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Audi is Researching Bidirectional Charging Technology

Auto News - Published on Wed, 29 Jul 2020

Image Source: EV Audi Bidirectional Charging
Audi and the Hager Group are pursuing increasing network stability, lowering electricity costs and contributing to climate protection. The incorporation of the electric car into the domestic grid is at the core of an innovative research project on bidirectional charging. This offers major advantages in combination with a photovoltaic system in particular. Excess PV electricity can be stored temporarily and output as needed. In the first half of 2020, renewable energies contributed more than 50 percent to the German electricity mix for the first time. However, the increasing percentage is also accompanied by a basic dilemma of wind and solar power: The generation of electricity is not always constant. On sunny days and phases with strong winds, there is often a lack of capacity to store the generated energy that the grid cannot use. As the number of registered electric cars increases, the number of mobile energy storage units also rises. This offers great potential, provided that the storage capacity can be used intelligently. This is why Audi and the Hager Group joined hands and developed a research and solution approach that creates financial incentives and offers greater security of supply: bidirectional charging.

The high-voltage battery of the electric car not only is charged via the wall box at home but can also supply energy back to the house as a decentralized storage medium. If the customer has a photovoltaic system, the electric car serves as a temporary storage medium for the domestically generated eco-electricity. When the sun is no longer shining, the vehicle can supply the stored electricity back to the house. Bidirectional charging at home, also known as Vehicle to Home, has great potential to reduce the home owner’s electricity costs and increase network stability. As a further expansion stage in combination with a home storage unit, it is possible to achieve near complete energy independence and increased security of supply in the event of a blackout.

What sounds simple in theory requires a high level of technical intelligence and coordinated interaction between different technical components in terms of infrastructure and in the vehicle in practice. An Audi e-tron with near-series charging technology was used in the research project. In the test grid, the fully electric Audi model operated with a DC wall box, which enables a charging capacity of up to 12 kW, and a flexibly extendable home storage unit with a capacity of 9 kWh. While it could provide additional flexibility in possible series production, it is not a necessary requirement for bidirectional charging. Thanks to the DC voltage level in the overall grid, the connection between the PV system and the vehicle does not require an inverter and is thus a particularly efficient solution.
Charging with PV electricity saves money

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Posted By : Yogender Pancholi on Wed, 29 Jul 2020
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