The main objective of the project “Integration of low emission vehicles with the electric distribution grid” is to estimate and further develop basic possibilities for energy supply by means of rechargeable batteries in alternative automotive concepts such as hybrid vehicles, fuel cell cars, electric vehicles with the inclusion of intelligent communication systems (intelligent energy systems) for Austria.
The increasing environmental problems caused by rising CO2 emissions in the transport sector and the increasing dependency on oil imports from politically unstable regions combined with peak oil consumption leads to rapidly growing markets in the area of alternative automotive concepts for motor vehicles. A study by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 2004 estimates that the world’s oil demand for the transport sector will double between the years 2000 and 2030 if we continue this way. It is clear that there are market transformations that will result into new alternative automotive concepts to the production stage.
Many of these new automotive technologies require electrical energy from the electrical network to charge their batteries, which could, of course, further strain the already tight production capacities of the electrical system. In contrast, preliminary investigations show that these new technologies have the possibility to defuse the situation. Intelligent communication between the vehicle and the electrical system (network operators, generators) can be used to deliver power to the grid at peak load times (in the grid), thus relieving the grid and generation capacities. This fact will directly increase the economic benefits for Austria. The reason is simple in the use of private vehicles; About 20 hours per day is a private car in a parking lot or in a garage. These decentralized energy storage capacities could be used for valuable peak load coverage and charged at low cost (at least partially) cheaply. The new decentralized resources can be used to optimize the electrical power supply and its costs. In contrast to the conventional energy system, where power stations are always generating units and consumers are the units of consumption, this system is capable of acting as a consumer or a producer. Thus, this system represents an extension of the conventional storage technologies, which are not applicable everywhere.
Furthermore, the technical possibility of using vehicles as electricity storage is examined on the basis of today’s technical conditions in order to provide a basis for the assessment of future development possibilities.
In this project, we will investigate all alternative automotive technologies that use rechargeable batteries in any form in the car and thus represent a decentralized distribution of electrical energy or a power reserve:
We examine in detail a) Hybrid drives (combustion engines operated with petrol or diesel) with external battery charging function, so-called E-hybrids, b) Fuel cell cars and c) Pure electric drives.
In this project, a holistic approach is chosen and the drive technologies “only” represent a work package from 8 in total. It covers the entire chain of effects from the technology related to the consumer up to the technology of the vehicle Grid system and the effects on the entire energy system and the economy as well as ecology.
The aim of this project is thus to examine all the necessary conditions that improve the energy supply situation in Austria. Key aspects include the assessment of legal, technical, social barriers and the development of a market concept to motivate the relevant players, such as consumers and energy suppliers, to implement such a system. This project will enable us to estimate how this system positively affects the Austrian electrical power supply system and what form of intelligent communication is necessary for the customer to adopt such a system. Further, it is the declared goal of this project to implement the results in a successor project (prototype) and to demonstrate the advantages of this system in practice.