Expanding electromobility and the necessary charging infrastructure is one of the key goals of the European Union. In this respect, rapid charging and the stability of the power grid are the main topics. The concepts for achieving this require comprehensive data with which the effects on the stability of the power grid, on sustainability and the potential for optimisation can be assessed. As very little research has been completed on this topic to date, however, the data basis is very limited. This is where the new “Open Mobility Electric Infrastructure (OMEI)” research project, led by Landshut University of Applied Sciences, is stepping in. The project team, which consists of ten institutions and businesses, intends to create a freely-available data basis to plan a sustainable, regional charging infrastructure and to evaluate concepts for the intelligent use of e-vehicles. Building on this, the consortium is also developing optimum ecological, economic and technical solutions for charging infrastructures in the European transport network which combine regional sources of renewable energy with the sustainable storage of energy. The consortium therefore intends to create a data-based concept transferable to Europe on how electric mobility can be expanded in a sustainable and cost-effective way. The German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport is supporting the project with total funding of 4.2 million euros.
A strain on the European transport networks
“The necessary expansion of the electrical charging infrastructure is placing an enormous strain on the European transport and power grids,” explains project manager Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Pettinger, Scientific Director of the Energy Technology Centre (TZE) at Landshut University of Applied Sciences. “To meet the demand for electricity, we require rapid charging systems on the main transport routes throughout Europe.” Such an expansion of the grid would be very resource-intensive, however. It is therefore important to create sustainable charging infrastructures that are power-grid-friendly and to use more regional renewable sources of energy.
Intelligent charging infrastructure with the use of AI
As a first step, the researchers therefore want to gather data on charging, users, energy and traffic to determine the effects of a smart charging infrastructure on the energy transition. For this purpose, the team is setting up demonstration facilities in two model regions along a major European transport route (along the A3 motorway, for example), which combine a rapid charging station with a hybrid energy storage system. This would enable a greater amount of regional energy to be used for charging e-cars, with the energy storage system serving as a power buffer. This would place less strain on the European power grid and save costs with the expansion of the supra-regional charging infrastructure. The team is also planning a third system for end consumers which functions on a bidirectional basis, i.e. which allows e-cars to be charged and discharged. “With this vehicle-to-home variant, we want to use the potential of the available storage capacities of stationary vehicles, and therefore develop grid-based charging or discharging scenarios with the use of artificial intelligence,” explains Pettinger. The goal of the team is to ultimately present a holistic concept for a sustainable charging infrastructure with the use of these two approaches.
Raising the profile of the topic at the social level
On this basis, the scientists are using the data that they have gathered to create simulation models in the interests of developing and optimising location-independent and cost-effective operating strategies. The generated data is ultimately made accessible via open data portals. The consortium also wants to raise the profile of the topic at the social level through active citizen participation so as to create acceptance for the necessary changes. The results are therefore being published on a transparent basis in a user app.
Close collaboration between the project partners
To ensure that they can implement the project as planned, the project partners are working together very closely: while the battery manufacturers JB and FENECON and the charging station operator MER are responsible for the construction and operation of the energy storage systems and rapid charging stations, the TZE is collaborating with HEITEC to develop the system concept and the operating strategies for the charging infrastructure and energy storage systems. Together with the University of Passau, the TZE is also responsible for the simulation models and is putting the vehicle-to-home applications to the test. With the coordination of the technical requirements, the company Technagon is developing a bidirectional wall-box for vehicle-to-home applications. TZE, IL and Technagon are validating and testing this application at the respective locations and on the test vehicles. On the basis of grid and smart meter data provided by EVG, these operating strategies are being validated and optimised for V2G applications. Finally, the consortium will develop an operating concept for vehicle storage systems (V2G/V2H).
Sustainable supply of energy for e-mobility
The project ultimately aims to help to expand electromobility, prevent the overload of the power grid and enable citizens to use electrical vehicles in a sustainable way. “We believe it is important to ensure a sustainable supply of energy for electromobility”, explains Pettinger, “in this way, we can lower the CO2 balance of each e-vehicle.”
About the project
The Open Mobility Electric Infrastructure (OMEI) project will run until the end of 2024 and is being carried out by Landshut University of Applied Sciences in collaboration with nine partners. The project is being managed by Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Pettinger, Scientific Director of Landshut University of Applied Sciences Energy Technology Centre. The German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport is supporting the project with almost 4.8 million euros.
Open Mobility Electric Infrastructure (OMEI)
01/01/2022 to 31/12/2024
Landshut University of Applied Sciences: Energy Technology Centre, Prof. Karl-Heinz Pettinger (TZE)
University of Passau: Chair for Distributed Information Systems, Prof. Harald Kosch (UP)
University of Passau: FORWISS, Prof. Tomas Sauer (UP)
Jena Batteries GmbH (JB)
Mer Germany GmbH (MER)
Ilzer Land e.V. (IL)
Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Pettinger (TZE), Landshut University of Applied Sciences
Artificial intelligence and digital innovations in mobility
Total project sum:
6.9 million euros
German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport