Electric cars are poised to feed power into the grid

Electric cars are poised to feed power into the grid

The Parker Project tests using Enel X charging points show how e-cars can use innovative Vehicle-to-Grid technology

Published on JANUARY 21, 2019

How e-Cars can Support the Grid

Once parked, e-cars support the electricity grid, thanks to innovative Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology which has completely revolutionized the concept of what cars are and do. E-vehicles not only represent the current green sustainable state of mobility, but they are also becoming capable of providing active support to electricity grid stability on a large scale, and without impacting on their own performance. This has been proven by the Energy Development and Technology and Demonstration Program (EUDP) Parker Project, which was recently presented at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) Risø campus.

Car Batteries as Mobile Energy Storage

Various stages of testing were carried out in 2016 at the project test facilities at DTU’s Risø campus. They involved Enel X V2G charging points and some electric car models currently available on the market that already had integrated V2G technology and, for the first time, also encompassed various car models with different battery sizes. However, the star performer in the tests was most definitely Frequency Containment Reserve (FCR), the service with the greatest potential in terms of earnings in the whole project and also the most complex to perfect. FCR was tested on the Frederiksberg Forsyning commercial fleet of 10 electric cars. The vehicles were connected for over 12,000 hours to the main grid, helping to keep the latter’s frequency at a constant 50 Hertz.
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The commercial partners working with Frederiksberg Forsyning received payment in exchange for making the batteries of the parked cars available. To be competitive in commercial terms, the cars must, however, deliver a response speed of 5-7 seconds to grid requests. Thanks to these recent technological innovations and the new services which can use the cars’ batteries as mobile energy storage, electric cars can now help prevent potential grid overloads.

V2G Technology and Mass e-Mobility

The results recorded by the Parker Project will further facilitate the move towards the mass adoption of electric motors. The tests, which were carried out on cars that incorporate V2G technology and are already on the market, showed that the combined use of the terms “vehicle” and “grid support” is very much part of mobility today. In Denmark, for instance, several electric models are already capable of supporting the Vehicle-to-Grid service. This is another very interesting opportunity for EV manufacturers and grid operators alike.

Building a Cleaner Future

To guarantee that production continues to grow consistently, thus making electric cars easier to purchase and more widespread, it is absolutely vital to introduce a series of norms. These will help car manufacturers standardize their output of electric cars that can provide grid services, and this would make what is currently highly innovative standard practice. For this very reason, the Parker Project has drawn up the so-called “Grid Keys.” These are the “key” technical parameters that e-cars must meet in order to act not only as smart green vehicles, but also as an invaluable boon to the electricity grid and an ally of environmental sustainability. The next milestone will be making these Grid Keys part of the European standards to guarantee that V2G technology will become genuinely widespread.  In this concept, cars are no longer just a form of transport or a way of getting around: they can also help us build a cleaner future.
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