The VIGIL Project

Press/Media: Research

Description

The VIGIL project. Vehicle-to-Grid Intelligent Control.

VIGIL was a two year project (2018-2020) funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, in partnership with Innovate UK. The project consortium members were Nortech Management Ltd (lead partner), Grid Edge Ltd, ByteSnap Design Ltd and Aston University.

Vehicle-to-grid technology (V2G) represents a significant step towards the transition to low-carbon transportation and a smart energy system. Allowing electric vehicles (EV) to return energy to the power grid when parked and plugged for charging increases grid resilience, allows for better exploitation of renewable sources and lowers the cost of ownership for EV owners, leading to new business opportunities and clear advantages for EV users and energy consumers.

 

The VIGIL platform

The VIGIL platform is an off-vehicle communication and control platform that supports different V2G charge-posts, manages EV/building energy dispatch and ensures distribution network limits are not exceeded. It is UK’s first comprehensive communication and control platform for managing V2G systems and electrical networks. It has been installed at Aston University and comprises the following:

  • An Active Network Management (ANM) scheme
  • A Building Energy Management System (V2G/BEMS)
  • An OCPP 2.0 communications adaptor
  • Four V2G charge-posts

The consortium successfully demonstrated, at two sites in the campus, the capability of the platform to control the cars charging/discharging and manage the building energy dispatch, whilst considering building and car user requirements, as well as the electrical network constraints.

Bidirectional power flows between cars, buildings and electrical networks were monitored and controlled in real-time. Full control of how, when and the rate at which EVs are charged/discharged with the simultaneous consideration of multiple constraints was achieved.

 

  • Nortech Management developed an Active Network Management controller (V2G ANM), which monitors the voltage level and available capacity at local substations to ensure the network operates within regulated limits. The system also identifies and informs the rest of the VIGIL platform of the headroom for providing flexibility / network services to DNO/DSO. The VIGIL platform is housed within Nortech’s iHost and provides an interface to the DNO/DSO.

 

  • Grid Edge provided the distributed energy asset optimisation methods and controls in the project. The system developed allowed all of the assets to contribute to the overall site demand profile, each asset adjusting such that its individual service conditions are met, whilst also ensuring the overall transformer limits are also met. In terms of future applications, this will allow Grid Edge customers to install more charge-posts onto their sites without triggering a costly transformer upgrade, and maintain the service from the site. In the longer run it will allow consumers to continue to electrify their heating and mobility systems without adding extra costs to energy bills.

 

  • ByteSnap Design completed the development of a smart charge point controller.  This has been successfully integrated into the V2G units at the Aston University campus and is supporting the direct control of the V2G units via the building energy management system. The controller provides interoperability and control of any EV charger via OCPP 2.0 communications standard, and can be adapted for controlling many other V2G or smart chargers with different communication standard.

The team at Aston University researched EV battery lifetime performance and evaluated harmonics data during V2G operation.

Using real-world data from the monitoring systems, the team investigated V2G impacts on battery degradation and published their research outcome at IET International Conference on Renewable Power Generation 2019. The paper was awarded as Conference Best Paper by the conference committee.

Period28 Feb 2020

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Keywords

  • Vehicle-to-Grid
  • Smart charging