Electric vehicles (EVs) can play a key role in the energy transition with their massive storage potential and flexible capacity. Orchestrated in a Virtual Power Plant (VPP), EVs provide a clean and distributed alternative to conventional power plants in keeping the grid in balance. This joint blog shows a tip of the iceberg of why ElaadNL and Jedlix gather regularly at the test lab in Arnhem that provides a unique place for grid balancing testing.
ElaadNL has been founded by Dutch grid operators to ensure the smooth integration of electric vehicles and the electricity grid. One of the facilities ElaadNL has to achieve this goal is the ElaadNL test lab. The ElaadNL test lab is a unique facility and located in Arnhem, The Netherlands. The facility contains a wide variety of charging stations, from AC to DC to V2G (in both AC as DC). All connected on one grid with dynamic settings and additional power quality measurement equipment. This is used mainly for testing interoperability between EVs, charging stations and the electricity grid, but it also basically offers a “grid as a service” for parties like Jedlix to demonstrate the smart charging of a small fleet of vehicles. Thanks to the additional metering and grid equipment, the VPP and methodology of Jedlix can be tested and demoed in a live setting. This is a brilliant set up to demonstrate the working and performance towards the TSO. Jedlix often works with the telematics connectivity from the EV, so it can easily “move” this communication technology towards the testing lab. During such a test the response time, accuracy and fallback mechanisms of the overall solution including vehicle and VPP backend are demonstrated. The setpoint interface of the TSO operates on a 4-second interval so you can imagine that the whole system has to be very robust and fast.
The test lab of ElaadNL is already renowned for individual testing of electric vehicles and the yearly Plugfest for testing ISO15118 and OCPP implementations. Individual vehicle testing ensures the charging of the vehicle behaves in the right way, for example, according to protocol and grid codes. The testing of a fleet of electric vehicles for a VPP is basically a new domain that did not really contain any standards or protocols. Typically, the TSO only had a load profile one needed to follow depending on the type of product. However, this does not always take into account the dynamics of dealing with real users and cars and the corresponding behaviour of a fleet. This testing can now be included as well. The test set up was first used for the Dutch TSO Tennet. Ever since more TSOs have raised interest and similar tests have been done for German TSO TransnetBW and Belgian TSO Elia. TSO balancing products are more and more harmonized across Europe and it is great to see the same for prequalification procedures.
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