Small-Scale Smart Grid in Massachusetts
December 23, 2008 9:47 AM
3129522270_1c38ab2597.jpgA recent occurrence in a small New England town has us thinking that a working future for the smart garage -- a concept which promises symbiotic energy-sharing links between buildings, plug-in hybrid vehicles and the energy grid -- is not too far off.
When residents of Harvard, Massachusetts were hit with an ice storm that left many without power for a full four days, one innovative neighbor successfully used his Prius as a generator.
From last Friday's edition of the independent local publication The Harvard Press:
Around the corner at Madigan Lane, John Sweeney, a member of the town’s conservation-minded Heat Advisory Committee, took a characteristically green approach to powering his home during the storm. He reported his achievement in an e-mail, saying it was no big deal, but that his wife thought it an impressive tale worth sharing: Sweeney ran his refrigerator, freezer, TV, woodstove fan, and several lights through his Prius, for three days, on roughly five gallons of gas.
“When it looked like we were going to be without power for awhile, I dug out an inverter (which takes 12v DC and creates 120v AC from it) and wired it into our Prius…These inverters are available for about $100 many places online,” he wrote.
The device allowed the engine to run every half hour, automatically charging the car battery and indirectly supplying the required power.