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California project to demonstrate vehicle-to-building resilience hub powered by transit buses

A new project funded by the California Energy Commission (CEC) will demonstrate the use of bidirectional EV charging to support a vehicle-to-building (V2B) “resilience hub.” Electric buses will discharge energy from their batteries to provide filtered air conditioning at a branch of the Oakland Public Library for local residents in the event of “unhealthy heat or smoke conditions” (from wildfires).

Partners for the V2B Oakland pilot include the Center for Transportation and the Environment, The Mobility House, AC Transit, New Flyer, Schneider Electric, the city of Oakland and WOEIP.

The project will use battery-electric and fuel cell buses to provide backup power to the library—a quieter and cleaner alternative to legacy diesel backup generators.

The backup power system, which combines Bus Exportable Power Supply (BEPS) capability with bidirectional chargers and smart software, will be integrated and tested at New Flyer’s Hayward facility, then deployed at an AC Transit bus division and the Oakland Library. The system is designed to power the library’s HVAC and air filtration system, providing clean air and electricity during emergencies and outages.

The infrastructure is expected to be installed by mid-2023, and the pilot program will continue until July 2025.

According to The Mobility House, electric bus fleets are uniquely suited for backup power and emergency relief because of their energy storage capacity, electrical architecture, independent mobility and ability to be quickly dispatched. Compared to diesel generators, BEPS provides quicker response times, avoids emission of pollutants, and can be more cost-effective.

“We are thrilled to bring our vehicle-to-everything expertise from numerous projects in Europe and Asia to develop the first ever vehicle-to-building resilience hub in the US,” said Mobility House US Managing Director Gregor Hintler. “Our ChargePilot system ensures all transit mobility needs are met and orchestrates the charge and discharge of the bidirectional chargers so that the buses can power critical building loads.”

Source: The Mobility House

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