Audi trials EV balancing power project

Carmaker Audi has announced a pilot project that provides balancing power from electric vehicles (EVs) and other residentialà‚ energy storage devices.

The Audi Smart Energy Network project “marks a major advance for grid stability”, the company said in a statement.

For the project, power from residential solar PV systems with battery energy storage in Germany‘s Ingolstadt and Switzerland’s Zurich regions is distributed using control software by Zurich-based energy management startup Ampard, which calculates current or plannable demand from a household’s EV, electricity use and heating use.

The control software also interconnects the systems to form a virtual power plant (VPP), which can provide balancing power to the grid and which itself “constitutes a smart grid”, Audi said.

Dr Hagen Seifert, Head of Sustainable Product Concepts at Audi, said the firm is “looking at electric mobility in the context of an overall energy supply system that is increasingly based on renewables”.

“We are playing a pioneering role with the prequalification of the balancing power market ” enabling producers to feed power into the grid, as part of the pilot project. That is now for the first time also possible down at the level of individual households, which helps balance the entire power grid.” à‚ 

In its statement, Audi said it was “looking at services that extend beyond the automobile as a product” and especially at “the interrelationship between all those areas of life where the car meshes seamlessly with a connected environment”.

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