First electric vehicle to grid charging system at Aston

Aston University has successfully commissioned the UK’s first permanent electric vehicle to grid (V2G) charging system.

This next generation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure allows power to flow both in the traditional way (grid to vehicle) and in reverse (vehicle to grid). The technology, developed in Japan to improve electricity supply reliability in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, is being investigated in collaboration with our leading industry partners, as a new method for energy storage and grid balancing services in Europe.

The charging system is installed at the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University and is connected to EBRI’s private wire switched micro-grid. To ensure that the charging system works effectively within micro-grids, EBRI are developing an intelligent control algorithm for distributed energy resources that continuously optimises when the charging station consumes and returns power to our network. We are utilising the data collected within the project to support our industry partners in modelling the distributed energy potential of this new technology for the UK.

V2G technology and more intelligent use of electric vehicle infrastructure can offer grid balancing services to the electricity system in times when supply is in danger of not meeting demand. In these circumstances the V2G units discharge power, temporarily acting as generators and reducing the demand side of the supply-demand balance.

This new combination of technology and service offering improves the sustainability and resilience of the energy system by reducing the need for stand-by generation from fossil fuels, unlocking greater deployment of non-dispatchable renewable generation and creating revenue for the electric vehicle (EV) charging system infrastructure owner.

Aston’s research on intelligent control systems and business model development for distributed energy resource management systems is undertaken as part of the Itheca project, supported by InnovateUK.

The £1.1m commercial R&D project uses the EBRI site to develop three new commercial offerings for the project industry partners. EBRI is working with Cenex Ltd on the delivery of the vehicle to grid system and on investigating the various business models associated with V2G and intelligent EV charging.

If you are interested in the research conducted at EBRI or would like to collaborate on further research within this area please contact [email protected]