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Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:25 pm
I've signed up for a pilot V2G scheme with Ovo. I recently moved to a place with off-street parking so it made sense to get the most modern (and potentially grid-balancing) tech as a home charger.
Unless anyone objects, I will keep this forum updated on my experience.
Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:47 am
Sounds good, I'm interested in this tech. Be good to hear your experiences.
Posted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:00 am
Sorry for delay in replying but progress has been slow, due to various site works required before charger can be installed- electrical bonding and ground works to get power from fusebox to the corner of the garden (these would be necessary even without V2G of course). We've also been getting a smart meter and emailing Kaluza (Ovo's V2G subcontractor) about the location of the ethernet hub etc. Due to our particular layout of fusebox, prospective charger site and ethernet hub, there is a fair amount of preparatory work to be done, mostly at our own cost (I think Ovo may pay ethernet costs).
These issues are more or less resolved and I am getting a site visit on 6th November to hopefully bring forward actual V2G installation.
In the mean time, Ovo have apparently responded to a muted response to V2G from EV owners by increasing their incentives. These now include paying punters a £75 cash startup fee at outset of the 2-year trial, and increasing the price paid for electricity exported by the car from 17p/kWh to 30p/kWh.
I gather that 24kWh Leaf V2G users have reported gaining around £40-50 per month by exporting electricity to the grid, since 30p/kWh pricing came in.
A lengthier discussion of all of this (by active V2G users - I haven't contributed) is available on Speakev. Best way to find the relevant threads is search for the word Kaluza.
Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:23 am
Forgive me If I misunderstand how this works, and I'm not judging but....
Does this mean that you are able to obtain a free charge from public chargers and then sell that charge back to the grid at home?
Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:44 pm
Chunkybuns - good question but the answer is basically no. The Ts and Cs I have signed up to clearly state:
* I have to use the V2G unit as my main charger
* I will be kicked off the scheme if I sell more to the grid than I buy back in any calendar month.
Obviously some use of other chargers (rapids, the occasional destination charge elsewhere) is inevitable but rampant buy-and-sell tactics would be a breach of Ts and Cs and would doubtless be picked up on by the energy company.
My V2G installation is booked for 11th December.
Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:19 pm
How did the installation go?
Posted: Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:05 pm
Sorry for the long delay in replying. The installation took ages and was finally completed in the last week of February 2020. In total, the work required to go from having no home charger to having a V2G installed included:
* getting the gas supply bonded/earthed.
* sending numerous emails and photographs to Ovo and its partners (Kaluza - subset of Ovo dealing with V2G? and Indra - independent contractor of Ovo supplying the electricians and hardware?) to clarify the layout and capacity of my home electricity supply and the location of proposed charger.
* since my charger was to be in the garage at the far end of the garden from the house, a couple of site visits to view where the cables would go etc. These actually took the form of "false starts" in that the electrician would be booked in to install the V2G unit, then would turn up and identify difficulties around cable length and the complexity of laying the cable from house to garage, then feed back to head office and book another date to actually install.
* fusebox upgrade work by the DNO (Scottish Power)
* fitting a smart meter to the domestic electricity
* changing electricity provider to Ovo, obviously.
This was finally installed in late February. All credit to the electrician: this took place during the worst weather of the stormy patch (hailstones, extreme heavy rain, the lot - I even had a flooded basement and he was working in that at one point. After a bit of troubleshooting to get the unit to connect to the internet, I was up and running.
Since late Feb, I have had a nominally functional V2G unit through Ovo/Kaluza (subset of Ovo dealing with V2G?)/Indra renewable energy (independent contractor of Ovo supplying the electricians and hardware?). Observations:
* I have a Leaf24 and I have set the unit to work on a V2G basis between 25-95% of the car's battery. However in practice, the V2G Chademo unit plays safe with my battery capacity and it seems to only work between about 20% and 70% of the car's battery. I have a maximum usable car battery of 19.5kWh or so but the V2G unit appears to underestimate this, inputting and taking out only about 9kWh per day, maximum. An associated issue is that, if I ask the charger to charge my car to full, it cuts out at about 70% of final battery. This is not ideal at the start of a long journey but is fine for daily purposes.
* Perhaps due to long cable length in my installation, about 1kWh per day is used up by the system itself. I gather however that software updates will reduce this amount as the developers are working on a "deep sleep" mode equivalent to putting the system into standby for long periods when neither charging/discharging.
* Typical daily usage if the car is left in the driveway all day is perhaps 9-10kWh input, 1kWh usage and 8kWh sold back to the grid. The sell-back mostly takes place between 4pm and 10pm and occasionally at breakfast time (7am-10am roughly). However the car can charge/discharge at any time of day or night and it often does so just for a few minutes at a time. I think this is called "grid balancing" and I assume it is of some use to the electricity network even though the cost/benefit of a few minutes to the EV owner is minimal.
* I am selling electricity to Ovo at 30p/kWh and buying back at 17p/kWh. Allowing for some inefficiency (1kWh/day running), this makes a modest profit of no more than £1 per day if the car is plugged in all day. In practice, it means that the car is charging on a free/cost neutral basis but any dreams of significant profit are best set aside. I assume that drivers of Leafs with bigger batteries would sell/buy far more electricity from the grid and could potentially see a significant profit (I've heard of perhaps £100/month for those with 40kWh and 62kWh Leafs on the SpeakEV forum).
* However the V2G unit crashes frequently and requires rebooting at these times. The charger does work as a home charger but it seems the online V2G function is the bit which causes the technology to fail frequently. It is clear the software still requires a lot of refinement. The developers have acknowledged this and are constantly announcing new fixes for various faults.
* The above has all been delivered to me at zero cost except for the cost of bonding the gas supply, which is the only cost I bore myself. The rest was fully funded by Ovo and whoever else (govt) has subsidised the scheme. This is really welcome. I do not have the money to install solar panels therefore I welcomed the chance to play my part in "greening the grid" without finding a significant sum for home renewables. You can of course do both, and I gather many V2G users do have home solar.
Overall, I am happy with the unit and happy to be part of a trial of an exciting new technology that will help to phase out coal and perhaps eventually all fossil fuels from the grid. I would recommend the charger to anyone provided that they can live with the caveats above which should eventually be ironed out as the technology develops.