Uniper is researching Bidirectional Charging Management for Electric Vehicles

  • The project is aiming to efficiently interlink electric vehicles, charging infrastructure and the energy system
  • Support of the interdisciplinary research project "BDL" of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy
  • Efficient use of renewables in electromobility while increasing power supply reliability

Uniper has joined the “Bidirectional Charging Management – BDL (Bidirektionales Lademanagement)” research project, which was launched in early November. As part of the project, companies and institutions from the automotive, energy and scientific sectors will work together to develop technological solutions that make electromobility even more convenient, cost effective and low in emissions for users. The objective of the interdisciplinary project partners is to employ an unprecedented holistic approach in order to interlink vehicles, charging infrastructure and power grids in a way that facilitates the widest possible use of renewables, while also increasing power supply reliability. The research project will run for three years with the support of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. Testing of the first 50 cars equipped with bidirectional charging technology (i.e. capable of feeding back power) is expected to start under everyday real-world conditions in early 2021.

Not only will electric vehicles with bidirectional charging capability be able to draw electrical power for their high-voltage battery when plugged into a compatible charging station or wallbox, they will also be able to reverse this process and feed energy back into the power grid. This will effectively turn the batteries of the electric vehicles into mobile energy storage devices that can also supply power when required, thus stabilizing the power supply system. Integrating as many electric vehicles as possible into the power grid in this way calls for innovations in terms of vehicle technology, charging hardware, charging management, communication interfaces with electricity providers and also with regards to the legal requirements. Bringing about these advances is the task of this research project, in which Uniper will be participating through the Research Center for Energy Economics (FfE). Within the framework of the research project BDL, the FfE will be focusing on questions relating to practical applications, the simulation of network loads in the distribution network and measurement concepts and data evaluation for the field test.

Uniper Project Manager Dr. Christian Folke: “Uniper is working on solutions at a variety of levels that make renewables more marketable and also increase power supply reliability. We are primarily looking at projects that deal with the effects and possibilities of digitalization and automation in an increasingly decentralized energy landscape. Our main focus here is on the flexibility of the energy system, which is often still lacking today. Technologies such as Power-to-X in the heat and electricity markets are extremely important for the breakthrough of renewable energies. The BDL project is essentially working on a storage solution and can provide us with new insights into how electromobility, which is mainly used in a decentralized manner, can be combined with an increase in grid and supply stability in the area. This could lead to highly flexible solutions that are able to dispute objections that still exist today regarding the risks that electromobility poses to the system as a whole, and in doing so, give renewables a boost”.

About the research project "Bidirectional charge management – BDL”
The innovation project "Bidirectional Charging Management - BDL" pursues the objective of developing and testing a holistic, user-oriented offer for the integration of electric vehicles into the energy system in Germany. Electric vehicles that can be regenerated can be used for network purposes by optimizing the absorption of energy from renewable sources into the public electricity network and at the same time keeping it stable. In addition to appropriate user-friendly technological solutions, this requires an intelligent interaction of vehicles, charging infrastructure and power grids. The interdisciplinary project partners from the automotive industry, the energy industry and science are developing holistic solutions for this.

In addition to the consortium leader BMW Group, the partners are KOSTAL Industrie Elektrik GmbH, TenneT, Bayernwerk Netz GmbH, Forschungsstelle für Energiewirtschaft e.V. (Research Centre for the Energy Industry) and the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. (FfE), Forschungsgesellschaft für Energiewirtschaft mbH, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the University of Passau. The innovation project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is responsible for the three-year pilot project.

About Uniper

Uniper is a leading international energy company with activities in more than 40 countries and around 11,000 employees globally. Its business is the secure provision of energy and related services. Its main activities include power generation in Europe and Russia as well as global energy trading. The company is headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Uniper SE Management and other information currently available to Uniper. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. Uniper SE does not intend, and does not assume any liability whatsoever, to update these forward-looking statements or to modify them to conform with future events or developments.