We had a chat with our partners at TH!NK-E to learn more about the installation activities at Oud-Heverlee demosite and the upcoming demonstration campaign.
What have been the updates in Oud-Heverlee since last September? What do you think are the most important results?
Since September, the work in Oud-Heverlee has focused on making the installations fully operational. This meant ironing out the last few hardware issues that were detected during initial testing and ensuring all devices behave as desired. With the installation and commissioning of the V2G chargers in December, the last of the MUSE GRIDS hardware has been installed at the Oud-Heverlee demosite.
What were the main challenges and how did you overcome them?
The main challenges for 2021 were to get all devices installed. All installations had been delayed from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All partners involved at the Oud-Heverlee demosite worked together to finish the installations as soon as possible. This has left us with enough time to validate the workings of the MUSE GRIDS algorithm combined with the devices during the last year of the project.
A second challenge was to rekindle the relation with the neighbours. The involvement suffered under a lack of chances to meet physically. To regain the close contact with the neighbours we organised an event where the neighbourhood kids could paint the battery enclosure, and organised a reception to inform the residents on what had happened.
Was has been your favourite part of the setup process?
It has been really interesting to see new technologies being placed in a residential neighbourhood and the hurdles that were faced. We have needed cooperation from all partners to get the assets installed. For the Vehicle to Grid part of the project and the neighbourhood battery we are still at the limits of what current Belgian regulation allows. The neighbourhood battery is still one of the first in Belgium, and Vehicle to Grid in a residential neighbourhood was completely a new challenge.
What should we expect in 2022?
In 2022 at the Oud-Heverlee demosite, we will be focusing on using the installed assets to gather data and evaluate the workings of the MUSE GRIDS controller. The MUSE GRIDS controller itself will be iteratively adjusted based on previous data and to test out different control strategies onsite. Towards the end of the year and project, a full evaluation of the control strategies implemented will be conducted by the partners involved.