Check out the latest on OVO's Vehicle to Grid trial here

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Userlevel 3
Hi Leo,
As I've only had the V2G since Thursday it's still all very new but the car powers the house when you're exporting to the grid, obviously you can't be pushing leccy to the grid and pulling it from the grid at the same time.
There isn't a way to choose when you push power to the grid/home from the car it's all done automatically.
Hope this helps, Del.
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
@Delboy It's great to see your are finally on the trial!!!!!!!! Glad the install went well, good advice re the teabags!! Lol! Thanks for sharing an update on your installation with everyone, much appreciated. 🙂

I moved your installation post here, it was so great, we wanted to featured it!!

Did you visit FullyCharged at the weekend?

Userlevel 5
When the people down south lost their power yesterday it was comforting to know that my little 3.4 kWh power station in the garage was helping to get the lights back on quickly......and if there were another 500,000 electric cars plugged in the same....we wouldn't be even having this conversation....
Userlevel 4
When the people down south lost their power yesterday it was comforting to know that my little 3.4 kWh power station in the garage was helping to get the lights back on quickly......and if there were another 500,000 electric cars plugged in the same....we wouldn't be even having this conversation....
Was your car already generating or did OVO bring it online in response to the failure of Hornsea and Little Barford
Userlevel 5
The odd thing is, every day it exports at 4.00pm on the dot and continues till just after midnight, just like it is today. Yesterday it started at 3.30pm and was exporting when the outage occurred....and continued again till after midnight.
Userlevel 5
16 days into the trial and a pattern is now beginning to emerge which wasn’t anticipated nor advertised at the beginning of the trial. Bear with me…the explanation is after the boring bit…

My garage was purpose built to use as a workshop 365 days a year so it has double glazing, cavity wall insulation, thermally lined front door, insulated roof and warmth retaining floor. It’s cool in the summer (the windows face West and gets little heat intrusion at the front door in the morning) and with just a 1 kW oil filled radiator adequately heats the whole garage in minutes in winter……I’ve seen grown men drool when they look in my garage….yep…a real man’s man cave.

Being retired my lifestyle is somewhat different to most in that I make spontaneous decisions what to do every morning I get up. I’ll look to see if The Northern Lights will be visible, look to see if the clouds will be clear and the weather obliging and I’ll jump into the car and drive North to The Scottish Highlands. Sometimes I just go to Jedburgh or Edinburgh for a coffee with my mate, Or go further North to visit friends at Kingussie and Fish and Chips at Smiffy’s in Aviemore. Or it’s across to Ullapool, book in a hotel and up to John O’Groats for the drive.

My first electric car was a 30 kW Nissan LEAF and charging at 50 kWh every time I was able to complete the 1,000 mile journey of the North Coast 500 with 17 charges (some splash and dash) in 2 days.

When I got the 40 kW LEAF I tried the same journey which went fine for the first couple of charges but then with the battery beginning to warm up the computer throttled the charge so I was only able to get half or even a third of the 50 kWh charge in the allotted 1 hour at the chargers, this then restricted the range to the next charge which in turn because of the increase in temperature reduced the following charge even further. Despite two attempts I’ve never been able to repeat the first journey with the 30 kW LEAF, even though the conditions and time of year were almost identical.

Just prior to the trial I decided to order the new 62 kW LEAF hoping that would be better for the range satisfying my adventurous journeys with the longer range between charges, 225 miles instead of 160 miles…..however a Vlogger in Germany, one of the first European recipients of the car has done a 500 KM journey and found the new car, despite having the quicker 100 kWh charger was still returning the same throttled charge rates as the 40 kW LEAF….and because it has a bigger battery took even longer to fully charge.

Now the thing is, with the tests in Germany it was the height of a heat wave where the temperatures were 10c above what we have in the UK so it shouldn’t be as bad here. Only once I’ve been able to check with the demonstrator will I be able to see if it suits my lifestyle or not…..and that’s where we come to the trial.

Prior to the trial the car stood in the garage for about 16 hours unused with only occasional top ups in the early hours. This inactivity allowed the battery to fall to the ambient cool temperature in the garage and any spur of the moment drives to Scotland started with a cool 17c battery temperature.

Since the trial exporting to the grid starts at 4.00pm and continues till midnight when the car then starts importing from the grid up until 6.00am. With the sunlight on the afternoon adding to the heat in the garage, the air temperature now never drops below 25C. With the heat unable to escape the garage, the battery has little air to cool it down and starts the day on average about 27c. This means regardless of the outside air temperature my battery is starting a spontaneous journey at the same temperatures as those in Germany…meaning I’ll probably have the same problems as they have.

OVO have suggested that I stop charging the car earlier to allow the battery time to cool down……but here’s the catch 22. Once the garage is heated it will not cool down because of the insulation. With the garage air temperature already high the battery will not loose any significant heat and the only way to ensure that I leave at the optimum temperature is not to upload to the grid in the evening or download from the grid in the early hours.

It looks as though if I want to continue with my lifestyle, to get the optimum performance out of my new (and present) car and continue with the two year trial I’ll have to fit an extractor fan in the garage to try and cool it down in the summer. Without this, if the new car can’t fit in with my lifestyle then I’ll be getting a Tesla model 3 and either way, may mean I’ll have to forgo the trial….a shame really cause I do like the LEAF and I do like the idea of contributing to the grid….with brownie points in the bucketload after Friday’s outage in the national Grid…
Userlevel 3
Have you had the battery management update done?
It does make a big difference to charging times when the battery is hot.
Userlevel 4
Leo have you tried keeping the battery power down when driving? This does mean driving below 70mph.
Userlevel 5
Yes I have had it done but still doesn't perform the same way the 30 kW did.....and with the added 10C starting temperature it's not looking too promising. That said I'm yet to check out a long run. Just waiting for The Northern Lights to appear, may bees tonight or tomorrow so I can check what difference it makes on a long run......if my first charge is below 30 kWh which I suspect it may be then it's pointless going further than Jedburgh...
Userlevel 3
I feel your pain, which is why I have an E_Niro on order.
I got my Leaf in February last year when all this "Rapidgate" started.
The way Nissan lied and treated me is why I'll never buy a Nissan again. (rant over).
As @NoPoke stated, on long journeys 200 miles or over I stick to 65mph and it seems to keep things pretty cool.
I travel from Herts to Cheshire quite often.
I also don't let the battery fall below 20% when rapid charging.
Userlevel 5
Yes I've been following James Chang's advice on that and Aaron Russell has given me a few hints as well. The double run we had back from Bristol with 3 charges was quite enjoyable and not at all a challenge. As for my travels in Scotland, most of the routes are on 60 mph roads so I'm quite happy to travel to those limits on cruise control (e pedal off of course). I've learn't to accept the limitations of the LEAF...which apart from the throttling is an exceptionally good car, rear view mirror location excepted...
Userlevel 4
@Hari_OVO can you confirm that the V2G charger charges the leaf using dc, and thus bypasses the Leaf's onboard ac-dc converter when charging.

Does the V2G charger have a fan that exhausts warm air from inside its enclosure?

Leo, I expect that Hari will confirm that the OVO V2G charger bypasses the Leaf's on board charger. This is a good thing for battery temperature as it means that the unavoidable heat from the ac to dc conversion is not adding to the heat that has to escape from the Leaf.

What this means is that if you can provide cooling external air around the large V2G box and exhaust same to the outside your garage could even end up cooler than if you used your old ac EVSE. If there is a fan inside V2G box , Adding a little ducting to direct this outside your garage will make a big difference.

Hope that makes sense.
Userlevel 5
Thanks for that No Poke, much appreciated.

Looking at the figures since I began recording, the temperature range in a 24 hour period is only 2c from the warmest to the coolest and it matches the temperature in the garage. So I put the car on the drive in the heavy rain yesterday for about 6 hours and it managed to drop the temperature by another 2c to about 24c before the car began exporting at 4.00pm, continued till midnight and then importing till 6.00 this morning. At 10.00am the temperature was 24.8c, about 2c below what it has been all trial so the standing outside appears to have done some good...albeit just a couple of degrees.....but I'm certainly not going to do that every day.

The suggestion about the fan in the charger sounds a good idea but it still doesn't resolve the heat with the car. Not only will the car get warm but also the CHAdeMO connector knocks out a fair bit of heat, even when not importing or exporting so with the garage well insulated that alone will keep the ambient temperature high....and also the battery.

I suspect that a fan may be the only solution....but there again, it won't be a bad thing. It'll help vent any fumes if I'm painting, gluing or cleaning in the garage, save having the windows or doors open.
Userlevel 4
Ok, so could help but perhaps not enough.

Heating of the battery is ohmic, this means that it is proportional to the square of the current. A 20% reduction in current reduces the heating by 40% (30% reduction gains an impressive 70% reduction in heating)

An unfortunate side effect of constant power charging is that the heat dissipated inside the battery is highest when the battery is at its lowest state of charge. Nevertheless reducing the charging power will still reduce the internal battery heating by the above figures.

Can you charge the car at a lower rate and still have it sufficiently charged by the morning?
Userlevel 5
If I can I don't know how to do it. That's one for Hari I would think....

Unlike the Tesla, the LEAF just takes until it's full at an appropriate rate unless you power boost it at 6 kWh. You can't set how full you want the battery or at what rate it will charge....and I think the charger is self regulating, not externally programmable. It's either on or off.
Userlevel 4
If I can I don't know how to do it. That's one for Hari I would think....

Unlike the Tesla, the LEAF just takes until it's full at an appropriate rate unless you power boost it at 6 kWh. You can't set how full you want the battery or at what rate it will charge....and I think the charger is self regulating, not externally programmable. It's either on or off.

😞 so another one for @Hari_OVO , I know very little about the CHAdeMO protocol, I expect the charger tells the car the maximum current and voltage it can support, possibly dynamically, and the car then tells the charger what it wants. So if the V2G charger reported a lower current then the car's BMS would limit itself to that.

FWIW there is no user control of charging power when on a dc charger on the Tesla too.
Userlevel 4
@Leo Moran @NoPoke I can confirm V2G uses DC charging, and it's own inverter rather than the one in the car. The V2G unit does indeed have fans inside it.

R.e. rate of charge - @Leo Moran I believe you've got it right there but I'll try and get some more details!
Userlevel 5
Thanks @Hari...@NoPoke
Userlevel 5
We've all heard of someone who's been put off buying an electric car because of Range Anxiety....well I have a new anxiety...electricity bill anxiety.

The roll out of the V2G trial is obviously developing as you go along but one thing that I'm getting more anxious about is the way customers are billed.

Previously with my smart meter I could wake up on a morning and see how much my bill was, how much I'd used in the previous 24 hours by the half hour and how much my bill was likely to be at the end of the month. Normally using 7 kW per day the bills have always been small but the way you calculate my usage at the moment....add what I've imported with what I've exported plus what I've used in the house....then hopefully credit me at the end of the month...means I'm looking at a bill of over £175...just for the electricity alone.

As a matter of urgency you need to sort out the billing before it's rolled out much further or people will be quitting before they've even started.

Surely for an organisation which revolves around computers, computer programming and calculations you can work out the bills so people can tell from day to day just how much they are being charged and how they can still save or make money.

The below is my current bill for August and I'm already over 50% more than I paid last month...and we're not even half way through the month yet.

It was bad enough I had to change from Economy 7...costing me money because the trial wasn't compatible.

Userlevel 4
Hi @Leo Moran,

Thanks for this - we totally appreciate it's not ideal and we definitely don't want to replace range anxiety with bill anxiety. We are working on improving this, we are aware its less than ideal and we are aiming to learn and refine processes throughout the course of the trial.

You will receive your export credit each month, which will counter the increased consumption and return your overall costs to normal, however I can appreciate that it is uncomfortable to see your costs and consumption rising before your credit arrives. Your direct debit amount will not change, so the actual amount that you spend on your energy will remain the same, and hopefully start to reduce as your export credits start to roll in.

As mentioned, we are working on improvements here that will hopefully reduce the bill anxiety - we will keep you updated on these.


Userlevel 5
Thanks Hari, I thought you may be working on it and the last post wasn't intended as a criticism, just an observation of a concern you may not have appreciated from the other side of paying the bill.

Thanks for the prompt response.. I being greedy in asking can we have the Economy 7 back as well?
Userlevel 1
just started on the v2g trial had the charger fitted yesterday not had time to set up the app only received it later this evening. So not had chance to use the charger as It could not be commissioned yesterday after the fitting was finished too late in the day. so will be popping on here now and again to see if there are anyone's tips on the use
thanks for putting the question on Leo Moran about the bills gives me an idea what to look out for.
thanks Hari for the reply good to see are looking to better the system
Userlevel 5
Hope you enjoy the trial Gary...
Userlevel 2
Hi @Hari_OVO

There may be a little confusion with the billing side of things which I hope you can clear up for people concerned. I have also recently started on the V2G trial and therefore not had any electricity bills yet. Having looked at my meter I can see there are two readings on the meter by pressing "9", an imported electricity figure and an exported electricity figure.

Could you clarify if our electricity bills for the end of August (first full month of trial) will show a charge for the imported electricity and a credit for the exported electricity. I have read elsewhere that the "trial credits" will be a credited to bills a month in arrears, but not sure if that just refers to the 6p additional credit for exported electricity, or the whole amount of exported electricity (unit rate + 6p).

I believe my electricity bill will be 5x larger than the previous month without any exported electricity credit, and so would be good to warn people in advance if this is the case.

Thanks to @Delboy and @Leo Moran for their excellent comments regarding V2G observations. It's been helpful reading while undertaking the trial myself.
Userlevel 3
From what I have gathered, payments show up on your bill a month in arrears but the actual payment should be paid into your account within a few days of the original bill.
However, my bills run from the first to the last of the month and I'm still waiting for July's payment.
When I asked I was told that the intention is that everything will be paid and shown on the monthly bill but as the trial is new payments are having to be done manually hence the delay.
I also noted that on the bill there are no figures for what has been exported just a cash amount, I asked if this can be added so we can ensure the correct amount has been paid to us.
Hopefully thing will improve and I suppose that is why we have volunteered to take part in the trial.
I managed a whopping 66 quid in exports last month, mind you my bill was huge and halfway through the month I'm still waiting for the credit to hit my account.