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A European consortium consisting of DNV KEMA, Fraunhofer ISE, EMD International, RAH and RFVV has begun a European Union (EU)-funded project to develop modeling and simulation tools for optimally integrating electrical vehicles (EVs) into electricity networks. The consortium says the project, Novel E-Mobility Grid Model (NEMO), will play a key role in the further development of electric mobility in the EU and will be an important element in the further development of smart grids.

The number of EVs in Europe is rapidly rising, but there is serious concern over the existing electricity infrastructure's capacity to accommodate the associated dramatic growth in electricity demand, the consortium explains. As charging spots and stations connect to the existing grid, the NEMO project has been set up to support European grid operators and service providers in assessing the impact of EVs on the power grid, as well as to evaluate possible solutions such as grid extension or load management.

The consortium will develop a NEMO simulation and optimization tool suite based on the existing complementary simulation tools PLATOS, SimTOOL and energyPRO, which were each developed by the respective NEMO core partners DNV KEMA, Fraunhofer ISE and EMD.

The simulation tools combine to address both market-oriented and technical problems that may result from the predicted influx of EVs on the electricity grid, such as identifying grid constraints in the network or determining the optimal use of available electricity generators, according to the companies.

“The combined project team will be able to offer cooperative services that none of the partners could offer individually,” says Martijn Huibers, NEMO project coordinator at DNV KEMA.

The interoperable simulation models within the NEMO framework will be applied and validated by three representative case studies in order to assess the key issues of integrating EVs into electricity networks.

The first use case will demonstrate the use of NEMO tools for power grid planning in terms of matching distributed generation and charging of EVs. This involves the assessment of energy flows and capacity utilization of all grid components, for various combinations of load generation in certain grid segments.

The second use case will concentrate on applying the NEMO tool suite to fast-charging scenarios and a number of technical solutions. To select the grid infrastructure optimally according to technical and economic criteria will be a main focus of the investigation, the consortium adds.

Finally, investigations will focus on the development of approaches to help power grid operators solve problems linked to “abnormal” charging situations - e.g., dealing with peak demand at events where a large number of might recharge their EVs simultaneously.

NEMO has been commissioned by the EU’s ERA-NET Plus initiative, Electromobility+, which aims to create a sustainable framework for electromobility in Europe.

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