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Evergreen: Electric vehicles and demand side response

For the UK’s to achieve the ambitious target of Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050, our energy system must become cleaner, smarter and more flexible.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committed up to £9.78 million of funding through the Flexibly-Responsive Energy Delivery (FRED) programme, to support innovative domestic Demand Side Response (DSR) demonstration projects.

Energy Systems Catapult is working with Evergreen Smart Powermyenergi, and Swansea University to understand the potential of DSR technology.

The Challenge

A more flexible energy system will help the UK to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050 at a lower cost.

Traditionally, electricity system flexibility was delivered on the ‘supply-side’, by power stations changing how much energy they generated to ensure supply always matched demand.

But with the increasing demand for clean but intermittent renewable energy from the wind and sun, continuing to rely on supply-side solutions alone would require massive amounts of new generation, grid-scale energy storage and increasing the capacity of the grid to distribute more electricity at times of peak demand – which would be prohibitively expensive.

New ways of delivering flexibility are emerging, using smart technologies to manage energy on the demand-side.

Demand-side response (DSR) uses digital platforms and smart controls to shift consumer demand away from times of peak energy consumption or to take advantage of times of excess renewable generation by working with smart technologies such energy storage, heat pumps and electric vehicles.

This flexibility allows energy to be used or stored when clean electricity supply is high and used later when supply is low – improving grid resilience and avoiding the cost increasing capacity, maximising the use of renewable energy and reducing consumers cost and carbon emissions.

The Innovation

The FRED trial is testing a digital platform developed by Evergreen Smart Power which integrates with smart technologies, such as electric vehicle charging or smart hot water tanks, to manage electricity demand in real time based on price signals from the electricity grid.

The Evergreen digital platform is running a trial with 250 households to test the value of demand-side response by controlling when electric vehicles are charged or water is heated. Aggregating many households together could create a “virtual power plant” that provides a flexibility service to the electricity network company, potentially rewarding consumers with reduced energy costs.

The Solution

Energy Systems Catapult is gathering insights about consumers’ expectations, understanding and experiences of this flexible approach to energy consumption.

The Evergreen platform works with myenergi’s zappi, a smart EV charger that can also use power from the electricity grid or from household solar panels (if consumers have them) to charge their electric vehicle.

zappi allows consumers to control how their car is charged. For example, by scheduling the vehicle to begin charging at a certain time of day or night, by specifying the number of kWh they want delivered to the car or the level of charge they want in the battery.

Energy Systems Catapult is supporting the FRED project by:

  • Consumer Insight – simplifying the proposition to ensure consumers can understand DSR during focus groups
  • Home Truths consumer panel – testing the appeal of various propositions with households
  • Improving the design – using blogs, calls and surveys to monitor the experience of trialists
  • Estimating market size – using a national survey to estimate mass market appeal.

The Outputs

Energy Systems Catapult gathered a range of insights about consumers’ expectations, understanding and experiences of this flexible approach to energy consumption.

Report

Living with managed charging for a year

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Report

Smart talking: Overcoming barriers to Demand Side Response

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Report

Demand Side Response: Putting consumers in the driving seat

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Report

Demand Side Response: What goes on behind the wheel?

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