Increasing use of wind and sun and an enormous increase in electric charging is causing large-scale fluctuations on the energy network. The growth in electricity production from sun and wind also causes greater price variations in the energy markets, an indication that it is becoming more difficult to match the supply and demand of sustainable electricity generation within the energy system.
Along with 12 other parties, GreenFlux took part in a large-scale smart charging trial, focusing on households and offices, as part of the European INVADE project to prove how smart charging can overcome the lack of supply and overflowing demand. An important prerequisite for the project was that EV riders would not be affected by smart charging and that it would be a scalable solution without modifications of the existing equipment.
The 50 homes included in the household case had at least one electric car, a private charging station, and preferably solar panels. Eight locations comprising a total of 199 charging points were included in the office case, ranging in size from a few charging stations to 98 at each location.
GreenFlux applied smart charging at these EV charging points, demonstrating that a primary benefit of smart charging at offices is grid reinforcement cost avoidance.
By not charging all cars simultaneously, a cost savings of a quarter of a million euros could be achieved in one case due to eliminating the need to improve electrical infrastructure. The annual additional network operator costs of 80,000 euros that would have been necessary without smart charging were made redundant as a result of running the algorithms used by GreenFlux. Similar savings can be achieved with households, whereby the savings are made to the network operator.
The INVADE project demonstrated that smart charging can be used to overcome the current and anticipated challenges of energy fluctuations and price variations in the market. GreenFlux’s smart charging approach uniquely addresses these challenges simultaneously with a single solution.
The flexibility that electric vehicles can offer, especially when looking forward to a future where millions of cars run on electric power, is of great value to the energy system. The INVADE project has shown that if the solutions are scaled up, the total flexible power that electric cars can offer will be six to nine times greater than our current total power demand per day.
Figure 1: Office situation without optimization through which the generated solar energy and load requirement are not matched.
Figure 2: Office situation with optimization through smart charging algorithms, whereby the generated energy and the energy requirements of the office and electric cars are directly aligned.
More information about the project can be found on https://h2020invade.eu/the-project/