Do you want to trial vehicle to grid charging?
4th Jun 2020 Danny Morgan
EV drivers in the Midlands, South West and South Wales have the opportunity to take part in a Vehicle to Grid (V2G) trial as part of the Electric Nation initiative.
The project is a collaboration between Western Power Distribution (WPD) and CrowdCharge which operates a digital charge point management platform. As part of the project, Electric Nation is looking for 100 people to take part in the trial. Details are at the bottom of this page.
Vehicle to Grid, or V2G, is seen by many experts in the EV and energy industry as the successor to “smart charging”.
Currently smart charging allows electric car drivers to schedule their car charge, such as outside the peak hours of 5-7pm. This helps the National Grid better manage the supply and demand of electricity because that demand is spread out of many hours and often overnight.
However, the Electric Nation project believes V2G will be more effective at managing this demand. Because V2G allows bi-directional charging (i.e. energy flow into and out of the vehicle), it means EVs and the grid can effectively share energy.
At a basic level, this could mean that additional energy generation is not needed at peak times. Instead, the energy could be drawn upon by the millions of EVs plugged in to people’s homes while not in use.
In theory, a small amount could be drawn from an EV but when combined with the volume of EVs predicted to be in use in future there would be enough capacity to be used as its own energy solution.
So far only limited trials have taken place with just one energy supplier at a time. However, the next phase of the Electric Nation project aims to use up to five different energy suppliers to better mimic a real-world scenario.
During the trial, each supplier will use their charger to test various energy services using CrowdCharge’s demand management platform, which provides optimised charging sessions.
Roger Hey, WPD’s DSO Systems and Projects Manager, said: “V2G charging has the potential to transform how networks approach the challenge of keeping millions of EVs charged and moving. By harnessing flexible systems and introducing V2G charging, it means that we can build a far more efficient and flexible network that doesn’t require billions of investment and a huge uplift in capacity.
“However, I would like to reassure everyone that we will not be visiting customers’ homes to install equipment in the near future. There are a number of steps we have to go through before we reach that stage. These will take several months and are all carried out remotely.”
Mike Potter, CEO of CrowdCharge, added: “Vehicle to grid charging is a great concept, but it hasn’t yet been trialled sufficiently on Britain’s electricity networks to enable it to be rolled out on a country-wide basis - hence the need for this project. This trial will study the real-world effects of V2G and look to provide a smart solution to provide management of electric vehicle charging. The project can provide an important insight into how the market and the DNO can operate for maximum benefit for all customers.”
CrowdCharge is recruiting 100 people to trial the domestic V2G smart charging to help Distribution Network Operators like Western Power Distribution understand how V2G charging would work with other electricity networks.
Applications for the trial are open now. Successful applicants will receive a free domestic V2G charge point. To be eligible for the trial you:
- Must be resident in the Western Power Distribution (WPD) licence area (Midlands, South West and South Wales)
- Must have a Nissan EV with a battery capacity of at least 30kWh or more
- Need to have the vehicle until the end of the trial (March 2022)
- Need to have off-road parking
- Will use the CrowdCharge mobile app to manage charging
- May need to switch to a new energy tariff if required by their assigned project energy supplier
- May need to have a new smart meter put in/updated as part of the project participation.
For more information and to apply, visit www.electricnation.org.uk