Enervalis ensures that thousands of NewMotion charging stations contribute to the stability of TenneT’s energy network . The charging infrastructure for electric vehicles is used as a virtual power plant to make the energy grid more efficient and greener.
Remote management of battery systems, heat pumps, PV and wind mills to balance the electricity grid is enabled by Enervalis. “With our technology, we help prevent the lights from going off unexpectedly somewhere in the Netherlands”, says Seppe Thewis, program leader at Enervalis. It is the first time ever that a virtual power plant consisting of charging stations is being used to keep the electricity grid in balance. The capacity of the charging stations is used without the need for additional investments.
In recent years, Enervalis and NewMotion, a Shell subsidiary, have been working closely together to develop the algorithms meeting the requirements of grid operator TenneT. NewMotion currently has 20,000 charging stations that meet the requirements for grid balancing services, and that number will continue to grow in the coming years.
The self-learning algorithms that Enervalis has developed predict for each EV driver at what time the car needs to be charged and how long it will take. Based on that data, the time and speed of charging are controlled in such a way that the charging stations help to keep the electricity grid in balance. Because of this, the comfort of the EV driver is guaranteed. The next step is to launch an app that allows the vehicle owner to personally influence the algorithm by adjusting his departure time or activating the maximum charging capacity.
According to Thewis, the new technology offers great opportunities. Not only to charge cars in a smarter way, but also to be able to ‘discharge’ them smartly in the future. Discharging is called bidirectional charging. For example, Enervalis is participating in the ROBUST collaborative project. The world’s first research project into the large-scale deployment of bidirectional (vehicle-to-grid) charging of passenger cars, in combination with batteries, smart-charging buses and other energy assets. The aim is to realize a flexible electricity system at the level of city regions. The bi-directional electric cars are charged with locally generated renewable energy and return the energy to the grid when needed.
In the Smart Solar Charging testing ground in Utrecht, a first test with a bidirectional ecosystem will be conducted this year in collaboration with Hyundai. The batteries in electric shared cars are used on a large scale for storage of sustainable energy. Enervalis provides the algorithms for this trial, with the aim of reducing local congestion problems on the electricity grid.
Enervalis is a growing Belgian/Dutch company that focuses on a successful and healthy energy transition. The company has 25 employees. Enervalis focuses on the monitoring and smart control of energy assets in the public environment and in and around people’s homes
Hans van Velthoven
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