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Elli and MITNETZ STROM publish concept for smart grid integration of EVs

Elli, a brand of the Volkswagen Group, and MITNETZ STROM have launched a nationwide pilot project for smart grid integration of electric vehicles. In the joint pilot project supported by E-Bridge, optimized charging strategies will be tested taking into account both regional electricity generation from renewable energies and the available capacities in the distribution grid.

In the first step, around 20 drivers of Volkswagen models ID.3, ID.4 or ID.5 are involved.

An algorithm uses price incentives to compare the cars’ charging plans with regional electricity output from renewable energies and the available capacities in the distribution grid. The resulting flexible grid usage is intended to reduce the frequency of bottlenecks in the power grid and create financial benefits for participants.


Conceptual approach to smart network integration.

In 2020 alone, about 6,200 GWh of green power had to be curtailed in Germany.

With this project, we are demonstrating for the first time how electric cars can be synchronized with the power grid in a user-friendly way. The car becomes a rolling electricity storage unit for the grid operator. For drivers, financial added value is generated via price incentives. By making the electricity demand of EVs more flexible, more renewable, regionally generated electricity can be used.

—Niklas Schirmer, Vice President Strategy, Elli

Together, we are supporting the energy and transport transition locally and investing in the energy future. E-mobility and the energy industry are working hand in hand here. EVs can run on green electricity and relieve the strain on the power grid where it is particularly needed. We can prevent bottlenecks in the local grid by using newly developed software to allocate charging processes for electric vehicles to the available grid capacities. The concept now provides us with important insights into whether our approach is customer-friendly.

—Dr. Michael Lehmann, Head of Process and System Management at MITNETZ STROM

The results of the pilot test are expected in the fall of 2022.




This is a key thing to do.
If you have say 1 M cars with 50 kWh batteries, of which they are prepared to lend say 25 kWh each to the gird, you have 25 GWh of storage, which is very useful.
As they stated, a lot of wind energy has to be curtailed when there is more than the grid can take. This is predictable as demand and the weather can be predicted for a few days with decent accuracy.
Thus, if you can see excess wind tomorrow night, you should be able to postpone fully charging till then.
The system should know that you need say 10 kWh / day for commuting, and thus could charge every 4 days if required to.
(This is not the case with smaller battery cars like the 24 kWH Leaf, but cars these hays have multi-day batteries, so it is possible for many people).
Even if you can just postpone charging till 11 pm (-6am) you are far better off than letting people plug in as soon as they get home in the evening.
What we probably need are standards so that a set of rules can apply for anyone who wants it.
You also need to figure out how to compensate people for charging according to the grid's needs, as well as their own.
(Like very cheap power at overflow times).
It is difficult (IMO) to emphasize how important this is.

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