Energy scientists at the University of Salford are testing vehicle-to-grid technology, which could enable electric cars to help power people’s homes and deliver electricity back to the smart grid.
At the university’s Energy House, experts will carry out a feasibility study to help establish how the idea might work in practice.
The team will be working with Honda, which is supplying the first charging point of its kind in the UK, together with Good Energy and Salford-based Upside Energy, which runs a cloud service to aggregate energy stored by homes and businesses.
Upside has created a Virtual Energy Store that sells to the grid and shares the revenue with device owners and manufacturers.
However, in order for the technology to be optimised, a much clearer view of the market is needed.
“It’s not as simple as drawing on the car battery when you need it because there are so many variables such as the weather, household activity, and so on,” explained Will Swan, professor of building energy performance at the University of Salford.
“In terms of energy efficiency, we know that renewables are problematic because they don’t always generate power when [we] want it. Hence storage options are increasingly important.
“We can look at the car or other vehicle as both a battery and a storage tool, but we need to understand better how all these elements relate.”
Neil Jones, programme manager at Upside Energy, added: “These tests at a single house level will help us establish a baseline of data which could be scaled up to hundreds if not thousands of homes and vehicles and start to identify what services can be offered to householders and the grid in the future.”