Portus and Ergon testing smart grids and EVs - 16 Feb 2011


Portus has announced that it has commenced a project with Ergon Energy to trial electric vehicle integration with the electricity grid which will be tested in Townsville.

The project will build on a trial of Portus’ energy management system that is already underway with Ergon Energy. Portus’ Home Eco energy management system and energy dashboard allows the customer to monitor their energy behavior across key appliances in the home, so they can better understand where electricity is being consumed, which appliances are adding the most to their bill, and how much CO2 is being produced in operating each appliance. It also allows consumers to control individual appliances in their home. This is made possible by a user interface that can run from any browser, including current smart phones.

Electric vehicles have started to appear on the market and as manufacturers invest in low emission technologies it is anticipated there will be an influx of new vehicles in coming years. If electric vehicles reach significant penetration, then utilities need to be able to manage the impact of their charging. If a large number of electric vehicles started charging at the same time, the peak in load could interfere with the reliable operation of the grid.

Portus will work with Ergon Energy on a trial integrating electric vehicle support into its energy management system and energy dashboard, so that customers can access information on the current state of charge of their electric vehicle and the kilometre range possible on the charge. Customers will also be able to control the charging of the vehicle, and whether the vehicles battery can be used to supply additional capacity to the grid when the vehicle is idle. The solution will also allow utilities to manage electric vehicles as a resource for smoothing out fluctuations as more intermittent resources such as wind and solar come on stream, as well as providing extra capacity in times of peak demand.

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