Car maker Audi launches its ‘intelligent energy network’ pilot

Posted: January 22, 2018 by oldbrew in Energy, innovation, News, Travel
Tags: , ,

We don’t normally do press releases at the Talkshop, but this one might be interesting if we can work out what it really means. The fact that they refer to grid stability implies it’s an issue in Germany at least.

Automobile, home and power supply combined to form an intelligent energy network: In a pilot project the Audi Smart Energy Network for the first time interacts with the power grid.

This marks a major advance for grid stability, claims Audi’s press release.

As part of a research project, Audi is running a pilot project with households in the Ingolstadt area and the Zurich region in conjunction with other partners.

This involves combining various sizes of photovoltaic systems with stationary storage batteries. The control software by the Zurich start-up company Ampard distributes the solar power intelligently based on the current or plannable demand from car, household and heating system.

A unique feature of the pilot project is that it also interacts with the power grid: Over 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, and stabilize the grid frequency by temporarily storing smaller amounts of energy in stationary units at short notice. This optimizes 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. We are playing a pioneering role with the pre-qualification 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,” remarked Dr. Hagen Seifert, Head of Sustainable Product Concepts at Audi.

Audi’s press release: Audi Smart Energy Network pilot project: eco-electricity intelligently managed

  1. In other words, you get in your car to go to work in the morning, and find out all its juice has been siphoned off

  2. oldbrew says:

    Well, they’re trialling it in Ingolstadt where Audis are made so they might have a few late arrivals 😉

  3. ivan says:

    They have to be connected to the grid otherwise at night and during cloudy days they wouldn’t have any electricity to do anything, batteries not withstanding.

    Obviously marketing at Audi has been drinking the green koolaide and convinced the green leaning management to part with rather large amounts of money to ‘follow the dream’ of the green EU.

    The problem is that without something to supply base load power they are going to be out of luck and industry will shut down – too bad, so sad. But then that is what the greens are aiming for.

  4. So, they are going to balance the power grid by adding even more complications. Good luck with that.

    This will help drive up the cost of electricity and help make a lot of people rich and a lot more people go without electricity because they really can’t afford the necessary equipment to take part or electricity at the going rate. On an average, designed for day, it might work ok, but on any extreme day or night, most likely forget it. Oops, I forgot, they are going to control the climate and eliminate the extreme days and nights.

    Alex Pope

  5. Adam Gallon says:

    As has been predicted, EV’s are just to be used as batteries to back up an increasingly unreliable grid, as more renewables are added to it.

  6. daver says:

    Used to run an Audi 80E 2.0l – a G reg. Even without quattro you could confidently stick it into corners on Toyo Proxes. Always wanted a 90…

    It’s great to see Scotland currently exporting near total national demand to south of the border meaning we all pick up the 100% jack-up costs over the last decade. What a nice return.

    Meanwhile, future Scottish electricity production is gov programmed to zero nuclear, non fossil and utterly reliant on weather patterns, biomass and interconnector cables – all this from a truly flipped Scots politiktariat dedicated to reduce contributory emissions measuring 0.0003degC.

    Good luck to Ineos in their legal battle

  7. stpaulchuck says:

    “In other words, they balance out the fluctuations between power generation and consumption,”
    ha ha ha ha ha

    so your $80,000 Audi Pious will be turned into a battery for the incompetent green grid. And I guess if you actually want to drive it you’ll have to get permission to disconnect from the grid, always assuming it got a charge back up to operating level. [*rolls on floor laughing*]

  8. oldbrew says:

    What’s the plan for when interconnector says ‘no’ :/

    Load shedding probably…

  9. oldbrew says:

    Nissan intends to alliance with companies that supply power globally to develop virtual power plants using electric vehicles.

  10. Bloke down the pub says:

    Battery life is limited by the number of cycles of charging it goes through. If this system increases the number of cycles by nicking power to keep the grid going, then the expensive batteries will need replacing more frequently.

  11. oldbrew says:

    Bloke – that’s another reason to lease not buy an EV (for those few who want them).

    Why early EV adopters prefer leasing — by far
    January 3, 2018

    The lopsided consumer preference for leases is fueled by the meager demand for battery-powered vehicles on the used-vehicle market. Partly this is a consequence of public policy meant to spur electric vehicle adoptions: buyers of pre-owned cars can’t grab thousands of dollars in federal and state incentives.

    The high lease rate is also fueled by the bet Jablansky and others like him are making that upcoming models will far exceed today’s in value and capabilities. “When there’s new technology coming out, and it’s coming out so rapidly, and you’re improving on it so constantly, typically people only want to lease it,” Steve Center, a vice president of American Honda, said in an interview at the 2017 New York Auto Show.

  12. dscott says:

    You mean Audi is entering the Power Wall market one car at a time? Competition to Elon Musk.

    Can these people be anymore stupid? How much power is consumed by battery storage and discharge???? Idiots, morons, nincompoops… You must sacrifice energy production efficiency to gain grid stability.

  13. dscott says:

    It takes a converter to make AC from the grid into DC for the battery, and an inverter to change DC from the battery to AC for the grid. That consumes lots of power.

  14. oldbrew says:

    dscott – anyone with a home solar system will already have an inverter anyway, unless it’s off-grid.

    The inverter would probably wear out faster if it’s workload was increased 😐

    People who buy VWs in drag i.e. Audis maybe don’t worry about whether it makes any economic sense or not?

  15. Bitter@twisted says:

    Don’t bother reading any further. It is a scam.

  16. oldbrew says:

    Research determines integration of plug-in electric vehicles should play a big role in future electric system planning
    January 23, 2018, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

    An influx of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) charging without coordination could prove challenging to the nation’s electric grid, according to research conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

    Read more at:

  17. dscott says:

    oldbrew says:
    January 23, 2018 at 6:40 pm
    dscott – anyone with a home solar system will already have an inverter anyway, unless it’s off-grid.

    What’s the percentage of home owners with a home solar system? What percentage of that group has battery storage?

    Well then, only people who have an existing home solar system should be allowed to buy an electric car. Let them waste their own electricity and not mine. That waste must be made up by charging all the customers even more for the remaining electricity.

    BTW – Unless the car charger is direct DC (from your home battery storage) to DC (car batteries) and not the standard 240V AC charger station (level 2) that is then converted to DC via the car’s electronics, this is a huge waste of electricity due to conversion losses. (Charge Station FYI – level 1 is 120VAC, level 3 is 500VAC) Most home solar systems don’t have battery storage (DC), they just send the excess electricity at any given moment to the Utility in the form of AC current via the inverter. Remember, the PV panel creates DC electricity which then must be inverted to create AC electricity for the home or to be sent to the utility. This conversion process is only side stepped when there is battery storage available to store the DC electricity for future use which is normally inverted to AC when needed for the home. But are there DC charge stations???? And could a standard charging configuration accept DC voltage