Vehicle-2-Grid VIGIL project rolls out first installations

VIGIL, a UK-funded consortium consisting of Aston University, ByteSnap Design, Grid Edge and Nortech Management, has rolled out a new control platform for Vehicle-to-Grid/Building (V2G/V2B) systems and distribution networks.

“One thing that all forecasts on electric vehicle growth agree on is that there will be millions of electric vehicles on UK roads by 2025. Distribution network operators are concerned about this as most of the time these electric vehicles will charge using charging infrastructures connected to the distribution network. V2G can be used as one solution to reduce the strain on the distribution network however, it comes with its own unique challenges for distribution network operators," said Dr Preye Ivry – Network Innovation Engineer, Nortech.

VIGIL announced the first installations of three V2G charge-posts in Aston University, the VIGIL Active Network Management (ANM) equipment, the V2G/Building Energy Management System (BEMS) controller, and the introduction of the OCPP EVSE controller to be installed next month to operate through VIGIL's mobile phone app.

The VIGIL offers is an exciting, new, off-vehicle communication and control platform that supports different V2G charge-posts, manages Electric Vehicle (EV)/building energy dispatch and ensures distribution network limits are not exceeded.

The off-vehicle system controls how, when and the rate at which electric vehicle batteries are charged/discharged with respect to local substation constraints and EV/building energy requirements. The project is part-funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The VIGIL-ANM is responsible for managing the distribution network constraints. VIGIL-ANM equipment comprises a substation monitor and the Envoy-ANM controller communicating with Nortech’s iHost platform. The iHost platform hosts the VIGIL-ANM engine that determines the substation’s available capacity based on real-time network conditions.

The V2G/BEMS controller comprises the Grid Edge monitoring and control panel. This securely connects to the building’s existing management and energy monitoring systems. The data is used by Grid Edge to optimise the dispatch of assets in the buildings and the charge/discharge strategy of the V2G units such that the grid constraints are met and building performance and service are maintained as far as possible.

Embedded electronics consultancy ByteSnap Design has developed a V2G OCPP EVSE controller which provides interoperability and control of any EV charger via the new OCPP 2.0 standard. The controller reduces latency and improves system robustness by allowing direct control via the building management system. ByteSnap has also created a V2G mobile application which is being delivered together with an optimised building management system.

The project team at Aston University is investigating a prediction model for EV battery-life performance considering factors such as State-of-Charge, State-of-Health, Charging-speed, Depth-of-Discharge, and remaining energy capacity. Power quality issues for different V2G/network scenarios is also being investigated with research findings disseminated to industry and academia. Three V2G charge-posts and harmonic meters have been installed are now fully commissioned and ready for service.

The Nortech supplied ANM solution of the VIGIL platform ensures the distribution network is protected during V2G, smart charging and standard charging operations of electric vehicles. Monitoring one substation at a time to identify available capacity in real-time and providing an aggregated view of all monitored substations our VIGIL-ANM offering is the solution to integrating millions of electric vehicles to the distribution network.”