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In order to use electric vehicles and other flexible consumers with the goal to stabilise the electrical system, digital measuring systems in connection with so-called Smart Meter Gateways (SMGW) and control equipment will be indispensable technology in the future. Together with Elli and Bosch IO – subsidiaries of Volkswagen AG and Robert Bosch Gmbh - the distribution system operator Stromnetz Berlin and the transmission system operator 50Hertz are investigating and testing in a cooperation project which kind of data exchange is necessary for this and how balancing power can be provided by a network of electric cars. The duration of the joint project is 18 months. The German government aims to have around seven to ten million electric vehicles on German roads by 2030.
Thomas Schäfer, Managing Director of Stromnetz Berlin: "In the future, millions of electric cars will be integrated into the distribution systems in Germany. To ensure that these can also contribute to system security, data exchange between all market players is required based on the smart meter infrastructure. Smart meters will change the energy world. They are an important and necessary step to-wards implementing and digitalizing the Energy Transition. Together with modern control equipment, they will support the secure integration of new flexible consumers such as e-mobility in the electricity networks and at the same time enable these customers to participate in the electricity market.
Dirk Biermann, Managing Director Markets and System Operation of 50Hertz: "A mobility sector with millions of electric vehicles and a grid-based charging infrastructure has the potential to make an important contribution to balancing fluctuations in electricity generation from wind and solar energy. The use of these flexible capacities thus contributes to the successful integration of electricity from wind and solar power plants into the overall system. For 50Hertz, which as transmission system operator is responsible for system management, this is an important element of our strategy to cover 100 percent of the electricity demand in our grid area from renewable energies by 2032".
The project, known as "Internet of Energy", initially plans to test the functions of the highly secure smart meter gateway infrastructure in depth. These central communication units of the metering point operator receive and store data and make it available to the system operators and other market players such as electricity suppliers. Combined with the appropriate steering technology, the charging process of the electric cars can thus be influenced without any loss of comfort for the customers. Smart meters can provide customers with incentives to make their vehicles and charging infrastructure available for system services. The gateways are currently being installed by the measuring point operators in Germany, among others at the premises of many electric car owners who have their own charging infrastructure. In addition to communication via the smart meter gateway infrastructure, alternative communication routes that enable data to be exchanged directly between the charging infrastructure, e-car, transmission system operator and distribution system operator are also to be tested.
The incorporation of the VW subsidiary Elli in the collaborative project is designed, among other things, to create the preconditions for bundling the storage capacity of electric cars and enabling them to participate in the balancing power markets via generators. In the long term, it is also conceivable that the electricity stored in car batteries could potentially be fed back into the public electricity grid if there is temporarily insufficient electricity from renewable energies to cover the electricity demand. The Bosch subsidiary IO is specialized in IoT and digital technologies. As a software system supplier, Bosch IO contributes its expertise at the interfaces between transmission and distribution system operators and charging points.