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January 22, 2018

Audi starts Smart Energy Network pilot project

Audi Smart Energy Network is interacting with the power grid for the first time in a pilot project.

Audi Smart Energy Network is interacting with the power grid for the first time in a pilot project.

As part of the research, Audi is running a pilot with households in the Ingolstadt and Zurich regions in conjunction with other partners. This involves combining various sizes of photovoltaic systems with stationary storage batteries.

The control software by Zurich start-up, Ampard distributes the solar power based on current or plannable demand from car, household and heating systems.

A feature of the pilot project is it also interacts with the power grid: Using a built-in communication interface, all systems are interconnected to form a virtual power plant and constitute a smart grid.

The connected home storage devices can provide what is known as balancing power. In other words, they balance out the fluctuations between power generation and consumption, stabilising grid frequency by temporarily storing smaller amounts of energy in stationary units at short notice.

This optimises internal consumption: Operators of photovoltaic systems increase their proportion of own-use solar power while cutting their power procurement costs.

“We are looking at electric mobility in the context of an overall energy supply system that is increasingly based on renewables,” said Audi head of Sustainable Product Concepts, Hagen Seifert.

“We are playing a pioneering role with the prequalification of the balancing-power market – enabling producers to feed power into the grid as part of the pilot project. That is now for the first time also possible down at the level of individual households, which helps balance the entire power grid.”

Audi is also looking at services which extend beyond the car as a product. One important aspect is the interrelationship between all those areas of life where the car meshes with a connected environment.

There is particular focus on services which involve interaction between car and environment. 

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