E-vehicles a solution for the Smart Grid?
Mobility is a fascinating topic, which gives us many reasons to write about such technology in society. Mobility can be both a solution and the end-phase, but in this article we will focus on the way mobility technology can give a solution. We at Bicle follow the innovation surrounding those solutions related to the smart grid.
Smart Grid: What is it?
Smart Grid is an electricity supply network that uses digital communications technology to detect and react to local changes in usage. For example they look at how much is needed by people in a certain area and adjust to that need, so that everyone could use the network and overcapacity is prevented. The American Government describes it as follows:
“In short, the digital technology that allows for two-way communication between the utility and its customers, and the sensing along the transmission lines is what makes the grid smart. Like the Internet, the Smart Grid will consist of controls, computers, automation, and new technologies and equipment working together, but in this case, these technologies will work with the electrical grid to respond digitally to our quickly changing electric demand.”
This smart supply network gives a lot of opportunities to our society and can help solve a few problems we face with our current usage of electricity.
Flexibility is key in mobility smart grid
The Dutch government stressed the need for Smart Grid in their official documents. According to them, flexible electricity supply is better for the general public. They stress that it’s needed networks to not go over capacity, energy businesses are looking for products and services that expand their mobility, and local homeowners are more interested in taking initiatives regard sustainable energy supply.
E-vehicles a solution?
We have spoken about the capacity of the electricity networks and how we in the future want to control the usage of people. Introducing more electric vehicles might seem like counterproductive, because they will use more amount electricity. But it can also be a solution, if you use it right. Not all of the (Plug-in) Electric Vehicles (PEVs) are used all the time, in fact - 90% of the time they are not used and therefore are not using any type of electricity. They are quite a flexible group of vehicles.
“The flexibility of PEVs can help to reduce the costs of network investments over time, and therefore electricity bills, by allowing grid operators to defer investments in the network. For example, operators could wait to replace a heavily loaded transformer. The network has to be big enough to cope with the worst-case loading situation. PEVs can be used to reduce the load peaks, or to absorb excessive solar power generation, thus mitigating extreme loading situations and/or voltage problems.” PlanGrid EV says in their research.
This is just one example of how mobility technologies can improve the smart grid and ultimately make our lives more sustainable. We at Bicle would love to know what you think of this solution! Let us know in the comments!