Will a Breakthrough Technology Turn Vehicles into 100 kW Power Plants?
A revolutionary breakthrough by Magnetic Power Inc., called GENIE™ (Generating Electricity by Nondestructive Interference of Energy) promises to make possible the elimination of the need for batteries of every variety. GENIE generators are expected to replace the need to plug-in a plug-in hybrid. Two kW is all the power that can be taken from a typical wall socket. A pair of 1 kW GENIE generators are expected to demonstrate a compact, inexpensive, capability to end the need to plug-in, prior to the end of this year.
If the development of GENIE generators is put on a 24/7 footing, it may be possible to provide 100 kW systems that will fit in the space of a typical gas tank, on a prototype basis in perhaps two years. If that occurs, since no fuel or battery recharge is required, automobile manufacturers may conclude that engines are likely to become obsolete. Consumer purchasing patterns could begin to reflect a new reality, with the market deciding most future cars must be totally electric, since they will never need any variety of fuel. Better yet, many cars might become cash cows!
The economics are likely to prove compelling. Until now, car ownership has been an expense. Vehicle to Grid power (V2G), has been explored in a modest way for hybrids. Plug-in hybrids, equipped with a two way plug, can feed power to the local utility while parked. This is perhaps 90% of the time for the average vehicle. Professor Willet Kempton, at the University of Delaware, has stated the car’s owner could earn up to $4,000 every year.
GENIE powered cars are expected to be capable of generating at least 75 kW and perhaps 100 kW in the volume of a typical fuel tank. In the case of luxury cars, trucks and buses, it seems 150 kW will prove practical. Technology already exists that, using inductive electronics, can wirelessly couple up to 150 kW to the grid from parked vehicles. No plug connection will be required.
A large plug installed in a hybrid would provide, at most, perhaps 12 kW to the utility. If that 12 kW can annually pay the vehicle owner $4,000, imagine what the income might be with an inductively coupled 75 kW or larger GENIE generator. If the price per kW is the same as that used in the University of Delaware analysis, we could be considering payments totaling $25,000, or more, per year. With utility cooperation, the car can become a cash cow!
When a substantial number of vehicles powered by GENIE generators fill a parking garage, it will have become a multi-megawatt power plant.
Doubtless, when millions of cars and trucks are selling power to the grid, the price per kilowatt paid will decline. However, it still seems likely that the cost of many vehicles might be paid for by utilities, as they purchase power whenever needed. The parked cars, trucks and buses, each become decentralized power plants - a rapid, cost-effective alternative to the many tough and costly challenges of constructing new coal burning and nuclear power generation facilities. Utilities and vehicle manufacturers have a unique opportunity to lead the nation and the world into a dramatic reduction in the need for oil. Future wars over energy supply might be avoided.
James Hansen, NASA Goddard, stated (January 2, 2008): “The earth is close to passing climate change ‘tipping points.’ Greenhouse gases released in burning fossil fuels are nearing a level that will set in motion dangerous effects, many irreversible, including extermination of countless species, ice sheet disintegration and sea-level rise, and intensified regional climate extremes. As a society we face a stark choice. Move on to the next phase of the industrial revolution, preserving and restoring wonders of the natural world, while maintaining and expanding benefits of advanced technology. Or ignore the problem, sentencing humanity and other creatures to struggle on an increasingly desolate planet.”
What better way to address the problem than by turning cars into power plants?