Logo Park4Flex

Parking for the energy transition

January 30, 2023

An interdisciplinary consortium led by the Institute of Power Transmission and High Voltage Technology (IEH) at the University of Stuttgart is researching in the project “Park4Flex” how flexibility in electric vehicles charged in parking spaces can be used to stabilize the grid.

The expansion of renewable energy and the concurrent phase-out of coal-fired power generation has led to an increased volatility of the energy system. Therefore, a farsighted expansion of the power grid is needed as well as a significant flexibilization of the supply system through the use of intelligent solutions. A stabilizing effect is attributed to electric vehicles, as they can store electricity and thus “smooth” fluctuations in supply and demand.

In the project “Including parking spaces in market-based flexibility provision for grid stabilization with increasing integration of renewable energies” – in short: Park4Flex (german), the flexibility capacity of electric vehicles is provided in a market-based manner and integrated into processes for stabilizing the grid. In the process, the project focuses on areas with a large number of parking spaces, such as parking garages or parking lots. The researchers involved in the project determine the real flexibility capacity based on the analysis of various data from the parking areas. On the basis of these data, they want to investigate the influence of flexibility capacity on the stabilization of the grid and estimate the contribution to the integration of renewables.

Kickoff event at the Institute of Power Transmission and High Voltage Technology (IEH) at the University of Stuttgart on January 10, 2023.

Field tests in Karlsruhe and at the University of Stuttgart

To this end, an integrated concept is being developed, which includes the expansion of the charging infrastructure, the development of methods for aggregating cross-sectoral flexibility, and their marketing by means of novel business models. In order to prove the functionality of the concept, field tests are being conducted in a Karlsruhe parking garage as well as in the Smart Charging Environment at the University of Stuttgart. This Smart Charging Environment consists of a container on the Vaihingen Campus of the University of Stuttgart in which a charging infrastructure is installed. Here, the electric vehicle of the IEH can be charged both unidirectionally and bidirectionally, so the Smart Charging Environment is another site where the field test can be conducted. These tests allow the scientists to try out the developed business models under real-world conditions. On the basis of the knowledge gained, recommendations for action are to be developed and a guideline for the provision of flexibility through parking garages is to be created in order to allow transferability of the results to future use cases.

Ten institutions are involved in the research and demonstration project “Park4Flex”: Under the leadership of Prof. Krzysztof Rudion (Institute of Power Transmission and High Voltage Technology, IEH ) at the University of Stuttgart), the consortium partners ChargeHere GmbH, EnBW Interconnector, Inova DE GmbH, ParkHere GmbH as well as the Smart Grids Platform Baden-Württemberg e.V. are working together in the project. In addition, the energy supplier Stadtwerke Karlsruhe, the grid operator TransnetBW GmbH, the parking company Parkraumgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg mbH as well as IONOS SE are involved in the project as associated partners.

In addition to the coordination of the project, the IEH is entrusted with further tasks, which are divided into a theoretical and a practical part. In the theoretical part of the project, the IEH is conducting a system study to estimate the flexibility capacity using the Park4Flex concept. The main objective of the practical part is the co-development of an interface for the market- and grid-relevant use of flexibility from parking spaces. Another focus is on examining the entire chain of effects in a field test.

The project is funded with about EUR 1.4 million by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action within the framework of the 7th energy research program for a funding period of 36 months. The project started with a kickoff event at the Institute of Power Transmission and High Voltage Technology (IEH) at the University of Stuttgart on January 10, 2023. The representatives of the different partners presented their respective companies and project tasks and discussed the interfaces between the partners in order to ensure a smooth collaboration.



Prof. Dr. Krzysztof Rudion, University of Stuttgart, Institute of Power Transmission and High Voltage Technology, Head of Grid Integration of Renewable Energies, phone: +49 711 685 67872, E-Mail 

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