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Porsche Tested the Taycan as a Power Buffer: This Is What That Means
Porsche has completed a trial using stock Taycan models that have been operated in vehicle-to-grid applications. In other words, someone could use a Porsche Taycan to feed electricity back into the power grid if they desire or require doing so. Porsche says it can also be used for balancing power.

Porsche Tested the Taycan as a Power Buffer: This Is What That Means

Porsche Home Energy ManagerEV chargersEV chargersPorsche Taycan vehicles plugged in for chargingPorsche Taycan Battery
The latter is the main idea that Porsche has focused on, which is using a broader pool of vehicles to act as a backup power plant to balance power fluctuations. The idea is that a system like this could be deployed sometime in the future to prevent blackouts. It can also work to prevent extreme strain on the power grid.

Porsche's engineers teamed up with Transnet, a grid operator, along with Intelligent Energy System Services, a consulting firm, to perform a realistic pilot test. The latter was done in both lab conditions and in a domestic environment. All tests involved a Porsche Home Energy Manager, which had its software adapted to allow such tests.

In case you are unfamiliar with equipment meant for EVs, or this one from Porsche, no worries, as we will explain what it does. The Porsche Home Energy Manager is a device that links up with the electric vehicle and the building's electrical system. From there, it helps the vehicle manage its charging while the connection is protected from overloading.

In other words, this device is an additional safeguard, which is on top of what the electric vehicle already has onboard to protect its systems and prevent it from doing anything wrong to an electrical plug. It enables faster charging when the grid allows it but also lets manages the charging power constantly to prevent the vehicle from "asking" too much from the connection.

For this test, the engineers have modified certain software parameters in the Wi-Fi-enabled device to allow it to send energy back into the grid when required.

Such a function could work with a private photovoltaic system, which involves a grid of solar panels installed on a home, but it could also work with a regular home that is just connected to the grid and has a smart energy meter. The latter is essential for allowing two-way circulation of electricity, where the user sends power back into a grid, not just receives it and gets a bill at the end of the month.

Users who have their photovoltaic system, which involves an array of solar panels on a home, but no storage facility for the extra energy generated, could theoretically use their electric vehicle's batteries as storage after they completely charge them.

In case the power grid would require additional energy, the electricity from the batteries could be sent to the power grid if desired, but only up to a certain point.

Naturally, users would have control of this, and they would also have benefits. Usually, power plants have the task of stabilizing the power in a grid at 50 Hertz power frequency, or else power cuts happen. If these fluctuations are not cushioned, many domestic devices may get damaged. Imagine all the refrigerators in your neighborhood breaking down. Yes, that is a consequence of power fluctuations.

If you have sensitive electrical equipment in your home, and you probably do, we suggest consulting an electrician and selecting a UPS or a surge protector for them, as they might help save your devices in the event of such situations.

If EV owners had tools they could leave at the authorities' disposal while their vehicles are plugged in, the batteries of their vehicles would be used to help stabilize the grid's fluctuations.

Imagine having multiple people carry a large and heavy object. If enough hands are on it to help support its weight, even by small proportions relative to its overall condition, it may help those doing the heavy lifting complete the task easier.

Now, instead of the heavy object, think of the power grid and view fluctuations as people press down on the object, almost at random. Even then, if enough people are holding the unusually large object, even those fluctuations may be cushioned.

With the advent of electric vehicles, there are more consumers in any electrical grid than ever before, and these come on top of the usual devices that are plugged in inside homes, which may cause spikes in demand, while solar and wind energy may have inconsistent production. If enough bad factors add up, a power outage may happen, and nobody wants that.

In the case of this test, the vehicles and their charging systems were controlled by a pooling system that coordinated the charging processes in real time, while also correlating them with the grid operator's balancing power setpoints.

In other words, the system was automated, and it worked with preset parameters to prevent fluctuations, blackouts, and flat batteries. Nobody wants either, so everyone should be happy with the result. By the way, this was just a trial, so your Taycan cannot feed energy back into your home just yet.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third party in any way.

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