JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 66
Tuesday, 27 October 2009 13:46

CSIRO hybrid plugs into the future

The CSIRO and energy distributor, SP AustNet, have started a three-month road trial of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), which could one day end up in every Australian driveway, after modification of the car using a US-developed conversion kit at the CSIRO’s laboratories in the Melbourne suburb of Clayton.

Over the next three months, staff from SP AusNet will use the PHEVs for their daily drive to work and for leisure as part of the CSIRO and SP AusNet trial.

The CSIRO’s Energy Transformed Flagship scientist, Dr Phillip Paevere, told iTWire today that running as an all-electric vehicle, the modified Toyota Prius will travel at up to 70 kilometres an hour over a distance of 40 kilometres, which is more than a normal Prius running in all-electric mode.

Dr Paevere said “this car is ideal for running over short distances, taking the kids somewhere or doing the shopping, and as battery technology improves so will vehicle speeds and distances.”

CSIRO engineers have modified the PHEVs to carry a 30Ah NiMH battery which they say is capable of holding a 6kWh charge, and a battery charger, to allow the cars to plug into and charge with electricity from the grid or from on-site renewable energy sources. The conversion of the car took scientists only one week to complete using the kit developed by enthusiasts in the US.

Dr Paevere said the road trial is collecting extensive information on how the existing PHEV technology could be used for a new application, using the car as a large mobile battery which can be integrated and used in the home.

“The PHEVs have been fitted with instruments which will monitor the travel patterns of different users, and the residual battery power left in the car at the end of the day, which could be available for other uses.


“When not needed, the parked car in the driveway could potentially become a large battery store and energy source for the house, running appliances or storing off-peak or surplus electricity generated from on-site renewable generators, such as solar panels.”

And according to SP AusNet spokesperson, Sean Sampson, the trial will also allow thorough analysis of what the electricity demands are likely to be when PHEVs are connected to the network for charging.

“The introduction of electric vehicles into the mainstream market could have a significant impact on the electricity network. They may also dramatically affect the output at residential and retail outlets and the forecasted growth of peak and base demands.”

According to the CSIRO and SP AusNet, Australia’s transport sector accounts for 14 per cent of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and it says the PHEVs have the potential to “reduce our emissions and may also provide a way to manage peak demand on the electricity grid.

They also say that, by controlling when PHEVs are recharging from the electricity network the burden of demand can be shifted, and Dr Paevere says that, furthermore, the car battery can be drawn upon to provide “power during peak periods of demand, prevent blackouts when there is a network supply interruption and assist in maintaining the overall stability of the network.”

Dr Paevere says the road trial is the first phase in understanding the potential for using PHEVs in Australian homes, and for now the PHEV technology will also be used in the home energy system of CSIRO’s Zero Emission House (AusZEH) project, with the demonstration home open to the public in summer this year.


26-27 February 2020 | Hilton Brisbane

Connecting the region’s leading data analytics professionals to drive and inspire your future strategy

Leading the data analytics division has never been easy, but now the challenge is on to remain ahead of the competition and reap the massive rewards as a strategic executive.

Do you want to leverage data governance as an enabler?Are you working at driving AI/ML implementation?

Want to stay abreast of data privacy and AI ethics requirements? Are you working hard to push predictive analytics to the limits?

With so much to keep on top of in such a rapidly changing technology space, collaboration is key to success. You don't need to struggle alone, network and share your struggles as well as your tips for success at CDAO Brisbane.

Discover how your peers have tackled the very same issues you face daily. Network with over 140 of your peers and hear from the leading professionals in your industry. Leverage this community of data and analytics enthusiasts to advance your strategy to the next level.

Download the Agenda to find out more




Recent Comments