Mitsubishi Corp. and the Tokyo Institute of Technology are developing a smart charging system to exploit wind power produced at night to charge electric vehicles.
Power companies buy windmill electricity generated during the daytime and resell it to households, factories and buildings. But they often are not interested in buying power produced at night because of weak demand. In order to store electricity generated at night, windmill operators need to install sodium-sulfur battery systems, which are as costly as power generators.
The technology developed by the alliance is expected to help reduce this investment burden, which has prevented a wider adoption of wind power generation. It collects data both on power generation and electric vehicle recharging. Power supplied to a charging vehicle can be stopped and restarted in increments of one second. A field test of the system has been conducted in Hokkaido.
A large windmill with an output power of 3,000 kW could 200-300 electric vehicles a night. Mitsubishi reportedly is looking to commercialize the technology for locations with small grids such as remote islands by setting up electric-vehicle charging stations near windmills.