Project Description

Case Study : 2017 – 2019

The largest smart charging trial in the world

Western Power Distribution is the distribution network operator responsible for delivering electricity to 7.8 million customers across the Midlands, South West England, and South Wales. Electric Nation is the customer-facing brand of CarConnect, a project funded by Western Power Distribution and Network Innovation Allowance. WPD’s collaboration patterns in the project are EA Technology, DriveElectric, Lucy Electric GridKey, and TRL.

Challenge

More and more electric vehicles are seen on the roads of the UK. This is fantastic news but it also provides a new challenge for the British electricity networks. Research shows that uptake of electric vehicles can potentially stress the power grid. If 30% of all cars are electric, an investment of 2.5 billion pounds would have to be made to strengthen the existing grid if no capacity management is used. The Electric Nation project researched if smart charging, provided by GreenFlux, could avoid the need to perform expensive network upgrades.

Solution

GreenFlux’s solution: Capacity management with load balancing. In its search for solutions, EA Technology set up the Electric Nation project on behalf of Western Power Distribution. This project combines smart technologies with new regulations so that cars can be charged quickly without overloading the local network. Already in 700 households, this is the largest Smart Charging EV trial in Europe. As a pioneer in the field of smart charging, GreenFlux supports the Electric Nation Project in testing various smart charging strategies. The data that is collected over a three-year period (2016- 2019) has helped us understand the impact of the charging of electric cars at home on the electricity network.

Result

We can deploy our smart charging technology to avoid an overload of the sub-station at high-load intervals. When enabled, smart charging will cause the sub-station provide information to our cloud platform in fifteen-minute intervals. Using the latest information gathered from these stations, we can shift power grid resources appropriately, preventing overloads on the sub-station. Our smart charging algorithm considers how full or empty a battery is, allowing us to give priority to cars that need it more.

GreenFlux also provided a smartphone app that enables customers to request charging priority themselves, overruling our smart charging algorithm when necessary. The algorithm controls the chargers in a dynamic way so all cars are full in the morning with the most ef cient energy usage. Working with smart charging enables 10 times more efficiënt capacity allocation and circumvents the need for potentially billions in additional capital to provide new charging infrastructure.

The GreenFlux smart charging system is effective and competitive. GreenFlux is very responsive and solutions are innovative.
Esther Dudek, EA Technology