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Solar power and e-mobility stabilize power grids

Time and again, headlines warn that the expansion of e-mobility threatens to overload the power grid and cause a blackout. Grid operators are blowing the whistle on the scaremongering and are instead emphasizing the benefits of intelligently combining photovoltaics and e-mobility.

Boris Schucht, chairman of the managing board at 50 Hertz, a transmission network system operator, points out that home-based intelligent charging systems stabilize the power grid while benefitting the customer. Put simply, when excess solar power from the homeowner’s roof is used to charge an electric vehicle, no additional grid energy is needed.

With the help of single home storage systems, electric vehicles can be charged even when the sun is not shining. When additional electric power is required, modern charging technologies with time delay capabilities enable vehicles to be charged outside peak demand hours. The goal is to avoid drawing too much current simultaneously during the early evening peak demand periods, said Schucht. A number of public utility companies offer discounts that enable customers to save up to 80 percent off rates when charging vehicles during off-peak hours.

Service providers such as Jedlix also offer flexible rates for grid-balanced charging, whereby participating electric vehicles are put into a virtual pool and “refueled” over the network at times of lower energy demand. Renault is a partner of this start-up. There another trend: giving used electric vehicle rechargeable batteries a second lease of life as domestic storage systems for solar energy – Powervault does just that. Nissan not only sells electric vehicles, but also offers – in collaboration with Eaton – a complete PV system with a storage system including intelligent charge technology. 

An up-to-date overview of the latest solutions for an intelligent combination of photovoltaics and e-mobliity under the umbrella of The smarter E offers Power2Drive and Intersolar Europe from June 20–22, 2018 in Munich.