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The University of Southampton

Research project: Vehicle To Grid (V2G) Implementation for Integrated Bi-Directional Chargers

Currently Active: 

Whole system modelling and simulation of a V2G enabled power network facilitated through both the integration of a digitally controlled µController based bi-directional charger with embedded GPRS communications and the development of a V2G management/simulation software package.

Load Balancing:In 2011 the UK harvested over 12,000 MW of renewable power, with over 4,000 MW coming from onshore wind generation [1], and this number is set to steadily increase as more distributed generation sources are connected to the grid. The main problem with renewable sources is their unpredictability and the difficulties involved with regulating their generation. In order to prevent potential power going to waste during times of low demand it must be stored for later use. The UK’s current dominant source of energy storage lies in its meagre 2,788 MW capacity pump storage hydroelectric stations [2]. V2G Aims to provide the network with a large aggregate distributed capacity of highly efficient battery storage that can be used to bolster the reserve capacity of the grid, allowing for reduced dependency on non-renewable sources.Frequency Response:Throughout a standard day electricity demand constantly fluctuates. Load Serving Entities (LSE) attempt to predict in advances how much power they will need throughout the course of each day and buy this capacity in advance from Generators. On the day, however, if demand rises higher than predicted the energy providers must start buying extra capacity at premium through the balancing markets. In order to be able to provide this extra generation the grid keeps a ‘reserve’ generation capacity on standby. This reserve generation can come from large coal and combines-cycle gas turbine (CCGTs) which the grid pays to run below full capacity, an inefficient process burning more fuel for every unit of energy generated. This reserve generation can also be supplemented by the pump storage stations. For larger, more infrequent imbalances the grid contracts a capacity of open cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) and diesel generators as ‘standing reserve’, as they are only run when necessary due to their much higher running costs. V2G aims to reduce LSE dependency on such sources by providing a fast acting reserve of clean energy.The project aims to simulate and demonstrate these services through development of 4 key technologies illustrated in Image 2. These are: A fully functioning lab-based demonstration prototype of an integrated bi-diretional charger.  A communications architecture facilitating sending and receiving of vital V2G service commands and updates. A software suite capable of interfacing with all connected vehicles, tracking current grid conditions and making decisions about how each vehicle should behave in the system on a real time basis. A V2G Power Network simulator interfaced with the control software allowing for complex grid demand profiles to be simulated easily from within the controlling software.

Associated research themes

(VESI) Vehicle Electrical Systems Integration (EPSRC EP/I038543/1)

Related research groups

4 research areas of V2G project
Research Elements of V2G project
Functional overview of V2G operation
V2G Overview
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