Achieving autonomy from the grid

According to a recent report by BCG, the market share for EVs is likely to reach 30 per cent of car sales by 2025, while observers predict year-on-year growth in V2G vehicles of around 50 per cent for the foreseeable future. Indeed, rising demand for green energy and a more decentralised supply means bi-directional charging may one day play an important role in decarbonising transport and the grid.

V2G technology offers serious potential in helping households achieve energy autonomy. That’s why the E.ON Innovation team decided to test several scenarios in an ordinary family home setting – so-called xHouse. Seeking to find out the best ways to control energy flow while at the same time minimising overall supply from the main grid, they focused in particular on the interaction between photovoltaic (PV) systems and bi-directional charging stations, as well as the advantages of adding a battery system to store PV energy.

Throughout the 12-month testing period, xHouse achieved 97 per cent autonomy from the grid during a peak month, which means the grid supplied only 2.5% of all electricity consumed. This is an incredible milestone that shows the potential of bi-directional charging. The xHouse testing environment also allowed to come up with useful algorithms for measuring and controlling power flows, as well as additional insights into the role of real-time reporting as a driver of behavioural change.

Future charging infrastructure calls for increasingly innovative solutions. Although further testing is still needed, it is already clear that bi-directional EVs are likely to play an important part in decarbonising city transportation and reducing individual CO2 footprint.

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