Open Source Power Block

It's becoming a phrase that is borderline cliche. The energy tsunami is on it's way because of what I would consider to be the perfect storm.
Richard Branson, both as entrepreneur and some one who just seem "incredibly cool." in a blog post about making lists, http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/blog/top-10-tips-for-making-lists , he suggests "Set far off, outlandish goals. What do you want to have achieved by 2020? How about 2050." For sure, when we think we thing big, there is always bigger.
Which brings up the point "where the heck did you get that name 'Hybrid Grid?" The fast answer "Well by 2020 America will have an Uninterruptible Power Supply in every building that uses electricity."
 
Well, at the end of the day it's about combining all possible power sources with storage. Like an hybrid electric vehicle, combining storage with an internal combustion engine, a hybrid "grid" would be any power distribution network that combines energy storage with some way to switch between utility power and the storage bank.
So the open source power block is an idea that has been somewhat quiet but for the electric vehicle arena.
Now, I think most of us with some amount of "electrical-ness," engineering or maintenance or simply hobbyist, know about using a Variable-Frequency Drive to run an AC motor. It's been around since the eighties when high-power IGBT's became available and there have been tons of variations. Nowadays, VFD's are going into every installation, when they are mostly just a glorified soft-start. But that's another discussion...
So where was I? Oh yeah... VFD's can be used for other things than just motors...it turns out you can use them to run heaters, although that's probably not so suprising. But what most people think is taboo is running a transformer with a VFD...what!!! you can do that, you'll burn it up! Well "no duh" if you just connect the output directly to the delta primary of a 3 phase transformer the harmonics and PWM will destroy eventually. But just like what people found with motor applications, you really need to filter the output going into the load. A simple L-C network on each leg, and it can be flying wye or leg-to-leg, to filter the PWM components, and yes, you just set the frequency for 60 Hz, and for the most part the VFD will follow the load. And when you use this with a dedicated load like building lights, then it's not critical to have super-clean power because the lamps are just going to convert the power light and heat.
And speaking of heat, are there losses? Absolutely; figure about a 6-8% loss on top of a fixed loss due to the filter power. But nothing's perfect, and just like with a traditional motor application, you can always use a contactor to switch between utility power and the VFD output to the load.
So what are we missing - BATTERIES!!! Yes, you need a DC input and you can very easily string up 8,10, 20 or 44 batteries to get to a utility equivalent DC level that you apply to the DC "link." Most of the smart people do this with a blocking diode to prevent the PWM from again getting where it shouldn't and cook the batteries. So if you have three phase service (or single-phase for that matter) then you need to rectify the DC, and with a little more filtering you have a high-voltage DC charger. In the UPS applications since the re-charge time can be a day or more, it's not critical to have high-amps as long as you have the ability to pull a current through your string of batteries.
Okay, so pretty much these are the building blocks - and yes, California and probably other states are starting to get picky about the power quality, and efficiency of battery chargers, and stuff like. But UPS today are high-efficiency, high-frequency DC chargers anyways. We can work on that, maybe just figure on using a Level 3 EV charger, or may want to go with a four-quadrant source/sink type of inverter - but for the moment, these are the building blocks .