World’s First Electric Car Fleet Supplying Electricity to the Grid

DTU is heading the testing of new technology which will enable a fleet of electric cars to supply power to the grid.

electric car fleet

Electric vehicles must not only consume power, but also supply it. This is achieved by means of the new technology known as Vehicle to Grid—V2G—where the electric car battery is used to store electricity which is then channelled back into the system when the vehicle is hooked up to the electricity grid.

DTU is in charge of the Parker Project which is now connecting the world’s first fleet of electric Nissan cars to the grid so they can supply power. The Municipality of Frederiksberg is co-partnering the project and has recently purchased the ten electric vehicles for this very purpose.

The technology is receiving a lot of attention, as it has the potential to transform the electric car into an alternative power source that can support the grid with power as well as provide several services of a more technical nature.

“For example, electric cars can help to stabilize the grid more quickly if the power supply suddenly fails to match consumption. The electricity grid must maintain a constant balance between production and consumption in order to avoid power outages. In this context, electric vehicles can help ease overproduction of current by using some of the surplus to charge their batteries. Similarly, they can reduce a power shortfall either by ceasing charging, or by returning power to the grid. Electric vehicles can respond quickly to grid imbalances,” says Peter Bach Andersen, project manager of the Parker Project and researcher at DTU Electrical Engineering.

He predicts that in future we will see an increasing need to balance the power grid quickly.

“Electric cars can help to stabilize the grid more quickly if the power supply suddenly fails to match consumption. “

Peter Bach Andersen, DTU Electrical Engineering

 

“As more and more renewable energy such as wind and solar energy become integrated with the power grid, energy production will fluctuate more because we only produce wind power when the wind blows. We’ll therefore need resources such as electric cars to rapidly balance the grid, as they can quickly help to compensate for fluctuations.V2G also has tangible benefits for electric car owners, as DTU’s calculations show that there may be an annual economic gain of DKK 10,000 by selling services to the electricity system,” says Peter Bach Andersen.

It all began at DTU several years ago, with the project EDISON

This V2G project underwent theoretical testing on the island of Bornholm, after which it was followed up by the recentNIKOLA project,

Here the technology was tested in the PowerLabDK laboratory at DTU Electrical Engineering, and it has now moved out in an operational environment with the Parker Project, which is responsible for managing these cars and their connection to the grid.