Aston University has commissioned the UK's first permanent electric vehicle to grid (V2G) charging system.
Claimed to be the next-generation electric vehicle charging infrastructure, it enables power to flow in both traditional manner (grid to vehicle), as well as non-traditional manner (vehicle to grid).
The technology was developed in Japan to improve electricity supply reliability after Fukushima disaster. It is being investigated through a tie-up with industry partners as a new way for energy storage and grid balancing services in Europe.
The charging system is stationed at European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) in Aston University and is connected to EBRI's private wire switched micro-grid.
EBRI is developing an intelligent control algorithm for distributed energy resources that constantly optimises when the charging station consumes and returns power to network. This ensures the charging system works effectively within micro-grids.
According to the university, V2G technology and more intelligent use of electric vehicle infrastructure can offer grid balancing services to the electricity system when supply is short of demand.
In such circumstances, the V2G units would discharge power, temporarily serving as generators, reducing the supply demand imbalance.
This combination of technology and service boosts sustainability and resilience of the energy system as it cuts the need for standby generation from fossil fuels and unlocking greater deployment of non-despatchable renewable generation, creating revenue for electric vehicle (EV) charging system infrastructure owner.
The project on intelligent control systems and business model development for distributed energy resource management systems is being undertaken by the university as part of the Itheca project, which is supported by InnovateUK.
The £1.1m commercial R&D project uses the EBRI location to develop three new commercial offerings for project industry partners.
EBRI is partnering with Cenex on delivery of the vehicle to grid system and to also investigate various business models associated with V2G and intelligent EV charging.
Image: The charging system is stationed at European Bioenergy Research Institute in Aston University. Photo: courtesy of Aston University.