New project launched to study how EVs can power homes

A new project has been launched by Salford University and partners to test how electric vehicle (EV) batteries can be used to power homes.

Academics from the university will work with the renewable energy supplier Good Energy, Honda and Upside Energy on the project to explore how EV batteries can be used to power appliances and save energy at home.

The idea of EV batteries being used to help provide extra capacity to the National Grid when needed (vehicle-to-grid or V2G) or help power individual homes (vehicle-to-home) is proving to be very popular, with several different systems currently in development.

Salford University’s professor of building energy performance, Will Swan, said: ‘Energy House can be subjected to simulated climates – sun, wind, snow and rain and is equipped with 300 sensors on windows, doors, walls and appliances.

‘That makes it the perfect living laboratory to test what V2G can do, because we can measure the gamut of scenarios in controlled conditions.’

Upside has created a ‘virtual energy store’ that sells to the grid and shares the revenue with device owners and manufacturers.

But in order for the technology to be optimised, a much clearer view of the market is needed.

‘It’s not as simple as drawing on the car battery when you need it because there are so many variables such as the weather, household activity, and so on,’ added Professor Swan.

‘In terms of energy efficiency, we know that renewables are problematic because they don’t always generate power when want it. Hence storage options are increasingly important.

‘We can look at the car or other vehicle as both a battery and a storage tool, but we need to understand better how all these elements relate.’

Neil Jones, programme manager at Upside Energy, added: ‘These tests at a single house level will help us establish a baseline of data which could be scaled up to hundreds if not thousands of homes and vehicles and start to identify what services can be offered to householders and the grid in the future.’

And Good Energy’s chief executive and founder, Juliet Davenport, commented: ‘EVs, battery storage, V2G and now vehicle-to-home are all technologies that will be part of a decentralised energy system of the future.

‘This project uses Salford University’s Energy House, which means that we can truly see the impact for people’s homes, and their lives.

‘I’m really excited to see what the findings are and how we can use them to help our customers get to a cleaner, greener world.’

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