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How can you be certain that you charge an EV with green energy?

Article

28-02-2018

How can you be certain that you charge an EV with green energy?

Blockchain is a hot topic in many areas and constitutes the backbone of Bitcoin and many payment methods. In a few years, we may also be able use blockchain to manage energy consumption and support green driving.

The Danish company EURISCO is running a pilot project to demonstrate if blockchain and smart contracts can be used to manage power consumption and production in a local distribution grid. The Alexandra Institute provides expertise in blockchain theory and implementation

Here is a potential use case: You drive your electric car to work. Your workplace has solar panels on the roof and provides charging stations to its employees where they can use the electricity produced during the day. The long-term objective is to minimise CO2 emission in the transport sector.

Are you driving green?

How do you prove that your electric car is actually charged with solar power?

The question is posed by Claus Amtrup Andersen, CEO of EURISCO that develops software for smart energy systems. EURISCO is also running a project that looks into CO2 management as a key to gaining competitive advantage.

And this is where blockchain could be useful because it can help us verify how much CO2 is emitted when charging an electric car.

“We have been working on electric car systems since COP15, and people have long wondered if electricity comes from fossil-fuelled power stations or from renewable energy sources. This problem needs to be addressed so why not design a system that verifies how ‘green’ you are driving”, he says.

A suitcase of Raspberry Pi's

EURISCO has been in charge of building hardware in the project while the Alexandra Institute has been in charge of theory and implementation. The solution consists of a ‘suitcase’ with four controllers that register electricity production or consumption. The data is then recorded in the blockchain with a timestamp.

“The collaboration has worked really well because the Alexandra Institute’s blockchain experts have had an application-oriented approach to the project. Of course, we see things from a business perspective and they have listened to our inputs”, Claus Amtrup Andersen explains.

At this point in time, only the suitcase with the basic technology is ready. Next step will be to adapt the technology for an electric car and a solar panel concept. This will be done in collaboration with CLEAN and GreenTech Center.

”It has been a great project where we have taken the first steps towards developing a demo suitcase. Next step will be to demonstrate that the concept is useful in an electric car context and that people can use for instance an app to check how much green power they have charged. This makes much more sense to ordinary people. To begin with, we want to conduct a number of field tests, whereas a large-scale rollout is too expensive for us to fund 100 percent. Therefore, we have to find additional pilot projects to cover some of the costs”, Claus Amtrup Andersen says.

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Fakta

The conceptual development project is carried out by EURISCO, the Alexandra Institute and GreenTech Center. The purpose is to verify if blockchain technology can be used to manage energy production and consumption in a local distribution network – for example to charge electric vehicles.

The blockchain technology is based on the Ethereum platform, and the hardware nodes are Raspberry Pi’s and Arduino. The smart contracts in the blockchain contain a complete history of consumption and production and can be used to visualise the overall energy exchange.

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