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Electric Vehicles Power Homes with Reversible Charging

During the height of Hurricane Sandy's devastation, when much of New England was without power, it was not unusual to hear reports of people offering to charge strangers' cell phones using their cars' electrical outlets. Now, Nissan and GE hope to take this idea one step further: enabling EV batteries to supply homes with electricity should the power grid be disrupted.

The system that was launched by Nissan in Japan this past June, uses the charging station that normally fills the LEAF to instead reverses the flow of electricity to power the house into which it is installed. The system is able to switch from alternating to direct current, and back, while outputting six kilowatts to a home. This is enough to provide families in need with essentials such as working refrigerators and water heaters.

According to Nissan engineer Heather Konet, a fully charged LEAF could provide up to one to two days of emergency power. And if Sandy is any testament, those two days could mean quite a lot to those affected by natural disasters. However, reverse charging is not currently available outside of Japan, and no timeline has been released for its transition into the US market.

But, according the Txchnologist writer Michael Keller, “the researchers who developed the system see it as more than just spare batteries for when the lights go out.” They hope that the LEAF's batteries can create a smart residential power management system that will alleviate strain on the grid. Not only would this take some pressure off power companies, it would also reduce electric bills, including premiums for expenditure during times of peak demand.

With similar goals for grid management, Nissan and GE have combined forces through a strategic partnership aimed at creating a GE smart home powered by the Nissan LEAF. GE's contributions include the development of an industrial Internet, magnetocaloric refrigeration, and control systems that communicate between appliances and the grid.

With any luck, we will see minimal need for these innovations, but when we do, Nissan and GE are preparing to back us – and our power grid – up.

Full story at Txchnologist

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Feature Articles

Lighting a Fire Under Combustion Simulation

Combustion simulation might seem like the ultimate in esoteric technologies, but auto companies, aircraft firms and fuel designers need increasingly sophisticated software to serve the needs of 21st century engine designs. HPCwire recently got the opportunity to take a look at Reaction Design, one of the premier makers of combustion simulation software, and talk with its CEO, Bernie Rosenthal.

D-Wave Sells First Quantum Computer

On Wednesday, D-Wave Systems made history by announcing the sale of the world's first commercial quantum computer. The buyer was Lockheed Martin Corporation, who will use the machine to help solve some of their "most challenging computation problems." D-Wave co-founder and CTO Geordie Rose talks about the new system and the underlying technology.

NVIDIA Revs Up Tesla GPU

GPU maker NVIDIA has ratcheted up the core count and clock speed on its Tesla GPU processor. The new M2090 module for servers delivers 665 double precision gigaflops, representing close to a 30 percent increase over the previous generation Tesla part. The memory bandwidth on the device was bumped up as well, from 150 GB/second to 178 GB/second. The new GPU boosts performance significantly across a number of HPC codes.

Short Takes

Advanced Modeling Benefits Wind Farms

May 25, 2011 | Advanced computing resources optimize the site selection of wind farms.

Not Your Parents' CFD

Oct 13, 2010 | Outdated beliefs stand in the way of greater CFD adoption.

Manufacturers Turn to HPC to Cut Testing Costs

Oct 06, 2010 | Supercomputing saves money by reducing the need for physical testing.

HPC Technology Makes Car Safety Job 1

Aug 05, 2010 | Automakers turn to computer simulations to design safer vehicles.

UTC SimCenter Called ‘Gold Mine’ for Local Economy

Jul 14, 2010 | University research center could become economic catalyst for Chattanooga.

Sponsored Whitepapers

Technical Computing for a New Era

07/30/2013 | IBM | This white paper examines various means of adapting technical computing tools to accelerate product and services innovation across a range of commercial industries such as manufacturing, financial services, energy, healthcare, entertainment and retail. No longer is technically advanced computing limited to the confines of big government labs and academic centers. Today it is available to a wide range of organizations seeking a competitive edge.

The UberCloud HPC Experiment: Compendium of Case Studies

06/25/2013 | Intel | The UberCloud HPC Experiment has achieved the volunteer participation of 500 organizations and individuals from 48 countries with the aim of exploring the end-to-end process employed by digital manufacturing engineers to access and use remote computing resources in HPC centers and in the cloud. This Compendium of 25 case studies is an invaluable resource for engineers, managers and executives who believe in the strategic importance of applying advanced technologies to help drive their organization’s productivity to perceptible new levels.

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