The escalating popularity of EVs and the increasing demand for charging is putting pressure on power grids. To meet the demand, grid operators need to upgrade local distribution grids – or benefit from solutions such as the ones ChargeFlex is developing.
Norway is a forerunner in the prevalence of electric vehicles (EV’s) with over 100.000 EV’s in the national car park today, compared to less than 20.000 in 2013. This dramatic penetration of EV’s in Norway is largely thanks to strong political incentives and tax benefits resulting in one of the highest density of EV’s pr. capita – worldwide!
Blessed with a typology that has given Norwegians natural access to green energy, and historically low electricity bills, the introduction of more efficient electrical compliances with high power output in households (such as induction ovens, instant water heaters, etc.) places new demands on the supply of energy output. Adding to the trend of more energy efficient compliances, the escalating popularity of EV’s and the accompanying increase in demand for charging is putting even more pressure on power grids. As a result, when many EV’s need charging simultaneously, the local distribution grid may experience capacity shortages. Until now, this has meant that power grid companies have had to make costly investments in infrastructure. Such investments eventually take the form of higher invoices from your local grid supplier.
Through the R&D project ChargeFlex, a feasible alternative to costly grid reinforcements is the main goal of the project. eSmart Systems has begun to develop software that utilizes the flexibility in the grid with the aim of increasing local network capacity by 25 percent. This flexibility is made possible through smart management of charging EVs connected to the grid, which have flexible storage capacity. Ironically, the devices which have caused some grid owners to refuse to build charging stations because of the suspected strain on the grid, are the same devices that just might enable smart power grid and energy load management. The innovation arises from the utilization of Big Data and Analytics technology for the collection, analysis, prediction, and management of power consumption. When many EVs charge simultaneously, grid operators or service providers can manage the grid load based on a defined grid profile. Additionally, loads such as heating of buildings can be rescheduled or disconnected. Alternative power sources can be connected to the grid, or energy reserves can be utilized. Project outcomes will be applied commercially for IT solutions and energy services.
As mentioned, the main objective in ChargeFlex is increasing local network capacity 25 percent by developing software to manage the added flexibility from introducing EV’s, demand and response philosophy, and smart management into the equation. This includes exploring the following objectives:
The project is led by eSmart Systems and consists of highly competent researchers and partners. The entities represented in the consortium are:
ChargeFlex is funded by The Norwegian Research Council’s program ENERGIX, through a special call «Pioneering research – new concepts in business».
To follow the project, feel free to like and follow ChargeFlex on Facebook.
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