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Telsa to Advance Relationship with the Grid

image credit: ID 140809270 © Spettacolare |

A recent patent application has further revealed Tesla´s ambition to advance its relationship with the grid. This really should come as no surprise to those who´ve closely followed the company since the beginning. Although the snazzy cars attract most of the mainstream media´s attention, Elon Musk, the company´s founder and CEO, has always been clear that the goal is to facilitate the proliferation of renewable energy.

To date, Tesla has done just that through its solar assets. However, as it is explained in the patent application, there are limits to what they can currently accomplish:

''Despite the advantages associated with integrating grid-connected PV energy generation with onsite energy storage, there are a number of challenges that make it difficult to efficiently deploy and control such integrated systems, particularly on a large, distributed scale. For example, it is tremendously difficult to attempt to control large numbers of energy generation and/or storage systems installed at various sites (in various geographic locations) utilizing differing device types that may have different capabilities, differing grid requirements, differing weather conditions, differing energy pricing schemes, etc.''

The patent proposal then goes on to explain the proprietary technology that would allow them to mitigate the mentioned complications:

''Techniques are disclosed for implementing a scalable hierarchical energy distribution grid utilizing homogeneous control logic are disclosed that provide distributed, autonomous control of a multitude of sites in an energy system using abstraction and aggregation techniques. A hierarchical energy distribution grid utilizing homogeneous control logic is provided that includes multiple control modules arranged in a hierarchy. Each control module can implement a same energy optimization scheme logic to directly control site energy resources and possibly energy resources of sites associated with control modules existing below it in the hierarchy. Each control module can act autonomously through use a similar set of input values to the common optimization scheme logic.''

It will be interesting to see what, if anything at all, comes of this patent request. As it stands now, Tesla is getting tons of data from its solar units that in theory could help them develop a system that efficiently manages demand in relation to generation, storage etc. Would such a system allow them to offer new price models? Would this dramatically change the utility business as we know it?

Henry Craver's picture

Thank Henry for the Post!

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Gary Hilberg's picture
Gary Hilberg on Feb 27, 2020 4:41 pm GMT

Henry - have you seen any details on EV to grid activity from Tesla.  This would seem to be a massive benefit to the Tesla eco-system.  A small powerwall storage system and solar PV system would benefit greatly from a 70+KW-hour EV battery.  This would allow the complete shifting of residential loads to low demand periods and provide many days of back-up power.  

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Feb 27, 2020 4:53 pm GMT

I do worry about how much the use of Tesla batteries for backup power will be used by owners who are concerned by that process degrading their battery faster (whether that's a valid concern or one that will be handled well but still a fear). Do you have any insights into what Tesla (and other EV companies) might be doing to address this?

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