In the future, the electric car will play an important role in the digital energy world as a power consumer. Experts believe that it also has great potential as a power storage device to drive the energy revolution forward and cushion peak loads caused by regenerative generation. Because cars are parked most of the day, this offers plenty of time for flexible charging. The new electricity consumers not only place an additional burden on the power grid, but are also potentially flexible storage facilities for the variable availability of solar and wind power. Within a building, electric cars can coordinate the respective energy requirements with household appliances, heat pumps and other consumers, thus avoiding overloads.
However, this requires the networking of all major producers and consumers in order to intelligently control the electricity demand so the EEBUS initiative has set itself: seamless and cross-sector communication in the energy system of the future. Over 70 international companies working on the common language for energy management on the Internet of Things.
At the two-day “Plugfest E-Mobility” on January 28 and 29, EEBUS members will test their developments based on the open communication standard at the Audi plant in Brussels. In model tests, developers and engineers will test whether the photovoltaic system, charging infrastructure, electric car and heating can communicate with each other without interference. The devices are networked via a home energy management system (HEMS). All information is collected in this control centre so that all energy-relevant devices can exchange information about their power requirements. Following the Plugfest, the participating companies will adopt the EEBUS specifications for e-mobility.
Audi offers various solutions for charging at home. As the highest expansion stage, the optional connect charging system allows a charging capacity of up to 22 kW. This means that a full charge of the Audi e-tron takes about four and a half hours. With the connect charging system, the Audi e-tron can always charge with the maximum available power provided by the house connection and the car. It takes into account the needs of other consumers in the household and avoids overloading the house connection and subsequently triggering the fuse. A compatible HEMS, with which the charging system is networked, for example via the house WLAN, is a prerequisite in the house. Audi is working here with two partner companies, SMA Solar Technology and the Hager Group, both of which also rely on the standard of the EEBUS initiative.
In combination with the connect charging system and an appropriately equipped HEMS, the Audi e-tron also uses variable electricity tariffs. This enables it to supply the battery with electricity at low cost times while at the same time taking into account the customer’s mobility requirements, such as departure time or state of charge.
For the future, it is conceivable that EEBUS devices will interact even more intensively with the power grid. One possible application is an interface via the HEMS to the network operator. This would enable electric cars to adapt their charging planning to grid bottlenecks – important if several electric cars are charging at the same time in one street. The specifications of the communication standard will be rolled out at the beginning of February 2019. This means that the EEBUS initiative is on the way to introducing a Europe-wide standard that will network all major electrical consumers in the home area in a comprehensive and manufacturer-independent manner.