Audi project looks to the smart energy grid

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

The Audi Smart Energy Network is a research project in the Ingolstadt area and the Zurich region and is similar to Tesla’s PowerWall technology but adds connectivity and wide area management software.

The control software by the Zurich start-up company Ampard distributes the solar power intelligently based on the demand from a car, household or heating system. A key feature of the pilot project is that it also interacts with the power grid. Using a built-in communication interface, all systems are interconnected to form a virtual power plant, and constitute a smart grid.

The connected home storage devices can provide balancing power to balance out the fluctuations between power generation and consumption and stabilise the grid frequency by temporarily storing smaller amounts of energy in stationary units at short notice. This allows operators of photovoltaic systems increase their proportion of own-use solar power while cutting their power procurement costs. 
“We are looking at electric mobility in the context of an overall energy supply system that is increasingly based on renewables,” said Dr Hagen Seifert, Head of Sustainable Product Concepts at Audi. “We are playing a pioneering role with the prequalification of the balancing-power market – enabling producers to feed power into the grid, as part of the pilot project. That is now for the first time also possible down at the level of individual households, which helps balance the entire power grid.”

Audi says it is also looking at services that extend beyond the car, particularly where the car meshes with a connected environment.



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