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System Provides Hybrid Electric Autos With Power to Spare

A new PHEV traction drive power electronics system provides more power than typical freestanding portable generators, and can be used in emergency situations such as power outages and roadside breakdowns or leisure occasions such as camping.

Researchers at DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory designed, fabricated and demonstrated the PHEV system, which provides significant mobile power generation and vehicle-to-grid support capabilities.

"The new technology eliminates the separate charging mechanism typically used in PHEVs, reducing both cost and volume under the hood," said Gui-Jia Su of ORNL's Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Research Center. "The PHEV's traction drive system is used to charge the battery, power the vehicle, and enable its mobile energy source capabilities."

Day-to-day, the PHEV can be used to power homes or businesses or supply power to the grid when power load is high, according to Su. The charging system concept, which is market ready, could also be used to enhance the voltage stability of the grid by providing reactive power.

(Oak Ridge National Laboratory)