The Development of the Vehicle-to-Grid system

We all know that electric cars reduce emissions of greenhouse cases when on the road, however did you know that they will also be able to supply energy which has been stored in the battery back to the grid when parked up? The vehicle-to-grid technology, also referred to as V2G, can aid the stability of electric networks and renewable energy sources by recharging when the demand is low but also returning any stored energy when the demand is high. Creating a cycle of renewable energy, this system is thought to support an increase use of the renewable energy resources.

21 new projects, sharing a £30m competition fund, are now underway in the UKs latest push to develop the technology further within vehicle-to-grid charging. The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industriual Strategy are funding the 21 projects and in turn 50 research organisations and partners. To continue the development, the projects will be undertaking 8 studies, 5 research projects alongside 8 trials to test vehicle-to-grid developments.

Octopus Energy will be leading a £7 million project, including a £3 million competition fund, which will become the first large-scale domestic trial of vehicle-to-go charging in the UK, a project otherwise known as Powerloop. Consisting of around 135 electric vehicles throughout London and surrounding areas, drivers will be given a bundle (Octopus Powerloop), which will hold a two-way charger allowing a two-way charging stream between the vehicle and the electric network. The charger can even allow users to charge their home through the energy stored in their vehicles.

Project partners Octopus Electric Vehicles, UK Power Networks, ChargePoint Services, Open Energi and the Energy Saving Trust and Navigant are hoping to build a group of users and drivers that can help them to grasp the impact of vast, expansive use of electric vehicles on the grid. All users and drivers can lease the cars for a range of periods (2,3 or 4 years) according to Fiona Howarth, CEO of Octopus Electric Vehicles.

Also planning to create a platform, the project partners want to enable the users to be able to communicate with their service providers.

“So, for example, if you were to get home at 5pm and plug in your car, you may want to ensure that 30 per cent of your battery charge is kept for emergencies,” said the CEO, Fiona Howarth. “But then you might say that the energy supplier can do what they like with the remaining 70 per cent of the battery charge, until 7am when you have to leave for a business trip.”

UK Power Networks are also developing a Bus2Grid project, one of another three projects they are involved with. This specific project will become the UK’s first vehicle-to-grid bus garage from a standard 30-bus garage. The electricity supplier SSE, alongside an electric bus manufacturer BYD, with provide a demonstration at a London Garage.

HAVEN, another project, will be looking into the value of the V2G system and how it can be offered to consumers as a possible vehicle-to-home charging system when used with other systems such as lithium-ion batteries attached to hot water tanks and other renewable energy sources. HAVEN will also research how energy consumption will differ depending on different driving patterns.

Upside Energy, a cloud-based smart grid company, will be leading a consortium alongside Salford University, Honda and Good Energy to produce home energy storage models and configurations.

Nissan will still be extending their research within the Sciurus project in order to develop and set up V2G chargers for those who own and/or lease a Nissan Leaf. This specific project will support the creation of a grid balancing platorm, aiming to help grid operators during times of peak demand.





January 26, 2018



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