The number of battery-electric vehicles is rising fast, and all those cars need charging infrastructure. This poses quite the challenge for the grid, especially when many vehicles are connected to it at the same time. These vehicles are usually plugged in to stations a lot longer than necessary to charge their batteries. Clearly, the grid needs to be smarter rather than bigger. Instead of building more infrastructure, the grid in place today should be put to more efficient use. One way to do that is to consider the grid status when supplying power to charging infrastructure, heat pumps and other flexible consumers, and reduce their consumption during times of peak loads. It also means factoring distributed generating units such as photovoltaic systems and combined heat and power plants into the equation. The power they generate locally can meet demand from local consumers. They draw less power from the grid, lightening the load in that section of it.
The FlexCharge-LB project is all about optimizing schedules for distributed generating units and using smart charging management to prevent power shortages. The idea is to combine these distributed generating units to create a virtual power plant and integrate it on both the market and grid sides of the supply chain. Developers are working on interfaces to handle the continuous exchange of data among the various actors. AVAT, ChargeIT and Vivavis are providing expertise and services to this end. Stadtwerke Ludwigsburg-Kornwestheim, a public utility, is rolling out this grid-friendly management solution at two locations within its territory. The ZSW is on board to develop tools to optimize the schedule for distributed generating units and recommendations to operate the virtual power plant in a grid-friendly way.
Baden-Württemberg’s Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector is sponsoring the FlexCharge-LB as part of a funding program to connect parking facilities called INPUT 2.0 - Intelligente Netzanbindung von Parkhäusern und Tiefgaragen. The project is to run for 15 months and end on December 31, 2021.