The technological applications in our daily lives are increasing at a rapid pace. You can use your smartphone to turn up the heat, there are tests with self-driving cars, artificial intelligence (AI) takes care of deepfakes and your google results, and citizen science is a new source of data next to the ubiquitous big data. In other words, technology can support a better, healthier and more sustainable environment. And this for the individual as well as globally. The connecting role of technology is coming to the foreground, blurring our artificial boundaries. One example of this is vehicle-to-grid, or V2G.
Energy must move
For its new office in Zelzate, Sweco is using the unique vehicle-to-grid system. To this end, it is joining forces with the technology companies ABB and Yuso.
Companies are increasingly opting for an electric fleet and private individuals are also gradually finding their way to the electric car. But all that stored energy in the batteries is sometimes parked out of action somewhere. You can compare it to a car with one occupant, while there is room for five. According to the Flemish government, the share of electric cars will be 4.07% of all new registrations in 2020. In that year, the increase in the share of environmentally friendly cars was mainly due to the sale of electric vehicles.
In two directions
Vehicle-to-grid refers to a type of charging station that works bi-directionally. So the car can be charged classically but also be discharged by the station. While discharging, the energy from the battery can be sent back to the grid or to the office, for your laptop or server cooling. By using a small part of every battery that is at the office, the car owner is not bothered by it, but you can use the energy more efficiently for the office. A stationary car does not require any energy. This enables us to use the battery as part of the energy system.
In this way, the boundary between the building, the energy production systems (e.g. solar panels), the charging infrastructure and the car is removed. The renewable energy produced is used to the maximum and we don’t need to buy electricity from the grid. This avoids investments in additional connection capacity for charging electric cars and also minimises electricity consumption.
Want to know more? You will find more information about ‘Technology for People’ here and some interesting projects.