Mitsubishi use excess wind energy produced at night to charge electric cars

Power companies buy wind turbines electricity generated during the daytime and resell it to households, factories and buildings. But they often are not interested in buying wind power produced at night because of weak demand.

In order to store electricity generated at night, wind farm 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 energy.

It collects data both on power generation and electric vehicle recharging. Power supplied to a charging electric vehicles can be stopped and restarted in increments of one second. A field test of the system has been conducted in Hokkaido.

A large wind turbine with an output power of 3 MW can charge 200-300 electric vehicles a night, with this method capable of figuring out the volume of remaining power in each electric vehicle so that the wind power can be distributed efficiently.

Mitsubishi is looking to commercialize the technology for locations with small grids such as remote islands by setting up electric vehicle charging stations near wind turbines.

Lithium Energy Japan (LEJ) has decided to build a new Plant in Ritto City, Shiga Pref., Japan. The new Ritto plant will start production in early 2012. The new plant will produce 4.4 million cells a year, enough to power 50,000 of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation’s new-generation i-MiEV electric vehicles (EV). The total investment in plant and equipment will amount to 37.5 billion yen.