EFES is a 3-year research and development project that explores the technical, social, interoperability and market barriers of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) in the UK. Through the project, three key pieces of technology have been developed;
- Virtual Power Plant (VPP) – a cloud based ‘power plant’, capable of utilising electricity storage assets such as static batteries or electric vehicles through a software package, controlled by electricity providers.
- Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Unit – EVs will plug into this unit to provide both charging for the vehicle and enable it to act as a battery storage, either to provide electricity directly to a building or to the National Grid using the VPP.
- V2G Gateway – provides the control functionality for the V2G unit, enabling the unit to communicate with both a building and the VPP to determine the most appropriate charging or discharging option.
V2G unit, Virtual Power Plant (VPP) and a V2G communications hub or gateway. In addition, the partners are exploring the social barriers and implications of V2G to existing and future EV drivers, to help understand challenges to uptake.
The business case for V2G uptake in the UK is yet unclear, and the economic benefits to all stakeholders, including EV and home owners, fleet operators, energy suppliers, distribution network operators (DNO), commercial building managers and National Grid is being evaluated through EFES. A business case assessment tool has been developed called evae – the electric vehicle analysis environment, which can estimate the potential economic benefits of V2G at specific locations across the country.
This is an academic and industry based project and therefore outcomes relate to both academic and industry outputs. The project is in the final year, meaning the technology has been installed and is operational and data is currently being collected for analysis.
We’ve looked at the application of V2G in both a commercial setting, such as office car parks and in a domestic setting.
Analysis done on the commercial setting indicated that through utilising just 6% of their car park, project partner Manchester Science Park could save over £14,000 per annum through V2G implementation. In addition, bidding into energy markets such as the wholesale electricity market or short term operating reserve (STOR) could provide income equivalent to around £60 per month for each vehicle supplying into the scheme.
The V2G unit installed in the home has also been installed with a battery and PV, so we can compare the operation of the battery vs. V2G unit.
- Continue monitoring of the installed systems to understand operational cycles and improvement requirements.
- Explore additional energy market income generation potential using evae.
- Complete stakeholder and wider society engagement to establish public perception to V2G and EVs in general.