UK energy supplier’s new tech to empower homeowners

The UK’s OVO Energy has launched a newà‚ range of technology products aimed at empowering home and vehicle owners.

The energy supplier introduced the 6kW bi-directional charger, which will allow drivers to sell surplus energy from their electric vehicle batteries back to the electricity grid. At the London event the company also revealed its 7kW Smart Charger as well as its debut Homeà‚ Energy Storageà‚ solution, offering continuous output of 5kW and a power peak of 10kW.

OVO’s chief executive and founder Stephen Fitzpatrick also launched VCharge, the company’s intelligence platform designed to bring together the flexible capacity of the company’s new devices as well as all accessible energy resources.
Stephen Fitzpatrick of OVO Energy
“This is the first step in building the distributed energy system of the future. One that is truly customer centric and built around households and their connected energy storage devices,” he said.

“By combiningà‚ rooftop solar, control of connected devices and intelligent use of EVs and stationary batteries, we can transform the home from being a passive recipient of power at the edge of the grid to an independent energy ecosystem.

Clean Energy News reports that the company’s 6kW charge and discharge rate and will use VCharge’s artificial intelligence to optimise vehicle charging in line with cheaper electricity out of peak times when more renewables are on the grid. By selling this back into the grid, OVO claims drivers “may never have to pay to be on the road again”.

The chargers are to be made available to 1,000 Nissan LEAF drivers under a two-year trial which was recently granted over à‚£3 million in funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the UKà‚ Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)throughà‚ a à‚£30 million competitionà‚ administered by Innovate UK to support V2G trials across the country.

OVO will also analyse patterns in behaviour of the technology’s users and use advanced machine learning to recognise patterns of individual consumer behaviour and characteristics of individual assets and homes. It uses these insights to build a predictive energy demand model, calculating reserve power and available storage capacity in individual homes all the way up to a national level.

The units will be manufactured in the UK by Indra Renewable Technologies, in which OVO acquired a majority stake last year, as will as the company’s new Smart Chargers.

These 7kW AC chargers – rather than discharging to the grid, will allow EVs to be controlled and charged during off-peak periods, easing pressure on the grid while taking advantage of cheaper power prices.

“We’re enabling thousands of EV batteries to help balance the grid in times of peak demand, more renewable energy to come onto the system, and households to reduce their electricity bills,” Fitzpatrick added.

In addition, the company also announced its entrance into the home storage market with its battery solution ” to be trialled later this year – completing its new intelligent range of devices to be brought under and controlled by the VCharge platform.

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