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May 4, 2020

Congestion Management - a prerequisite for sustainability?

Energy solutions
Grid congestion is increasing. It causes significant bottlenecks in utilising variable renewable production and electrifying our society. But smartly controlled EVs can offer a solution on multiple levels from an individual parking site to an area level. Thus, EVs make it possible to avoid or delay big renovations and investments in the critical grid infrastructure.
 
"With Congestion Management it is possible to save the grid, save money and charge with green energy. "

Slowing down climate change is a global mission with critical importance. All sectors need to work together to solve it. As we all know, addressing issues in the energy and transportation industries will play a key role in mitigating climate change. 

There seems to be consensus on how to tackle the challenge. The solution has three pillars and electric vehicles combined with smart charging has a big role in all of them. 

The major solution is to electrify everything, meaning, more electric vehicles in traffic and more heat pumps used for heating. At the same time renewable electricity production is increasing all around the world. It has also become the cheapest way to produce electricity.

3pillars-ClimateChange-RGB

However, congestion in the grid may limit the use and production of renewable electricity. As an example, the major German transmission system operator TenneT spent more than one billion euros in 2018 to stabilise the grid and to compensate wind producers that took wind turbines off the grid.

Similar challenges also occur when there is heavy consumption compared to the existing network capacity. This causes both limitations and incentives for optimising electricity use. It is crucial to take this into account, especially when electricity consumption and power demand increases.

 

Electric vehicles are the key to grid balancing

The electrical grid at distribution level (for example at a city level) might get congested due to electrification if control solutions are not considered and orchestrated with smart solutions in the wider areas. 

This might require heavy investments for the grid and transformers. However, it can be avoided or at least delayed for long periods, saving a lot of unnecessary costs.

With growing amounts of local renewables, such as solar power, there have been problems at certain time periods: When the sun is shining, but the consumption is low, there is excess electricity fed back to the grid that is causing congestion.

This has led to regulations of feeding back electricity to the grid from households in many countries. It is simply a waste of green energy.

Electric vehicles are a great solution to these challenges because charging power can be controlled rapidly. This enables the installation of more charging stations to each site as well as more chargers in wider areas.

The solution is called Congestion Management. Congestion Management enables charging network operators to schedule charging to happen when it is most convenient. In other words, electric vehicles are charged always at the right time.

With Congestion Management feature charging power can be set to a minimum/desired charging power for different time frames in defined areas.

Congestion Management can be combined with Virta Dynamic Load Management (among our other energy solutions) that optimises consumption on site level. Virta Congestion Management is available globally for all our charging devices.

Save the grid, save money and charge with green energy.

 

Congestion Management in practice

In places where the grid has capacity constraints, installing charging stations may increase risks and face prohibitions. The same applies to areas with a high share of variable renewable energy production and weak interconnections. The before mentioned scenarios may pose dynamic constraints for charging electric vehicles.

 

Congestion Management can help you..
  • Enable EV charging in all locations

  • Expand your EV charging business while adhering to your local requirements

  • Enhance user experience by improving reliability and efficiency of your grid – allowing your users to always charge

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