Toshiba Corp announced the idea of the Charge Grid, a charge-discharge equipment system that uses rechargeable batteries installed in various areas and enables us to produce and share energy.

The Charge Grid is basically a smart grid add-on. In Toshiba's ideal future we all generate and distribute our own energy with photovoltaic (PV) cells and store it in rechargeable batteries. When someone who's connected to the grid has energy to share, it's distributed to, for example, EV rapid chargers. The Charge Grid would be a great way to promote EV driving by making charging cheaper and more accessible.

The Charge Grid system consists of bidirectional inverters, lithium-ion (Li-ion) rechargeable batteries and rapid chargers. The electricity grid and the Li-ion batteries are connected via the bidirectional inverters. And the rapid chargers are connected to the lines that connect the batteries and the inverters.

Surplus electricity generated by PV systems installed in, for example, residential buildings is used to charge the Li-ion batteries. And, during nighttime hours, when electricity rates are low, they are charged by using electricity from the grid. Then, the charged electricity is used to rapidly charge EVs and in case of power outage.

Toshiba plans to commercialize the Charge Grid system in a few years.

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