Tesla Autobidder 'Is Autopilot for Grid-Type Batteries' Explains Senior VP


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Tesla Autobidder was described as the Autopilot for grid-tied batteries by Andrew Baglino, the company’s Senior Vice President of Powertrain and Energy Engineering. Elon Musk said Autobidder was necessary for the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

“Autobidder is basically autopilot for grid-tied batteries,” said Baglino, answering Robert Maurer’s question on how disruptive the technology would be in the future. After a slight correction from Elon Musk, Baglino elaborated on his explanation.

“[Autobidder ensures] the battery is doing everything it can to manage the intermittency of the renewables and just grid intermittency of all kinds. People turn their lights on and off, power plants turn on and off, factories ramp up and down, and batteries are great to solve those problems,” he said.

Elon Musk jumped in to clarify Autobidder’s potential for disruption even further. “Yeah. It just grid stabilization at the millisecond level. So it just ensures that things are super smooth. It’s like UPS, uninterruptible power supply, of an oversize," he said.

“But just—it just ensures that this grid has smooth sailing and then that the batteries—the computers like all interact with each other and make sure that they are working together to make the grid sail smooth.

"And this can be done with the Powerwalls and the Megapacks and the Powerpacks, all working together and interacting with third-party systems as well,” Musk clarified. “It’s necessary in order to solve the sustainable energy problem.”

The duck curve depicts the challenges the world faces as it transitions to sustainable energy sources, like solar power. The duck curve is a graph that depicts the imbalance between renewable energy production and demand for energy.

For instance, as more people install solar panels or products in their homes, demand for energy during mid-day drops. On the duck curve, the drop in demand outlines the body of the “duck.”

However, as the sun sets, demand spikes up and peaker plants can not ramp generation fast enough to meet it. On the duck curve, the rise in demand make up the neck of the “duck.” Tesla’s Autodbidder in conjunction with the company’s energy storage systems could manage the energy flow on the grid, much like a grid manager. So it ensures that the grid runs smoothly and people have the power they need.

About the Author

Ma. Claribelle Deveza

Ma. Claribelle Deveza

Longtime writer and news/book editor. Writing about Tesla allows me to contribute something good to the world, while doing something I love.

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