Mitsubishi begins operating smart grid demonstration project

Tokyo, April 13, 2012 — Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi completed work on a smart grid demonstration system called M-tech Labo that uses the rechargeable batteries of electric vehicles for electric demand leveling in factory facilities. The Toyota Institute of Technology plays an advisory role in the project.

The M-tech Labo is one of Japan's four smart grid initiatives that aim to demonstrate how such systems can make a big difference in ensuring smooth and uninterrupted power supply. It will exhibit load shifting by being charged during the night when power demands are low and will store renewable energy in rechargeable batteries whose power will be routed back to the grid when needed by offices and factory facilities.

The companies engaged in building and operating the system comprise of Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. All three are of the view that using used rechargeable batteries and those from EVs will lower the cost of setting up smart grid systems instead of dedicated batteries that are very expensive.

For this year, the group will attempt to demonstrate a reduction of power fluctuation at MMC Nagoya Plant's administration building that will use energy from M-tech Labo at a max power of 50 kW. The target is set at a 33 percent reduction of the 180kW fluctuation range.

The companies will also validate the integration system of EVs by aggregating data of available dischargeable capacity of each electric vehicle while still letting them be used as a means of transport.

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