Mobile Smart Meters


Project Description

Although electric cars have to be charged at specific stations at present, it is not unreasonable to expect that in the future we can charge electric cars at almost every house just as we can charge our mobile phones today. This brings the question of how to monitor and record energy usage. Today each house has a meter that monitors total energy usage by all the devices plugged into some socket within the house. In particular it is hard to tell which specific device consumed how much energy. This does not seem to be a big problem today as electronic devices either are mobile but consumes little energy (such as mobile phones, electronic shaver), or consumes more energy but are static (such as air conditioners, refrigerators, heaters, etc). The only exception is am electric car: it is mobile and consumes large amount of energy, and you probably do not want your employees to charge their electric cars at the office without paying.

To address this problem we propose that a smart meter be installed on an electric car and monitors the energy status of this car only. In particular it should be able to:

  • (i) Communicate with central utility from different places to report energy usage and receive billing information.
  • (ii) Communicate with other smart meters.
  • (iii) Monitors both energy consumption and energy production.

Below are some possible scenarios that involves the use of mobile smart meters:

  • (i) You are travelling with your friends but your electric car runs out of energy. You connect your car to your friend’s car and borrows energy, where the smart meter on your car records energy usage and the smart meter on your friend’s car records energy production.
  • (ii) As you’re travelling, the smart meter on your electric car receives price information of major charging stations nearby, and gives advice about where to charge how much energy in order to complete the trip.
  • (iii) Your house is equipped with solar panels that generate excessive energy during the day, and you providing charging service to electric cars at a cheaper price.
  • (iv) You charge your electric car at your office without feeling bad about it, as the smart meter on your car records the energy usage, not the meter in the office.


Funding Agencies

This project is supported by the Department of Energy under Award Number DE-OE0000097.