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Audi Smart Energy Network pilot project: stationary home battery as energy buffer for electric car and grid management

As part of a research project, Audi is running a pilot project with households in the Ingolstadt area and the Zurich region in conjunction with other partners. This involves combining various sizes of photovoltaic systems with stationary storage batteries.

The control software by the Zurich start-up company Ampard distributes the solar power intelligently based on the current or plannable demand from car, household and heating system. A novel feature of the pilot project is that it also interacts with the power grid—using a built-in communication interface, all systems are interconnected to form a virtual power plant, and constitute a smart grid.

The connected home storage devices can provide balancing power; in other words, they balance out the fluctuations between power generation and consumption, and stabilize the grid frequency by temporarily storing smaller amounts of energy in stationary units at short notice. This optimizes internal consumption. Operators of photovoltaic systems increase their proportion of own-use solar power while cutting their power procurement costs.

We are looking at electric mobility in the context of an overall energy supply system that is increasingly based on renewables. We are playing a pioneering role with the prequalification of the balancing-power market—enabling producers to feed power into the grid, as part of the pilot project. That is now for the first time also possible down at the level of individual households, which helps balance the entire power grid.

— Dr. Hagen Seifert, Head of Sustainable Product Concepts at Audi

Audi is also looking at services that extend beyond the automobile as a product. One important aspect is the interrelationship between all those areas of life where the car meshes seamlessly with a connected environment. There is particular focus on services that involve interaction between car and environment.



The question is where do you put batteries on the grid - at grid or local level, or in individual houses.
My instinct is that grid level is a better bet as the batteries are
a: expensive,
b: need to be managed properly and
c: Should be used by more than 1 person.

Most people do not have the cash to spend 5-10K on a battery for a little load shifting (it is different for rich greens) so IMO, it is better to put the capacity into the grid at a higher level.


All three?
If someone wants to invest in home storage and generation or either, regardless the economic case that could be a community service or technology interest from their perspective. If they own BEV/s they will be able to fast charge up to system capability even if the local supply is not capable.
They may feel good about carbon offset. They may like the idea of self sufficiency and they may find the economics stack up especially as we expect to see continuing cost reductions for these installations.
While we know that the old (lead battery) off grid systems required owners to have some understanding, I know of regular maintenance requirement for the current solar installations. A weekly to monthly verification of the system status lights is about it. If a safety trips many owners will not even notice until the electricity bills come in.
Audi's objective to include smart grid balancing at even a low level will maximise the utility and $ return for the owner. The way this is described as a complete package suggest a plug and play optimised system.


Informative article grid sized battery performance


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