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Building, Driving and Powering the Future with AMIE

September 16, 2016 / , Senior Editor, AutoBeat Daily


Want to learn more about advanced manufacturing, smart houses, next-generation electric vehicles and the future of power management but don’t know where to start? No problem. The Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) demonstration project within IMTS’ Emerging Technology Center (North Building, Booth N-70) has it all, providing visitors with a glimpse of the future.

Developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and a host of leading industry and university partners, AMIE demonstrates how additive manufacturing and smart communication networking can integrate vehicles, homes and the electrical grid into a cohesive energy system. The display teams a natural-gas-fueled hybrid-electric vehicle with a high-performance mobile home that work together to produce, consume and store renewable energy.

The building and vehicle were created with ORNL’s Big Area Additive Manufacturing Machine (BAAM), which is one of the world’s largest and most productive 3D printers. Using advanced manufacturing and design tools, the partners were able to employ innovative materials, and quickly implement changes and new techniques to optimize overall performance, while taking the project from concept to production in less than a year.

AMIE allows the house and vehicle to share energy with each other and the local infrastructure. In addition to tapping into the power grid, the home can use energy generated by roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panels. Surplus energy is stored in a battery, which can power the house on cloudy days.

The home also can send excess energy back to the grid for use elsewhere, while a wireless charging pad in the driveway allows energy to be shared between the building and the extended-range hybrid vehicle. During peak demand, the vehicle supplies energy to the house. Conversely, stored energy from the house can be used to recharge the vehicle’s battery as needed.

Advanced building control and power management strategies integrate the various energy systems while leveraging the building as a virtual battery.

Living up to the project’s goal of “redefining what’s possible,” AMIE creates a symbiotic relationship between energy and the way we live, previewing the potential of energy efficiency and sustainability. Now is your chance to get an inside look at the program and talk with the experts who created it. 

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