EnergyVille has a unique infrastructure to test charging strategies for electric vehicles.

Description
Technical Notes

Electric vehicles are more energy efficient, generate no CO2 emissions and have less particulate matter emissions than their fossil counterparts. They are often parked more than 80% of the time. This makes these vehicles an interesting source of flexibility to better match electricity consumption with the production of renewable energy.

The EnergyVille 1 building currently has 28 charging points for electric vehicles, a large number of which can be controlled intelligently.

The entire system of charging points is integrated with the EnergyVille cloud platform. This makes it possible to combine information such as weather forecasts and energy markets with real-time measurements and historical data of the EnergyVille 1 building and/or Thor park. In addition, users are identified via their staff badge, which combined with the platforms mail and web service functionality allows for targeted communication in order to create maximum flexibility.

This Lab for Smart Charging is the ideal test environment to scale up smart charging strategies from simulation to practical tests, and it also offers interesting opportunities for research into flexibility services. What is the best approach to translate detailed charging needs to generic flexibility? How can this flexibility best be used? A distinction can be made here between local utilization in the building, with the main cost factors being: peak grid consumption, self-consumption of solar panels and responding to variable prices. But also greater use of this flexibility for the benefit of the Thor energy community or the management of the imbalance of a BRP are relevant applications.

These solutions can be relevant for various providers and users of energy services such as building managers, operators of charging stations and energy management platforms, home automation systems, etc.

Electrical

The electric distribution board has a power supply of 436kVA and is equipped with an energy measurement, which measures current, voltage and power per phase. Each charging point is individually fused and protected with a differential switch type B 30mA.

For the charging points without built-in communication and energy measurement, the distribution board provides individual energy measurements and relays so that these charging points can also be individually measured and switched off. All measurements and control circuits in the distribution board are brought together via Modbus on a PLC and then forwarded to the EnergyVille cloud platform.

The charging points are commercially available systems all equipped with type 2 connector.

EnergyVille has an ABB Terra 53 CJG fast charger with 3 charging nozzles: CCS 50kW, CHAdeMO 50kW and AC 43kW.

The older charging points are connected in a single phase:

  • 5x Mennekes Comfort Plus 11 (16A)
  • 2x KEBA (32A)

For the newer charging points, models with a dual wallbox type have been chosen; each with 2 connectors, connected via 2x 400V / 32A so that each connector can deliver 22kW. In addition, these wallboxes have a built-in energy measurement, badge reader, Ethernet connection and support OCPP1.6 and mode 3.

  • 3x Alfen Eve
  • 3x Bluecorner DUAL44

The 3x Powerdale Nexxtender Advance Dual do not yet support OCPP1.6 JSON. In addition to these 28 car charging points, there are of course also charging points for electric bicycles.

Preparations have been taken to install 6 additional 22kW charging points.

ICT

The charging points are connected to a separate local network with the charging station server and from there connect to the EnergyVille cloud platform. This collects all information that may be relevant to implement, test and evaluate smart charging strategies. Communication between charging stations and the charging station server is done via OCPP 1.6 JSON. The possibilities of OCPI and OSCP are also being investigated in order to involve the other charging stations on Thor through their operators in experiments in the regulatory sandbox community on Thor.

Current algorithms monitor charging sessions through a combination of limiting peak offtake from the distribution grid, increasing local PV self-consumption and responding to lower electricity prices.

To achieve this an efficient and functional information exchange with the users is required. These identify themselves via their staff badge and then receive a confirmation via email, with the possibility to adjust their preferences or follow up the status via a webpage.