The Challenge

Ebbs and Flows of Energy Systems (EFES) was a 3-year research and development project that explored the technical, social, capability and market barriers of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) in the UK.

The Development

Through the project, three key pieces of technology have been developed;

  • Virtual Power Plant (VPP) – a cloud based ‘power plant’ capable of utilising electricity through storage assets such as static batteries or vehicles through a software package, controlled by electricity provider.
  • V2G Unit – Electric Vehicles will plug into this unit to provide both charging for the vehicle and enable it to act as a battery store, either to provide electricity directly to a building or to the National Grid using the VPP.
  • Building Energy Management System (BEMS) – 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.

The Results

This was both an academic and industry-based project and therefore outcomes relate to both academic and industry outputs.

Analysis done on the commercial setting indicated that through utilising just 6% of their car park, 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 it the operation can be compared between battery vs V2G Unit.