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The FRED Project: Flexibly-Responsive Energy Delivery

Demonstrating the power of the Smart Power Platform

We’re excited to be showcasing our technology through The FRED Trial. The trial’s aim is to demonstrate the real-world potential of our Virtual Power Plant platform to orchestrate domestic heating and vehicle charging, showing that the platform makes it easy for consumers to be flexible with their energy consumption. The project is being funded by the government as a winner of the BEIS domestic demand-side response competition.

Over the course of 2019 and 2020 we will be working to demonstrate how our VPP unlocks flexibility in our energy system today. In particular, we will be working with over two hundred myenergi customers to explore how best to reward them for being more flexible in how they use energy at home.

This trial is particularly promising because of the immediate potential to scale up positive results. With next-generation electric vehicles coming on to the market and affordability increasing all the time, we expect the importance of managed domestic smart charging for electric vehicles to grow and grow, too.

Evergreen Smart Power's VPP and demo kit on display in the Manchester office

Our Manchester offices with our VPP demonstration kit. The laptop shows early FRED data.

What’s been happening so far

The data coming from the trial has given us unprecedented insight into how (and why) people like to charge their cars. One reason the zappi is such a popular electric car charger is the fine control it affords its users, and we’ve observed myriad different charging strategies so far – each understandable in its own way.

Factors affecting someone’s charging strategy include:

  • Whether they have solar panels
  • What energy tariff they are on
  • Whether they have a storage battery at home
  • Whether they have a Tesla with a 300-mile range or a PHEV with a 35-mile range
  • Whether they commute or are at home during the day
  • How many cars they have

One thing we’ve particularly noticed is that without intelligent control the way people consume energy is very “lumpy”. The day has distinct peaks and troughs in EV energy demand. At some times dozens of cars are all consuming energy at the same time. At others there is hardly any demand. At certain times of the night lots of cars start charging all together simultaneously, which would cause serious grid issues if scaled up.

With Evergreen Smart Power’s VPP software, we can smooth out the rate of charging across thousands of vehicles, helping electric cars make the most of the clean energy generation on the grid.

Our project partners