Interview

Everything EV webinar - Unlocking the full potential of Vehicle to Grid (V2G)!

  • 10 February 2020
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Everything EV webinar - Unlocking the full potential of Vehicle to Grid (V2G)!
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A few weeks back, Kaluza sponsored this online webinar which features loads of great insight into this technology, and a keynote presentation from OVO Director of EVs, Tom Pakenham. You’ll need to submit your name and email address to get a link to this 60 minute video. 

 

I’d love this topic to be a hub, where we chat about what’s been discussed here. V2G strategy, impact, forecasting and predicted benefits - what do we think about it!? I’ll then pass this over to Tom and his team so they will have visibility of what’s discussed. 

 

:robot:


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Well that’s an interesting Webinar on Project Sciurus… although I stopped listening about 10 minutes into the questions.

I learned as much from the slides as I did from the speakers. In fact I’ve just used some of the information in responding over here on another Topic!

There were two facts which got confirmed, but that I’d always suspected were true:

  • that the inputs to the Kaluza platform are being taken from National Grid data rather than local data from the Distribution Grid.
  • that the decision when to export and when to recharge the EV is based on monitoring the price per kWh. See the slide at 19mins where this is illustrated

I would still like to have known a bit more about when the Kaluza software decides which V2G charger to export from. I’m pretty sure they’re not all driven in parallel because that would simply cause surges as more units get installed close to each other geographically!

 

What didn’t I like…?

1; That the “customer package” is focused on price and supported by “marketing” strategies.

There actually seems to be a significant element of risk being taken by a customer signing up to a V2G package.

There’s a need to ensure that the customer understands the likely effects on battery-life, and also the maximum-level of export which each site is permitted to reach. I assume that’s why some participants discovered that there were periods when they earned nothing from the Trial because their EVs didn’t export at all.

 

2; The increased uptake in renewables within the energy-mix is a side-issue that just happens to occur because of the marginal decrease in non-green generation required to meet the early-evening peak.

I had really expected/hoped that OVO/Kaluza would use this technology to lever a significant increase in renewable generation, little of which occurs when the EVs are being charged between midnight and 6am.

I’ll post some data illustrating this a bit later.

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OK, so I’ve done a bit of background research. As I’m in a Western Power region, I can obtain the energy-mix statistics for the Bulk Supply Point which feeds my area. This is where the BSP transformer sits within the Distribution Network

I live in an area where there is an excess of renewable energy, mainly wind-turbines and solar-PV with a couple of local hydro-electric plants. So if I had an EV, I’d want to charge it when these sources are active.

Here’s the energy-mix being reported by my BSP at noon today:

 

and I can zoom in further to view the Renewables if I wish:

That’s not surprising. Storm Ciara has just passed by, and we have a strong Westerly wind blowing from the North Atlantic.

 

Now look at 6pm yesterday, at the start of the early-evening demand peak:

Ciara was blowing its way through from the Southwest, and it’s Fossil Fuels (mainly gas) which makes up the balance of the requirement. If there were widespread use of V2G chargers in my area, then the %age of Fossil Fuels would obviously be less. Those Fossil Fuels are mostly imported from outside of my area across the National Grid. That’s more expensive, and there are greater losses en route.

 

Finally, let me show you the energy mix for the previous 7 days from the same BSP

The seven top bars show the Carbon Intensity using “traffic light” colours. So the green is lowest CO² emissions, and red is highest.

I’ve highlighted 3am on the Wednesday because that’s when the Webinar showed the majority of EVs on the Trial would be in charge-mode.

That’s not great. 43% Fossil fuels doesn’t earn me a particularly high Greta-score. :open_mouth:

And the following day (Thursday 6th) was awful! We had no wind and no sun.

By the weekend when Storm Ciara was doing its worst, the Carbon Intensity profile  is radically different.

 

So does this matter?

I think it does. The public is motivated to make substantial changes in energy behaviour because we know it’s important. Sir David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg and Hugh Fernley Wittingstall have successfully awoken us to the perils of Climate Change in the past 10 months.

Simply marketing a V2G package where the stored charge is being derived at the ‘lowest price per unit’ is no longer good enough. If that electricity has been generated using nuclear or fossil fuels, then the package isn’t sufficiently attractive for end-users who are investing in an EV.

We also want to see that the energy we are storing in the EV’s battery has been derived from low-carbon renewable sources. And that’s what we would expect if it’s got an OVO badge on it!

@Transparent this is really interesting stuff. 

We also want to see that the energy we are storing in the EV’s battery has been derived from low-carbon renewable sources. - 100% agree with this, no point driving an EV unless its powered by renewables! otherwise it’s just a status symbol.

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Great… so that makes two of us @hiphopopotamus. Now we just need to reach out to the couple of hundred people on the V2G Trial !

I have received a message to confirm that our comments on this Topic are being notified to the relevant people in Kaluza. So if you have further feedback on the Webinar, then please post again here!

 

I want to ensure that my own feedback can actually be implemented. There are three alterations required to the way Project Sciurus is being run to make it operate as I suggest:

 

1; Change the algorithms that dictate when the battery is re-charged so that it picks up the best available time-slot when renewable energy will be available. The Kaluza Platform already receives weather forecast data as an input, so it is possible to predict in advance when those time-frames are to be on the next day.

It is true that they might not coincide with the cheapest wholesale price for electricity. So the WebApp will need to alert the customer:

 

2; Add an input to the so that it picks up data on Energy Mix from the Bulk Supply Point transformer feeding the electricity MPAN for each V2G charger, just as I did above.

Remember, the data is already available. No additional sensors need to be added to the Distribution Grid.

 

3; Involve us customers to develop “packages” that can be offered, instead of just using an internal marketing team! :relaxed:

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Would love the Future plan, for all trialists, its unclear what the future holds, many see it as just a lump 6KWH charger other see it as unlocking the potential in developing software to “island” the house or switch onto flexible tariffs to unlock true earnings from their EV’s,. but I am sure for the masses, including me would love to continue developing into what was described on the Webinar as the whole house solution. 

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