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

The number of electric vehicles 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. 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, and to evaluate possible solutions such as grid extension or load management.

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

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.

"Our three tools will be further extended and integrated into one single tool suite to assess the impact of a large volume of EVs on both the electricity network and energy markets in its entirety. The combined project team will be able to offer cooperative services that none of the partners could offer individually," said Martijn Huibers, NEMO project coordinator at DNV KEMA.

The project team aims to enable the exchange of simulation data between the models of each tool. In order to achieve this, the NEMO tool suite will have to be designed specifically for interoperability in order to facilitate data exchange, and advanced versions of each of the partners' existing tools will need to be developed to fit within this framework. In the development of this tool set, the NEMO consortium will work closely with stakeholders to ensure the suite addresses key market needs.

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 (DG) 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 adequate technical solutions. To select the grid infrastructure optimally according to technical and economic criteria will be a main focus of the investigation.

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