Toyota, Duke Energy and Energy Systems Network have partnered in a joint smart-grid pilot project in Indiana, the United States.
The aim of the project will be power-grid load-equalization and the establishment of an optimized vehicle-charging scheme.
The project will seek to equalize day-and-night load on the electric power grid through a demand response system, which is based on communication standards developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers that provide a bi-directional digital communication protocol between vehicles and utility companies.
The pilot project will involve five Prius Plug-in Hybrid vehicles driven by Duke Energy customers living in the Indianapolis area. These customers will drive the cars regularly during the pilot period, which is expected to begin in early 2013 and last for at least 12 months.
In addition, a charging station and a home gateway communication system will be installed in each household to allow monitoring and optimization of charging.
Additionally, the project will seek to develop an appropriate scheme to optimally manage charging through a variable toll system. The project will use advanced technologies to give users the ability to automatically realize their own personal charging strategy, such as charging during off-peak periods to minimize electricity costs. The International Electrotechnical Commission is standardizing these kinds of communication technologies so that automotive manufacturers can use them globally.
The collected data will be used to evaluate the performance of the communication system between the vehicle and the grid, and also to examine the effectiveness of the charging management system.