The first installations of a new control platform for vehicle-to-grid/building (V2G/V2B) systems and distribution networks have been completed.

The platform, developed by consortium VIGIL, monitors local substations in real-time to determine capacity and ensure distribution network limits or constraints are not exceeded.

The data from the monitoring systems is to be used to investigate the impact of V2G on battery degradation and grid harmonics.

With the general consensus being that EVs will continue to grow in popularity, with the possibility of millions of EVs on UK roads within the next five to ten years, there are concerns among distribution network operators about the number of EVs charging using infrastructure connected to the distribution network.

One solution to reduce the strain is V2G, which allows EVs to charge when prices are lower due to smaller demand and then sell leftover energy stored in EVs back to the grid to alleviate demand during peak times.

The new VIGIL system controls how, when and at what rate EV batteries are charged and discharged, taking into consideration local substation constraints and EV/building energy requirements.

VIGIL consists of Aston University, ByteSnap Design, Grid Edge and Nortech Management. The project is part-funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Three V2G charge posts have been installed at Aston University, along with the VIGIL Active Network Management (AMN) equipment, which manages the network constraints, and the V2G/Building Energy Management System controller, which comprises the Grid Edge monitoring and control panel.

Dr Clara Serrano from the European Bioenergy Research Institute based at Aston University explained that the installations of the chargers and platform “provides the opportunity to conduct multi-scenario tests and collect practical data”.

Serrano hopes that these tests and Aston University’s research into battery degradation will enable them to “better justify the V2G technology and find solutions to mitigate its impact on both the EV and the grid”.

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