Hot Cars and Hot Water Heaters

Hot Cars and Hot Water Heaters

Battery-powered vehicles (BEVs) go fast, while hot water heaters don’t move: So what’s the commonality?

An article by the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), offered the wisdom, “If the 60 million hot water heaters in the US can balance the grid, why can’t BEVs?”

The Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) claims it is, “An independent, non-partisan, non-governmental organization dedicated to accelerating the transition to a clean, reliable, and efficient energy future.”

RAP is grasping at straws to encourage the end of fossil fuels, and, in this case, doesn’t know what it is talking about.

The difference between hot water heaters and BEVs in controlling the grid is about as appropriate as comparing the speed of hot cars [fast] with the speed of hot water heaters [zero].

Hot water heaters have been successfully used to cut peak demand. They can be used for this purpose because the electricity can be turned off, by a remote command, for several minutes without the hot water in the tank cooling by very much.

It is a very effective type of demand response that’s been used here and in New Zealand, that I know of.

BEVs however, don’t align themselves with peak demand. In fact, the most desirable time to charge batteries is at night when demand is low. Time of use charging would encourage charging at night.

The problem with homeowners charging at night is when they charge their BEVs at the same time, to take advantage of the low rates. When neighbors charge their BEVs at the same time it can overload the distribution transformer that typically serves three or four homes, and requires the costly replacement of the transformer with a larger unit by the utility.

It’s not known when there will be large numbers of BEVs charging their batteries. Presumably, home owners will try to charge them at night when demand for electricity is low.

But people who live in apartments or who are traveling long distances might have to use public charging facilities randomly during the day. 

With so few BEVs currently on the road, no one has any idea when they will be charged, but it’s clear they won’t be charged during periods of peak demand and can’t be used for demand response, as are water heaters.

The article by the  Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), is just more misinformation, i.e., propaganda, supporting climate change hysteria and its attempt to get rid of fossil fuels.

It’s unfortunate most people, apparently including RAP, don’t understand how the grid works, so misinformation, such as this attempt to equate BEVs with demand response, wouldn’t be accepted as gospel.

. . .


2 Replies to “Hot Cars and Hot Water Heaters”

  1. The story I’ve heard is that the grid will be able to draw on the electricity stored in the BEV’s when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. This would presumably be dragged out of the vehicles in much the same way as solar power from the panels on your roof is dumped into the grid.

    Since a BEV needs to be able to deliver sudden bursts of power, I suppose it could do this. However I’d be most irate if, because it’d been drained to balance the grid, my BEV ran out of power in the middle of the road.

    As you point out, the BEV has to charge sometime, and it’s most unlikely to be when it’s convenient for the operation of the grid.

    • Thanks for your comment.
      V2G is a concept that hasn’t been well thought out, but sounds good. They haven’t really thought through this proposal. For example, power would be needed for the grid in the evening when the vehicles are on the road. Little details like ths are overlooked.

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