Smart Charging - A breakthrough for electromobility
CarMedialab, a member of the INIT Group, has been developing systems for telematics, diagnostics and intelligent vehicle charging for 20 years. We sat down with CarMedialab’s Reginald Viray to discuss smart charging and how to optimize the charging experience. Read more below or click to listen to the Podcast.
Smart charging is about intelligently organizing and optimizing the charging process between vehicles and the energy grid. It starts with easy access to the charging points and includes the specification of when the charging process should be completed, protective charging of the battery, and the avoidance of overload situations in the power grid.
Smart charging can overcome current limitations brought on by charging terminals and thus solve a core challenge: Ensuring that an electric vehicle can charge easily at an available charging station. If the vehicle has to charge more often than they have to refuel, then it must be just as convenient, supported by a tightly meshed network of charging stations.
Many buses are arriving at about the same time and are leaving at about the same time. If all the charging processes were started at once and uncontrolled, it would create a very high peak load on the power grid.
The energy supply problem, solved
Since the number of electric vehicles is increasing, the entire energy supply system has to increase accordingly.
Imagine if you had an electric car and wanted to charge it quickly at home with 22kW at an AC wall box. New Volkswagen or Renault models would support this, and you would have a full battery in 2-3 hours. However, they need the permission of the distribution network operator to run it, which would require a check on how the grid in the street is designed and whether there are still sufficient reserves. If your neighbor then follows with the same setup, regulations would be needed.
Smart charging helps in this situation by controlling and distributing electrical loads. If both vehicles are connected, the power will be throttled. If only one is charging, it will receive full power.
For public transport companies, it is crucial that charging processes are organized and optimized in accordance with their operational requirements. A typical scenario is when electric buses are being charged overnight at the depot and then depart the next morning. Many buses are arriving at about the same time and are leaving at about the same time. If all the charging processes were started at once and uncontrolled, one can imagine that it would create a very high peak load on the power grid.
Such power peaks are very expensive and must be avoided. So, loads have to be shifted in such a way that they are as low as possible and have a constant load level over time. On the other hand, the buses need to be fully charged and available the next day. The load and charge management system, MOBILEcharge, takes care of this by intelligently organizing the charging process. Plus, it is already reaping crucial benefits for several small fleets.
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