In the Electricity Bank research project we did investigate an innovative model intended to enhance own use of electricity from decentralised generation, especially private photovoltaics systems. Here, any excess electricity generated was stored in a central district storage facility and fed back into the grid when required. In practical trials, we were gathering experience with this model to enable us evaluate the approach.
Questions and answers about the Electricity Bank research project
The Electricity Bank project
Basically yes. Rather than cash, it is electricity that consumers "deposit" and "withdraw". During the field test, trading electrical energy within the quarter was among the simulated strategies.
The battery storage facility used for the practical trials has been positioned in a customary 20-foot freight container at an MVV Energie site in Rheinau-Süd. The dimensions of the container are around 6 by 2.5 by 2.9 meters (L/B/H). It weighs around 14 tonnes. As well as the actual battery storage facility and air-conditioning and protective technology, the container also includes the communications equipment to manage the charging and discharging processes at the storage facility.
The project consortium consisted of the consortium manager MVV Energie, the Mannheim-based grid operator Netrion, , the battery manufacturer ads-tec from Nürtingen and the University of Stuttgart. The project was financed by the Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector Baden-Württemberg within the BWPlus programme.
The Electricity Bank account
The Electricity Bank account is managed via an app that is installed on tablet computers. Like with online banking, participants could view their account balances and latest electricity flows. Thus, Strombank customers could closely follow their current account balance, see how much electricity their system is currently generating and check whether they are depositing or withdrawing electricity at any given time.
Yes, surplus electricity can also be sold. As soon as the account used in the practical trials was full and participants continued to generate surplus electricity, this surplus energy volume was supplied in a simulation to another district resident. The app presented the potential sales volumes and revenues.
The participants in our practical trials have been equipped with smart metering systems. These involve two smart electronic meters (one for electricity generation and one for electricity consumption) and a communications unit, comprising a router, gateway and a mobile radio antenna to transmit the encrypted measurement data. The measurement data serve as the basis for managing the storage facility and thus for determining the account balance. This information can be viewed via the Electricity Bank app.
Dr. Robert Thomann
Project Manager MVV Energie