Vehicle to Home as Emergency Power | The Clean Alternative to Generators

There has been excitement about using batteries in electric vehicles for energy storage for the grid or homes for years, referred to as vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-home integration. Let us focus on vehicle-to-home.

We see great opportunities for the electric vehicle (EV) as an emergency backup. However, it will not replace the battery at home, and here is why: The goal is to store energy from the sun locally, but you cannot do this when your car is at work during the day. It is also not fun for the house to go dark during a power outage while you go to get some milk from the store. Also, who wants to add daily charge cycles on the car battery and wear it down? The cost of replacing that EV battery will make your utility bill look like a bargain!

For people without a solar-battery system, an electric vehicle can provide emergency power to a small electrical subpanel at your house.

Many EVs already feature a small inverter that powers a 120 V outlet for tailgating or charging tools. A traditional “generator cable” and a simple control box combined with a subpanel provide low-cost emergency power to a home. These car outlets will also compete with “solar generators” that are currently so popular.

For customers with a solar-battery system, an EV can provide energy and replace fuel generators as an emergency energy source.

Many of our customers still want a backup generator in addition to utility power as an energy source if the sun does not shine for multiple days. This is understandable, but the reality is that multiple days with heavy clouds are much less common than you would assume. The PowerBloc comes with “deep storage.” We recommend that customers size a battery to cover 24 hours at average demand during the season of highest energy use.

With vehicle-to-home charging available for the PowerBloc now, we already see declining interest in generators from our customers!

Vehicle to Home as Emergency Power | The Clean Alternative to Generators

As discussed earlier, an EV with a 120 V outlet can plug into the PowerBloc with a generator cable.

The customer can check the energy in the car’s batteries. On the DIYA tablet, they can decide how much energy to draw from the vehicle, say, 20 kWh, and then the PowerBloc will stop after that amount of energy has been sourced from the car.

In the future, as vehicle-to-home becomes standardized and more widely available in vehicles, we will also be able to use a car charger for pulling energy from the car instead of a separate cable. But why wait?

An electrical vehicle in the garage will provide the peace of mind that a generator currently provides. With 50-100 kWh of energy storage in an EV, this is a practical idea for those rare occasions when the PowerBloc may run out of energy.

In addition, during an extended period of overcast days, when the grid is down, and the solar array produces little or new energy, you can always drive the car to a charging station, “fuel it up,” and bring energy back to the house. However, a generator may still be better for off-grid customers far away from a public EV charging station.