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VIGIL project completes; it successfully built and tested an off-vehicle communications and control platform


The collaborative research project ‘‘Vehicle to grid intelligent control’ (VIGIL) has successfully built and tested an off-vehicle communication and control platform that will encourage the adoption of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) as part of future electricity network solutions.

The project monitored bidirectional power flows between electric vehicles (EVs), buildings and electricity networks, controlling them in real time. The project’s results show how, when and the rate at which EVs charged and discharged, at the same time taking into account various constraints.

Project participants include Aston University, ByteSnap Design, Grid Edge and Nortech Management.

Main project outcomes include:
• Nortech developed the V2G ANM controller that monitors the voltage level and available capacity at local substations to ensure the network operates within regulated limits. The system also identifies and informs the rest of the VIGIL platform of the headroom for providing flexibility/network services to DNO/DSO. The VIGIL platform is housed within Nortech’s iHost and provides an interface to the DNO/DSO.

• Grid Edge provided the distributed energy asset optimisation methods and controls for VIGIL. The system developed allowed all assets to contribute to the overall site demand profile; each asset adjusting such that its individual service conditions are met, whilst also ensuring the overall transformer limits are also met. In terms of future applications, this will allow Grid Edge customers to install more equipment onto their sites without triggering a costly transformer upgrade and maintains the service from the site. In the longer run, it will allow consumers to continue to electrify their heating and mobility systems without adding extra costs to energy bills.

• ByteSnap Design completed the development of a smart charge point communications controller. This has been successfully integrated into the V2G units at the Aston University campus and is supporting the direct control of the V2G units via the building management system.
The controller, named RAY, provides interoperability and control of any EV charger via OCPP 2.0 communications standard, and can be adapted for controlling many other V2G or smart chargers with different communication standard providing complete local control.

• Aston University researched EV battery lifetime performance and evaluated harmonics data during V2G operation. Using real-world data from the monitoring systems, the team investigated V2G impacts on battery degradation and published their research outcome at IET International Conference on Renewable Power Generation 2019.

VIGIL is funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in partnership with Innovate UK. VIGIL is the UK’s first comprehensive communication and control platform for managing energy distribution preventing peak load problems which can risk overloading the energy distribution network.

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