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Soon you can get paid to park at the airport

While you are lying on a chalk-white beach, skiing in the Alps or on a long business trip, you can actually make money by parking at Oslo Airport at Gardermoen in the future.

According to the plan, five so-called two-way electric car chargers will be installed in March.

They will make it possible for the airport to borrow the battery (“vehicle-to-grid”) during periods when the power from the power grid is extra expensive, and then refill the electric car battery when the power is cheap.

The pilot project is called «NeX2G», and if it is a success, it can in many ways help to revolutionize how we refine electricity in the future.

In short, electric car owners, for some form of compensation, allow the airport to use the battery in their car while they are traveling. When they return, the car must be recharged.

The transition to more and more green energy is in fact also a transition to less predictable energy supply. We can not control how much and when it will blow, be sunny or rain – factors we depend on to create green energy. The fact that it is also not possible to store energy from wind and solar power means that you have to use the power from this when the wind is there and when the sun is roasting.

Hunting electric car owners who want to participate

At the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), two of the heads are behind «NeX2G».

Associate Professor Thomas Martinsen leads the entire project, while Associate Professor Heidi S. Nygård is responsible for the part of the project that involves the use of machine learning to create models that can predict when it will be wise to use electricity in terms of price, and when not. is it.

LEADER OF THE PROJECT: Thomas Martinsen at NMBU. Photo: NMBU

– This is about making the best possible use of the power grid. If we can flatten consumption, we will utilize the capacity in the network we already have better, says Martinsen.

The five chargers will be located in car park P10, close to the terminal at Oslo Airport.

Once they are in place, the researchers want participants who would like to let the airport use their car battery while they are traveling. But, so far, there is only one car brand that supports this type of two-way charger, according to the researchers: Nissan’s models Leaf and e-NV200.

What the heads behind the pilot project are now looking for are therefore owners of Nissan electric cars who have planned to travel for over a day once from March / April next year.

– We have good faith that we will be able to fill up the chargers, and hope that there are a number of enthusiasts who want to participate. What many people are concerned about is whether the battery gets worn out because of this, but let’s say we charge the battery up and out once or twice a day. Then there is no question of anything more than that you had used the car normally in those days, Martinsen explains.

Although the possibility of vehicle-to-grid is currently only possible for Nissan cars at the moment, more and more manufacturers have announced that they will come up with the same solution.

– A sum that is interesting to people

How much you will be paid to let the airport have access to the car battery has not yet been decided. But Martinsen is aware that it must be enough that car owners see the value in doing so.

– There must be a sum that is interesting to people. That must be it. And the car park is very close to the terminal, so it is an attractive car park in the first place. Being able to stand for free at Gardermoen has a value, it quickly costs over a thousand kroner to stand there, he says.

Martinsen himself believes that the pilot project can be a success.

– Yes I have. But then it remains to be seen how economical it is. Five chargers is not much, but if you expand so that very many cars can do this, then the potential is great.

BELIEVE IN SUCCESS: Thomas Martinsen leads the project, which he believes has a lot of potential if you can do the same on a large scale.  Photo: Private

BELIEVE IN SUCCESS: Thomas Martinsen leads the project, which he believes has a lot of potential if you can do the same on a large scale. Photo: Private

The idea of ​​the pilot project is to calculate how profitable it can be for an institution such as Oslo Airport to take advantage of the opportunity to use electricity from energy storage, such as a charged electric car battery.

The idea is that it should be possible to stop using electricity from the electricity grid during periods when its capacity is under pressure, and prices are thus high.

– Here we have to project and calculate how much electricity we would have used if we had not used the electric cars. And then we will look at it from Avinor’s perspective, this is something that can be profitable for them and how much you have to pay the motorist for them to agree to this, says Martinsen.

At the same time, the researchers will look at the pilot project in a socio-economic perspective and what opportunities it may provide in the future.

– If Statnett can trust that these chargers will be used, then they may be able to reduce the grid development in the area. This is an advantage for all of us, because then the investments will be smaller.

– A market that is going to come

When the “NeX2G” project is launched live, it is Martinsen’s NMBU colleague, Heidi S. Nygård, at the Faculty of Science and Technology, who together with a doctoral student will manage it from the university.

From there, they will work with so-called machine learning algorithms, a specialization in artificial intelligence, which in the long run will learn to control everything completely themselves, without anyone following.

– From 2025, there will be the possibility of two-way charging on all new electric cars, so we see that this is a market that will come. So we want to have a pilot project to test the concept on a small scale, so that we are ready for it to be rolled out on all cars.

– Five chargers are not enough to cover the power and energy level at Gardermoen, but it is enough to collect data to see if it works in practice, says Nygård.

RESEARCHER: Heidi S. Nygård, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Science and Technology at NMBU.  Photo: NMBU

RESEARCHER: Heidi S. Nygård, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Science and Technology at NMBU. Photo: NMBU

She explains that the reason why they chose an airport for the project is precisely that people park there for a long time, not just overnight, as many do at home.

– We think it is easier to get people involved in this because they are not home then and there is no chance that they have to use the car in the middle of the night due to something urgent, and then risk meeting a car with an empty battery because it is empty.

Contrary to those who believe that electric cars are a threat because they require a lot of electricity, Nygård sees them as a possible resource.

– Many people talk about them being threatening the power system because you charge them at times when the grid is already charged, but we try to look at them as a resource for the grid, not as a threat, she says.

Must inform well

“NeX2G” is supported by the Research Council of Norway. The Faculty of Environmental Science and Nature Management (MINA) and the Faculty of Science and Technology (REALTEK) coordinate the project, while Statnett, OsloMet, Avinor, Elvia and Lyse are external partners.

Work on the project began on 1 January this year and will last until 31 December 2024. The chargers will be at the airport throughout the period, what will happen after that is uncertain.

- INTERESTING FOR AVINOR: Harald Nygaard Kvam, communications manager at Oslo Airport.  Photo: Oslo Airport

– INTERESTING FOR AVINOR: Harald Nygaard Kvam, communications manager at Oslo Airport. Photo: Oslo Airport

– For Avinor, it is interesting to find out more about the potential that lies in the batteries of the growing share of electric cars that use our parking areas, and how this can be used in a sustainability, society and customer perspective. Through the project, we want, together with the other partners, to gain knowledge about more flexible energy use by looking at the batteries in parked electric cars as temporary energy storage, says communications manager at Oslo Airport, Harald Nygaard Kvam, to TV 2.

He promises that the airport will provide good information to those who choose to make their car available.

– By using more energy at night and less in the morning and afternoon, this will be able to reduce power peaks and thus the need to develop the power grid. This will be both socio-economically and economically beneficial. We will inform well to those who use these places, when the time comes, he says.

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