Loughborough ‘Living Lab’

This operational pilot is the smallest in the range of applications, demonstrating the added value of Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) and additional storage for optimised energy generation and consumption in households.

A single household was progressively equipped with ‘smart’ technologies, beginning with solar panels and an electric vehicle and later adding stationary battery storage and a bespoke V2G charging unit. The incremental addition of smart technologies has enabled the true impact and value of each to be assessed both individually and in combination, giving a better idea of how the technologies interact and whether they compete or complement each other. This will enable future home owners to identify the best technology combinations to meet their needs.

The V2G unit originally used was a research prototype, which allowed insights to be gained that supported the future development of commercially-available domestic V2G units.  While the EV was parked at home, the V2G unit enabled the vehicle to charge using excess solar generation and return the power to the home when it was required.  As a result, it was expected that the distance traveled by the EV using zero-emission PV generation would increase – our analysis shows that it did by 5%

Unfortunately, the prototype stopped working and the Cenex employee had to move house.  Consequently, a new stage of the Operational Pilot (“Loughborough phase 2”) was devised.  In early 2020, a new house was equipped with solar PV, battery storage and a commercially-available V2G unit.

The house in question is the home of “Terrence” and his family.  Terrence is an employee at Cenex, which has allowed the system to be monitored and tested more readily than with in a normal commercial trial.

Overall, this ‘Living Lab’ experiment in both homes has enable the trialing of cutting-edge systems in a safe, monitored environment, while also allowing collection of high-quality data which will be invaluable in the future deployment of domestic V2G systems.