and was responsible for developing the bi-directional OBC. It is the first in Korea to install the bi-directional OBC in environment-friendly vehicles, verify safety performance, and develop it to the commercial level in a test bed project.


The bi-directional OBC has bi-directional power control circuits,’ such as the AC/DC converter and the step-up/down converter, for bi-directional conversion of DC/AC.


The actual vehicle verification begins with a dedicated charging station diagnosing the power state of the vehicle, such as battery efficiency and capacity. The optimal V2G schedule is then created according to the hypothetical scenarios in which the power supply, cost, and load are analysed. Vehicles receive this data signal, and repeats charging and discharging according to a predetermined schedule.


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