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Government funding awarded to project to prove EVs are assets to the grid

December 19, 2023

 

Government funding awarded to project to prove EVs are assets to the grid

 

 

 

  • The project, led by 3ti, will demonstrate that EVs plugged in at workplaces, leisure destinations, fleet depots and delivery hubs can help balance peaks in electricity supply and demand
  • Innovative ‘V2X FastHub’ will be based on 3ti’s award-winning Papilio3 pop-up mini solar car park and EV charging hub, which can be rapidly deployed in under 24 hours
  • Final phase of the project includes a six-month real-world trial using fleet of 10+ EVs as grid assets
  • Project’s DC microgrid design is significantly more cost- and energy-efficient than bi-directional AC systems, making vehicle-to-everything (V2X) energy management commercially viable in the near term and accelerating decarbonisation and net-zero goals

 

Leatherhead, 20 December 2023 – A consortium of British companies has secured £1,344,552 in government funding to explore how electricity stored in electric vehicle (EV) batteries can be used to smooth out peaks in supply and demand on the UK’s electricity grid. 3ti, the UK’s leading designer, installer, funder and operator of solar car parks (SCPs), is leading the new project funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, delivered by Innovate UK. The project is setting out to integrate bi-directional DC charging and the associated power management systems into Papilio3, a pop-up solar car park and EV charging hub. The ‘V2X FastHub’ project will be a watershed moment for future energy security, providing a clear pathway to help resolve the issue of intermittent supply from renewables by using EV batteries as grid assets.

 

The project consortium brings together renewable energy experts 3ti with advanced EV power solutions provider Turbo Power Systems (TPS), smart energy company GridBeyond, and EV & decarbonisation experts Cenex, in a 17-month collaboration to deliver a state-of-the art system, including a six-month real-world demonstration.

3ti will lead the project, delivering a customised Papilio3 with smart grid controls and a 280 kWh DC battery. TPS will harness its DC microgrid systems, managing the bi-directional charging technology through both CCS and CHAdeMO EV charge points, while GridBeyond will oversee energy management and aggregation services through its flexible Energy Management System (EMS). Cenex will host the vehicle trial, which will include the procurement of the trial vehicle fleet, data capture, analysis and final report to Innovate UK.

Specially adapted as a V2X FastHub unit for the project, 3ti’s innovative Papilio3 is a smart grid ‘in-a-box’ that can host up to 12 EVs at a time, housed within an upcycled, rapidly deployable shipping container that can be placed almost anywhere. With a solar canopy and energy storage battery, the system has already delivered in a range of applications for factories, hospitals, leisure centres and council buildings across the UK. For this particular application, Papilio3 will implement a new DC microgrid system – integrating three times faster, bi-directional DC EV charge points with a 280 kWh integral battery storage system and 20 kWp solar roof array.

Through a ‘charge-as-a-service’ business rental model, the unit simplifies installation and reduces up-front costs – or the need for long-term commitment. The result is a commercially attractive, replicable and scalable EV charging solution for a multitude of organisations, including medium dwell-time workplaces, destinations, return-to-base fleets and delivery depots. The provision of EV charging at amenity and business locations maximises revenue generation and enables the faster roll-out of EV charging while simultaneously reducing the burden on carbon-intense rapid charging infrastructure.

Mark Potter, CTO at 3ti, said, “Everybody wants more EVs on the grid. They represent a massive scale, distributed energy resource that can be used to balance real-time supply and demand. This project will prove that bi-directional EV charging can work in the real world. Connected EVs will be teamed together to act as virtual power and energy storage facilities, with each car releasing and replenishing its stored energy according to user preferences and grid demand. This generates income and cost savings, which can be passed on to our customers.”

Smart Microgrids support a more sustainable and reliable energy transition, helping the UK meet its Net Zero and Energy Security targets. This project will be the first in the world to trial a 12 charge point DC Smart Microgrid for CCS V2X based on ISO15118-20, published in April 2022. Each charge point will also support CHAdeMO for compatibility with existing vehicles. This innovative set-up will provide faster, bi-directional EV charging at speeds up to ±30 kW, with much higher power and round-trip energy efficiency than AC solutions.

Potter continues, “Being able to recharge at 30 kW is critical to success in this market. In destination charging, most EVs will only charge at 7 or 11 kW using AC, even if the charge point is rated at 22 kW. Being able to charge at 30 kW regardless of vehicle limitations makes more energy available for V2X export without impacting the overall net charge.

“With DC microgrid V2X, meaningful energy and power levels can make it worthwhile to the asset owners, also offering up to 95% round-trip efficiency – compared to typically 60-70% in the AC domain. The key to unlocking V2X value is having lower OpEx and CapEx, and this project will deliver both.

Dr. Matthew Knight, Principal Technical Specialist at Cenex, said, “With almost a decade of experience in developing V2X technology, Cenex is excited to bring a novel concept to life in this space. We’re creating pre-fabricated hub solutions that integrate renewable generation, energy storage, and the latest bidirectional EV charging technology to maximise energy use and value while reducing emissions.

 

“In this project, our role as a Research & Technology Organisation involves running a technology demonstration, focus group workshops, trial data collection, technical analysis and business case modelling. Thereby embodying our commitment to identifying and evaluating solutions that drive both the commercial and technical viability of V2X through public dissemination in the multitude of forms Cenex is renowned for.”

 

Micheal Phelan, CEO at GridBeyond, said, “GridBeyond are delighted to be participating in this innovative, ground breaking project which will help demonstrate the potential of vehicle to grid technology and how it can help support a low carbon grid of the future. We are excited to be working alongside key stakeholders and partners to bring all our expertise together for future market insight

Dr Nigel Jakeman, Engineering and Business Development Director at Turbo Power Systems, said:  “It’s both gratifying and exciting to see the world first advanced EV charging technology we have developed on the back of our 40 plus years at the forefront of power solutions, being used within a partnership of true innovators to create a system which will play a pivotal role in decarbonisation and solving climate change, one of the biggest threats our planet faces today.”

The V2X FastHub project, part of the V2X Innovation Programme, is funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, delivered by Innovate UK. The V2X Innovation Programme is part of the up to £65m Flexibility Innovation Programme, funded from the £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio.

 

Media contacts:

Sue Mulcaster                           Alex Kreetzer                            Mike Stainton

Sue.mulcaster@pfpr.com           alex.kreetzer@pfpr.com             mike.stainton@pfpr.com

+44 (0) 7842 310087                         +44 (0)7874 856311                          +44 (0) 7739 891040

 

 

About 3ti

3ti is the UK’s leading designer, installer, funder and operator of Solar Car Parks (SCPs). 3ti has a unique three technology (“3t”) approach to generating renewable energy from car parks.

By integrating local mains electricity with solar power, Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) and EV charge points, 3ti provides secure, consistent, clean solar energy for businesses whilst simultaneously providing low carbon, fast EV charging infrastructure for employees, suppliers, customers and the general public.

3ti is passionate about renewable energy and believes that providing low carbon EV charging infrastructure is the key to decarbonising the transport sector.

Solar energy from car parks is a low cost, low carbon and innovative way to power buildings and EV chargers, enabling customers to generate their own renewable energy and work towards achieving net zero emissions.

The 3ti team is responsible for the two largest SCPs in the UK, at Bentley Motors, Crewe and JP Morgan Chase, Bournemouth, is working on multi-site projects for the Ministry of Defence, and has already installed around 15 MWp of solar PV across almost 3,000 parking spaces around the country.

 

About Cenex

Cenex, established as the UK’s Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell technologies in 2005, lowers emission in transport & associated energy infrastructure and operates as an independent, not-for-profit research technology organisation (RTO) and consultancy.

Our independent experts find the right solutions that reduce pollution, increase efficiency and lower costs, and offer informed commentary on the latest policies, technologies and innovations.

About Turbo Power Systems

Turbo Power Systems (TPS) is a leading designer and manufacturer of cutting-edge power conversion systems with applications for industry, transport and energy. We design and manufacture everything in-house at our 55,000sqft facility in Gateshead, shipping our products worldwide.

Our 40-year track record in the development and deployment of power electronics and electrical machines has seen us deliver innovative solutions to- and in collaboration with- some of the world’s most important businesses.

About GridBeyond 

GridBeyond’s vision is to deliver a global zero carbon future. By leveraging AI, we innovate and collaborate with our customers to create optimal value from energy generation, demand and storage to deliver a zero-carbon future.

By bridging the gap between distributed energy resources and electricity markets, GridBeyond’s technology means every connected asset – whether utility-scale renewables generation, battery storage, or industrial load – can be utilised to help maximise opportunities and enhance the grid. By intelligently dispatching flexibility into the right market, at the right time, asset owners and energy consumers unlock new revenues and savings, resilience, and management of price volatility, while supporting the transition to a Net Zero future.

Canada’s First Bidirectional EV Charging Hub Launches in British Columbia

December 15, 2023

Canada’s First Bidirectional EV Charging Hub Launches in British Columbia

 

Coast to Coast Experiences Leads Collaboration to Bring Vehicle-to-Grid Technology to their Fleet of Electric Buses and to BC Hydro

Pilot Project with BC Hydro, Lion Electric, BorgWarner, Powertech Labs and Fermata Energy demonstrates Technical Feasibility as a Proof of Concept to Make Vehicle-to-Grid a Reality in British Columbia and Globally

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 15, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Coast to Coast Experiences (CTCE), determined to electrify its fleet in North America, introduced Canada’s first Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) pilot project for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, demonstrating the very first bidirectional electric vehicle (EV) charging hub in British Columbia.

Working with BC Hydro, The Lion Electric Company (NYSE: LEV) (TSX: LEV), BorgWarner, Powertech Labs and Fermata Energy, CTCE is creating the first rapid, deployable, end-to-end V2G mobile power infrastructure in Canada, enabling stored energy from CTCE’s electric bus fleet to support power grids, such as BC Hydro peaking and demand response initiatives. The pilot is designed to test the technical feasibility of bidirectional charging and mobile grid infrastructure, opening up the opportunity to monetize electric fleets. In collaboration with the pilot program partners, Fermata Energy’s bidirectional charging platform enables the parked electric buses to be utilized as mobile batteries with stored energy discharged to mitigate peak energy demand, send power back to the grid, lower the vehicles’ total cost of ownership and create value for electric fleet operators.

The initiative lays the groundwork for future deployable V2G charging hubs in Canada and North America. CTCE’s partnership with other critical industry leaders in advancing V2G technology will also highlight the essential role an electric bus fleet can have in offsetting the peak capacity of utilities, such as BC Hydro, during peak periods.

CTCE electric buses, which stand idle many hours each day, can become valuable mobile power plants, allowing utilities, such as BC Hydro, to leverage power from the bidirectionally-enabled electric vehicle during peak periods to offset the grid. This will be especially crucial during inclement weather and natural disasters when extreme pressure on the grid creates the potential for outages.

“Ultimately, we are creating grid infrastructure solutions for an electrified transportation ecosystem that will provide for an end-to-end V2G mobile power infrastructure,” said Rob Safrata, CEO of Coast to Coast Experiences and Novex Delivery Solutions. “This enables commercial electric vehicle fleet operators, when their vehicles are sitting idle, to create a high-power, mobile, bidirectional power plant capable of supporting grid resilience, peak shaving, and powering buildings.”

“This project implements an exciting milestone for Fermata Energy and the V2G industry as we successfully demonstrate bidirectional charging on the Combined Charging Standard (CCS1), which has been widely adopted in the North American market. Our integration with Lion Electric and BorgWarner allows us to leverage our AI-driven cloud-based V2X software platform to determine where power is needed most as we support CTCE in maximizing the value of their electric fleet,” says Tony Posawatz, CEO of Fermata Energy. “In collaboration with Powertech Labs and BC Hydro, this pilot is a great opportunity to capitalize on existing resources to build a stronger grid, create additional sources, and ultimately provide grid stability and economic value to ratepayers.”

“Lion all-electric buses serve as mobile batteries capable of enhancing power grid resiliency. Our vehicles are equipped with V2G technology, a smart, bidirectional charging technology that redirects unused power from the electric vehicle back to the power grid,” said Nicolas Brunet, President of Lion Electric. “The pilot project aims to demonstrate the possibilities and impact of this innovative technology, which can support various power needs and generate revenue for the operator. Our electric buses are capable of providing V2G solutions today, marking another milestone in demonstrating benefits of electric transportation and enhancing the feasibility of electrification,” Brunet emphasized.

“With the growing adoption of electric vehicles, bi-directional charging represents a unique opportunity to use stationary vehicles as back-up batteries to charge electronic devices, homes and businesses and even send power back to the grid when demand is high,” says Chris O’Riley, President and CEO of BC Hydro. “This trial marks the first of its kind for large vehicles in Canada, and we are excited to work with Coast-to-Coast Experiences and Powertech on this innovative technology that has the potential to benefit all British Columbians.”

“Environmental responsibility is the cornerstone of our business,” says Rob Safrata, CEO and owner of CTCE Experiences and Novex Delivery Solutions. “Together, with our industry partners, we are transforming the health of our communities by merging innovation and technology as we electrify the bus industry across North America,” Safrata continues. “Additionally, we will prove our ability to generate additional revenue streams by monetizing our electric buses from the sale of power back to the grid to offset peaking capacity during key periods of the year.”

“I am very proud we have finally come to this moment and want to thank our partners as collaboration is key when mounting new infrastructure,” continues Safrata. “This pilot sets the groundwork for CTCE to partner with utilities in all the markets we operate in around North America. Our company hopes to inspire others to make different choices for the benefit of our health, our homes, and our planet.”

The V2G pilot project is fully commissioned and operational over the next 2 weeks, participating in a variety of grid programs while creating a V2G road map for BC Hydro and laying the foundation for distributed V2G charging hubs throughout North America.

About Coast-to-Coast Experiences
CTCE was founded in 2009 and currently operates in three of the most recognized tourism destinations in the world—Vancouver, Seattle and New York. These key tourism markets have provided CTCE with a platform for solidifying their expertise in clean transportation and electrification as we continue to lead the way to a regenerative future. Find Coast to Coast Experiences at www.ctcexperiences.com.

About Fermata Energy
Park it. Plug it. Profit. ™ Fermata Energy is a leading software platform services provider of data science data science-driven Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) bidirectional charging technology, including Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G), Vehicle-to-Home (V2H), and Vehicle-to-Building (V2B) solutions. The company was founded in 2010 to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and the transition to renewable energy. Fermata Energy’s proprietary technology enables its customers to manage EVs as distributed energy resources by selling excess energy stored in EV batteries to offset costly peak demand charges. To learn more about Fermata Energy, please visit https://fermataenergy.com/ and follow the company on LinkedIn.

About BorgWarner Chargers
For more than 130 years, BorgWarner has been a transformative global product leader bringing successful mobility innovation to market. Today, we’re accelerating the world’s transition to eMobility — to help build a cleaner, healthier, safer future for all.

About Powertech Labs
As a subsidiary of BC Hydro, a provincial Crown corporation, Powertech Labs plays an instrumental role in supporting BC Hydro and the Government of British Columbia in their hydrogen strategy, and more broadly in B.C.’s CleanBC plan to lower climate-changing emissions by 40 percent by 2030.

About BC Hydro
BC Hydro is a provincial Crown corporation, owned by the government and people of British Columbia, Canada. It generates and delivers electricity to 95% of the population of B.C. and serves over five million people.

Media Contacts:

CTCE – Joey Gill, joey@firecrackerpr.com, +1-416-556-0675

Fermata Energy – Daniel Cherrin, dcherrin@northcoaststrategies.com, (313) 300-0932