Aston’s European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) is developing new grid balancing technologies to provide sustainable power

About 

EBRI's groundbreaking research on the next generation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure will change the power delivery paradigm, allowing power to flow both in the traditional way (grid to vehicle) and in reverse (vehicle to grid). 

This new energy management technology, developed in Japan to improve electricity supply reliability in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, is being investigated in collaboration with our leading industry partners as an alternative method for energy storage and grid balancing services in Europe. 

Why Vehicle-to-Grid? 

Vehicle-to-Grid technology (V2G), when combined with smarter electric vehicle infrastructure, will unlock new grid balancing services to the country's electricity system. This is an essential ability when demand is in danger of outstripping supply. In these circumstances, smart V2G units switch from storing to discharging power, acting instead as generators to cope with the demand side of the supply-demand balance. 

The flexibility of V2G technology is also key to successfully integrating renewables into the power grid in the long term. Renewables are by their nature less predictable, so the ability to store and discharge energy when needed is vital. In the absence of V2G technology, short-term power delivery falls back on expensive and traditional fossil-fuel-based backups.  

The European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) has its own V2G charging system and is connected to EBRI's private wire switched micro-grid. To ensure the system works effectively, EBRI's intelligent power delivery algorithm performs balancing optimisations in real-time to control when the charging station consumes and returns power to our network. 

Our project data helps to support industry partners in creating new and improved models for how this new technology can scale up and benefit the UK as a whole. 

Why EBRI? 

We aim to improve our energy system's robustness and sustainability by providing an offering that combines technology with a service. EBRI is investing heavily in Vehicle-to-Grid power delivery. This technology could cut back on the need for standby power generation from fossil fuels while creating new market opportunities. Non-dispatchable renewables and new revenue streams, such as for electric vehicle owners (EV) who charge infrastructure, are just some of the exciting opportunities on offer. 

Multimillion pound research awards have resulted in a campus wide demonstration of vehicle and control technology, a national innovation award and the creation of a spinout company to exploit the benefits for society.  

Grid Edge UK 

EBRI is working with Cenex Ltd to deliver the vehicle to grid system and investigate the various business models associated with V2G and intelligent EV charging. If you are interested in the research conducted at EBRI or would like to collaborate on further research within this area, please contact bioenergy@aston.ac.uk

People and Contact

We welcome collaboration opportunities with academia, government bodies and industry from around the world.

To contact us, email the EBRI Business Support Team, visit Bioenergy for Business or call us on 0121 204 3383. 

Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI)

Aston University 

Aston Triangle 

Birmingham 

B4 7ET