We talk more and more of the bidirectional charging for electric cars, that is, the possibility of introducing the energy of the batteries into the electricity grid when, obviously, the car is not in use. This is a solution that could make it possible, in the future, to use the energy of electric cars for stabilize the power grid at peak times. On this issue comes an interesting novelty related to the Porsche Taycan. The German carmaker – together with the transmission network operator TransnetBW and the consulting firm Intelligent Energy System Services (IE2S) – conducted a pilot test which confirmed that a pool of several cars could function as a “virtual power plant” and provide part of the so-called regulating power, which compensates for fluctuations in the electrical network.
Five Porsche Taycans were used for the occasion and connected to the electricity grid via the Porsche Home Energy Manager (HEM), both in a domestic environment and in laboratory conditions. Previously, the experts from Porsche Engineering had adapted the software of these control centers to the field test. On this experiment Lutz Meschke, President of Porsche’s Finance and IT division, commented:
The charging technology of the Porsche Taycan and our Home Energy Manager and Mobile Charger products have great future potential. This was proved by the pilot test. Such a pooling system can be used not only for the dimming power market, but broader solutions for Green Charging and other ‘Vehicle to grid’ applications are also conceivable. Furthermore, if in the future electric cars will be able to feed the electricity generated, for example, by private photovoltaic systems into the grid and thus contribute to the expansion of renewable energies, this will further increase the acceptance of electric mobility.
Porsche explains that with the rise of renewable energy, even when the “sun and wind are not available” the power grid must always be in balance. In this context, the possibility for electric cars to feed the energy of the batteries into the grid could be particularly useful. Furthermore, electric car owners could be financially rewarded for their contribution.
The central element of the data communication in the pilot test is a cloud-based pooling system, developed by IE2S. This system coordinates the charging processes of electric vehicles, translating the nominal values of the grid operator’s control power into vehicle-specific signals, which control the charging processes in real time. In addition, the pooling system regulates the bidirectional transport of data at high frequency and synchronous over time. For test purposes, the pooling system was connected to TransnetBW’s main switching line in Wendlingen near Stuttgart.
Through this experimentation, Porsche was therefore able to evaluate the potential of its electric cars also in the context of Vehicle to grid solutions.