VIGIL press release

March 2018

Aston University’s European Bioenergy Research Institute, the Power Electronics, Machines and Power System Group and a consortium of industrial partners (Nortech Management, Grid Edge, and ByteSnap Design) have been awarded a two-year collaborative project VIGIL (Vehicle-to-Grid Intelligent Control) under a Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) competition, funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in partnership with Innovate UK. The grant will support Aston’s leading research in V2G technologies.

The aim of project VIGIL is to develop a new communication and control platform for Vehicle-to-Grid/Building (V2G/V2B) systems: an off-vehicle system that controls how, when and the rate at which electric vehicle batteries are charged/discharged with respect to local substation constraints and the EV/building energy requirements. A communications adaptor will be developed to ensure the flexibility and interoperability of the VIGIL platform with different manufacturer’s V2G charge-points; and a V2G mobile application will be delivered together with an optimised building management system.

In January 2018, OLEV and BEIS announced that 21 projects (8 feasibility studies, 5 collaborative research and development projects, and 8 real-world v2g trial projects) were to receive funding of c£30m to develop the business proposition and core technology around V2G, and demonstrate those with large-scale trials. The projects involve more than 50 industrial partners and research organisations from both the Energy and Automotive sector, marking the largest and most diverse activities on V2G in the world, and trialling more than 2700 vehicles across the UK.

The V2G projects represent a significant step towards the transition to a low-carbon transportation and a smart energy system. Allowing EVs to return energy to the Power Grid when parked and plugged for charging, will increase Grid resilience, allow for better exploitation of renewable sources and lower the cost of ownership for EV owners, leading to new business opportunities and clear advantages for EV users and energy consumers.

The project team at Aston will investigate a prediction model for EV battery-life performance considering factors such as State-of-Charge, State-of-Health, Charging-speed, Depth-of-Discharge, and remaining energy capacity. Power quality issues for different V2G/network scenarios will also be investigated with research findings disseminated to industry and academia.