Cenex project aims to transform UK energy usage
March 5, 2015
Cenex – the UK’s centre of excellence for low carbon technologies – has launched the Ebbs & Flows of Energy Systems (EFES) project, which aims to transform the way the UK uses energy on a daily basis. Partially funded by Innovate UK and the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the project aims to manage, improve and reduce the electricity use of UK buildings, from single properties through to large commercial premises.
The EFES project will be achieved through the development of three key technologies:
• Virtual power plant (VPP): a cloud based power plant capable of using electricity storage assets such as static batteries or vehicles through a software package, controlled by electricity providers, developed in partnership with Cardiff University.
• Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) unit: developed by Potenza Technology, electric vehicles will plug into this unit to provide both charging for the vehicle and enable it to act as a battery store, either to provide electricity directly to a building or to the National Grid using the VPP.
• Building energy management system (BEMS): Moixa will develop this to provide the control functionality for the V2G unit, enabling the unit to communicate with both a building and the VPP to determine the most appropriate charging or discharging option.
Furthermore, the project will look to evaluate the impact the technology being developed will have on local energy systems through computational modelling, physical demonstration projects and engagement with the public. Specifically, research will seek to establish if there is a financial and environmental benefit to installing the equipment in the home and work place.
“Electric vehicles have the potential to transform the way we use energy on a daily basis,” said Chris Walsh, head of technical support at Cenex. “Power cuts and expensive peak demand tariffs could become a thing of the past. Could you power your house with your car? Could you power your car with your house? Would you like to be paid to drive your car to work and power your office block? What impact will EVs have on our electricity prices? These, and more, are the questions we will be hoping to answer through this two and a half year project.”
In addition there will be a host of other project partners including Warwick Manufacturing Group, KAM Futures, Energy Saving Trust and Manchester Science Partnerships. The project is also supported by an advisory board of district network operators, vehicle manufacturers and utility companies.