GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A silly concern: What are the safeguards to prevent the gas engine from coming on when parked in a closed garage. Recharging the battery from the ICE needs to be done either in open air or inside the garage plugged into an outlet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
user interface

I think you could ask the same question about normal cars. I'd say the rule would be when the car is "off" the motor won't start. The Volt could be equipped an "auto" mode such that the ICE would start when ever the charge went below a certain value. I don't know if that would be practical, but it is possble.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Volt as Generator

CO danger is another reason why it may not be a great idea to use the Volt as a home generator. (Another reason being the regulations about driving the grid so repair people don't get zapped)

But that won't stop [ignorant] people from trying to use their Volt in the garage, and to limit liability, it wouldn't be that hard to add a CO sensor, that would shutdown the ICE if the ambient CO level exceeded 30ppm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
Darwin awards in the making

Yeah, I think the whole V2G thing is a little silly, at least leveraging that as a requirement on the Volt. I do think having a battery back up in the house is a great idea. I hope that the technological improvement in batteries for electric cars will spin off into some generic storage device that can act as a UPS.

As for running the internal combustion engine in a closed garage...well...perhaps that not wise. If there is to be an "auto" setting that can have the ICE running while the car isn't "on" then, yes, a shut down feature would be nice for high CO concentrations. Perhaps an alarm too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
I could be wrong, but my interpretation of what the poster was asking is: what happens if, for example, a driver of a Volt goes out to get a pack of cigarettes a block away and then returns home and accidentally leaves the key on in the garage. Perhaps the gas motor never kicked in during the trip, so he rolled into the garage and went in the house leaving the key on. I think the poster is asking if the car will turn itself on to charge the battery in that case as the battery runs down?

The solution there is to have some sort of failsafe if the car hasn't moved in a while and the key is on that the motor shouldn't kick in.

Ned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Or perhaps it would just charge the battery, but since it doesn't do a full charge, it may not run long enough to worry about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
I don't believe the ICE is intended to recharge the batteries when the car is idle, but rather supply power to the car when the batteries have depleted to 30%. At this point the car will operate more like a typical hybrid. The ICE will be capable of supplying the neccessary peak power when needed and the extra energy during typical use will recharge the battery.
There is no advantage to allowing the ICE to run while the car is parked to recharge the battery. (imagine a parking lot full of running cars with no occupants.)
My guess is when your 40 miles are up, you won't be running all electric until you plug in and recharge, except maybe on longer trips where after a few hours of driving the battery happens to get a good charge.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
3,689 Posts
Yeah, I think the whole V2G thing is a little silly, at least leveraging that as a requirement on the Volt. I do think having a battery back up in the house is a great idea. I hope that the technological improvement in batteries for electric cars will spin off into some generic storage device that can act as a UPS.

As for running the internal combustion engine in a closed garage...well...perhaps that not wise. If there is to be an "auto" setting that can have the ICE running while the car isn't "on" then, yes, a shut down feature would be nice for high CO concentrations. Perhaps an alarm too.
nlh, Why do you think it's silly exactly? You lost me on that. I think using V2G (or G2V or smart grids) makes perfect sense. There are other threads in the old forum dedicated to this topic and I think the argument for using V2G was successfully defended.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,544 Posts
An additional safeguard from the ICE running unattended in the garage is the seat sensor switch. All cars for the last 30 or so years have switches in the seats so they know whether or not you are using your seat belt or to arm an airbag or not. In the case of the Volt, I would imagine that even if you left the key in and in the on position by accident, the car would know that you are not in the car and therefore not allow any operations of the car to occur.

I think we should have no fears of poison gas garages. However I do believe, like others, that this is a reason that the Volt will not be able to be used as a generator set for your house. No amount of safety stickers and bold warnings in the manual would prevent some bonehead from parking it in the garage, closing the doors and gassing his whole family by accident over night.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
It's not V2G per se that I find Silly

nlh, Why do you think it's silly exactly? You lost me on that. I think using V2G (or G2V or smart grids) makes perfect sense. There are other threads in the old forum dedicated to this topic and I think the argument for using V2G was successfully defended.
It's not that I find V2G a silly concept per se as much as I think having the mindset that V2G is best way to maintain individual storage capacity is silly. My thought is this. Why isn't any body talking about H2G (Home to Grid). It strikes me as much more prudent to push for capacity installed in the home. Maybe the vehicle becomes an extension of that capacity, but I think it is silly to only consider the vehicle as the storage medium. Logistically it makes much more sense for me to have capacity in the home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
nlh_90210 wrote: Why isn't any body talking about H2G ...

Although I mentioned this in the other forum, I would like to repeat the following:
V2G and H2G are needed only when all the generators on the grid are working at their max capacity and there is a demand beyond the combined power. That happens only when everybody is watching an MLB all-star game with air conditioners at full blast and factories, shopping malls and offices are fully in operation. Other times the grid does not need your help. Actually the grid dumps electricity into the ground to stabilize the load during off-peak hours. In other words, during off-peak hours the energy from your V2G or H2G and solar panels or wind generators are just wasted by the utility companies even though you are paid for the energy supplied to the grid. Besides, supplying energy back to the grid is a nuisance to utility operators because of the Ferranti effect.

Better yet is the use of the A123 type of low-cost, small and high-capacity battery to store energy from the grid during off-peak hours and use it during peak hours by cutting off your house from the grid. If you charge 16KWH of energy into your battery pack (UPS) in, say, 8 off-peak hours, it should be good for 4 to 8 hours to keep fridge running, cook lunch, do the laundry, watch TV, surf the net and even keep your room cool, all off the grid. Suppose one million households are equipped with this UPS and are off the grid during the peak hours, you are talking about some 2GW of power shaved off the peak, which will certainly allows the utility operators decommission one or two power plants.

This in turn improves the bottom line of utility companies and reduces CO2 and other harmful emissions. You also do not have to worry too much about power outages caused by strong winds or ice storms. Another benefit of this high-capacity battery is that it can stabilize the unpredictable nature of the solar and wind generators.

The concept of peak shaving is not new. But, it is becoming reality because of the A123 battery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
V2G (or G2V) beneficial to grid with smart-charging

The more advanced V2G concepts can be debated such as ancillary services (spinning reserves or regulation up/down).. but recharging millions of PHEVs/eREVs such as the Volt during off peak is very beneficial.. Check out NREL studies on the beneficial combinations of PHEVs combined with wind power, for example... The ultimate in sustainable mobility.. charge your Volt from zero CO2 emission domestic wind power at night and drive the next day gas-free.
And Utilities having "dispatchable loads" such as millions of Volts which can be intelligently thrown off the grid when needed is beneficial to the grid.

V2H (Vehicle to Home) is another interesting technology.. but it won't be enabled until we have the vehicles..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
According to the APEC 2008 presentation, the Volt will have a DC motor, and the inverter will provide 42 to 700 Volts, DC. Not AC! So you would need a converter in your house to get AC out of the Volt, either for home or for the Grid. The KISS principle says no to having the Volt provide the AC.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
nlh_90210 wrote: Why isn't any body talking about H2G ...

Although I mentioned this in the other forum, I would like to repeat the following:
V2G and H2G are needed only when all the generators on the grid are working at their max capacity and there is a demand beyond the combined power. That happens only when everybody is watching an MLB all-star game with air conditioners at full blast and factories, shopping malls and offices are fully in operation. Other times the grid does not need your help. Actually the grid dumps electricity into the ground to stabilize the load during off-peak hours. In other words, during off-peak hours the energy from your V2G or H2G and solar panels or wind generators are just wasted by the utility companies even though you are paid for the energy supplied to the grid. Besides, supplying energy back to the grid is a nuisance to utility operators because of the Ferranti effect.

Better yet is the use of the A123 type of low-cost, small and high-capacity battery to store energy from the grid during off-peak hours and use it during peak hours by cutting off your house from the grid. If you charge 16KWH of energy into your battery pack (UPS) in, say, 8 off-peak hours, it should be good for 4 to 8 hours to keep fridge running, cook lunch, do the laundry, watch TV, surf the net and even keep your room cool, all off the grid. Suppose one million households are equipped with this UPS and are off the grid during the peak hours, you are talking about some 2GW of power shaved off the peak, which will certainly allows the utility operators decommission one or two power plants.

This in turn improves the bottom line of utility companies and reduces CO2 and other harmful emissions. You also do not have to worry too much about power outages caused by strong winds or ice storms. Another benefit of this high-capacity battery is that it can stabilize the unpredictable nature of the solar and wind generators.

The concept of peak shaving is not new. But, it is becoming reality because of the A123 battery.
So you are suggesting that instead of sending power back onto the grid it is better to just pull off the grid as needed and to keep an in house battery charged. That way I have a central location to store all of the energy that I've generated, from wind, solar, running gerbils or whatever, without having to play the "signing up for net metering" game.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
nlh_90210 wrote: ... That way I have a central location to store all of the energy that I've generated, from wind, solar, running gerbils or whatever, without having to play the "signing up for net metering" game...

Yes, you are right. (but running gerbils?! :)) The solar panels on the roof of your house become more meaningful if you have a high capacity storage device. The A123 16KWH battery pack is small enough (and cheap enough) to be used for the Volt. If we are to use the same battery pack (maybe two packs) for the household UPS I think it is possible to package it and its associated electronics in the size of a washing machine or fridge, certainly small enough for NA houses especially in So. Cal.

Sending back energy from the consumption end to the grid is waste most of the time, just too cumbersome (co-ordinating tens of thousand of small generators is almost an impossible situation) and even dangerous.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts
According to the APEC 2008 presentation, the Volt will have a DC motor, and the inverter will provide 42 to 700 Volts, DC. Not AC! So you would need a converter in your house to get AC out of the Volt, either for home or for the Grid. The KISS principle says no to having the Volt provide the AC.
The more I look at the 2008 Applied Power Electronics Conference presentation that included some details about the Chevy Volt. I'm starting to see it only a one page of the Chevy Volt. The rest is about the "Hybrid 2 Mode". The Volt is a "Series Hybrid", correct word should be ER-EV. I would not look at as "Chevy Volt" car at all. I still believe the Motor is AC, not DC.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Why don't the designers just put in an ocupancy sensor in the seat similar to the passenger airbag, or seat belt sensor. It would not allow the engine to turn on if no occupant?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Why don't the designers just put in an ocupancy sensor in the seat similar to the passenger airbag, or seat belt sensor. It would not allow the engine to turn on if no occupant?
I may want the car to be on when i'm not in it. Say its at night and i need to use the headlights to light up an area. or I'm camping and running some electric stuff off the car.

Why can't GM just count on idiots not running a gas engine in an enclosed environment. Seems to have worked pretty well so far. I don't really need GM putting safety features in that decrease the usability of my car because one idiot might get CO2 poisoning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,797 Posts
My guess is when your 40 miles are up, you won't be running all electric until you plug in and recharge, except maybe on longer trips where after a few hours of driving the battery happens to get a good charge.
That would make more sense being that it is a plug-in hybrid. After all, if the gas engine recharged the battery then by the time you got home everyday your battery would have already recharged from gasoline and there would be no point of plugging the car into an outlet.

However, it might be nice to offer some kind of software setting (assuming the volt has a screen like the Prius or something) where you could manually tell it to do a full recharge in the absence of an electric outlet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
However, it might be nice to offer some kind of software setting (assuming the volt has a screen like the Prius or something) where you could manually tell it to do a full recharge in the absence of an electric outlet.
Yeah! I agree...
They should allow some way to use the generator manually, otherwise we'll have to figure it out ourselves and risk voiding the warranty to do so. No doubt...I'll be using that gen/bat configuration with my motor home which has a noisy 4kw generator and two 12v lead acid batts.

The volt will be like your own traveling power station!
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top