The project with an “Energy Management Ecosystem” at Transferium Deuterstraat in ‘s-Hertogenbosch is a success. Over the past three years, the CONNECT project has experimented with a unique energy management ecosystem. Electric buses and cars can be charged with electricity from solar panels, a battery, the electricity grid, or a combination of these sources – depending on the time of day. It provides a better balance between the demand and generation of electricity and ultimately a lower grid connection is required. The project is a collaboration between Heliox, GreenFlux, Enexis Netbeheer, the TU/e and the Municipality of ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
All buses in public transport must be emission-free by 2030 and a large increase in the number of electric buses is expected in the coming years. Loading buses efficiently, quickly and sustainably, will be of great importance and the consortium partners have explored this in CONNECT.
The Transferium as a Energy Management Ecosystem
There are 1,500 solar panels installed on the roof of the Transferium, which – depending on demand – can supply double the power required. During the day energy can be transported directly from the solar panels to the electric buses and cars, while surplus solar energy is stored in a battery. Any surplus energy that cannot be stored in the battery is fed back into the electricity grid. Should electric buses and cars demand more energy than is available, it is taken directly from the grid. This smart energy management system ensures a balance between energy generation and demand; the peak demand of electricity was reduced by 71%, so that fewer grid connections are ultimately required for charging buses and cars.
The Transferium is the greenest building in the Netherlands and plays an important role in the accessibility of ‘s-Hertogenbosch city center. With material savings, smart construction, a green facade, water storage and a natural environment, the Transferium sets an example in the Netherlands.
Maximizing renewable energy
The project has a strong focus on sustainability, reliability and resilience. The demand for energy from the grid is drastically reduced by harvesting and storing solar energy. The flexibility of the system anticipates the sunlight and the stored energy, and switches to the grid when needed. The ecosystem consists of multiple energy sources, so that basic functions such as lighting and traffic lights on the Transferium will continue to operate should the power fail.
A consortium achievement
CONNECT aimed to research, design, develop and showcase novel solutions for efficient devices and components of the future smart grid, in order to achieve significant peak demand reduction from the grid. A total of nineteen partners from five European countries including Germany, Slovakia, Netherlands, Spain, Italy contributed to the three-year project. A great success is the “Energy Management Ecosystem” at Transferium Deuterstraat in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. This project was successfully completed in close collaboration with consortium partners Heliox, TU/e, GreenFlux, Municipality of ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Enexis Netbeheer. This project has received funding from the Electronic Component Systems for European Leadership Joint undertaking under grant agreement No 737434. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and Germany, Slovakia, Netherlands, Spain, Italy.
Heliox brings charging infrastructure and technological know-how
Outside the Transferium, Heliox installed a 300 kW charger with two masts and pantographs capable of charging buses in less than 10 minutes. Heliox’s experience in power conversion was used throughout the project in collaboration with partners to achieve optimal power throughput, ensure optimal power quality and develop use cases/demonstrations.
Enexis Netbeheer was responsible for the installation and extensive monitoring of the electricity meters, enabling GreenFlux and Heliox to realize the optimization. Via meter readings, variables such as the battery, solar panels, fast charger and the power supply of the EV charging stations are linked via an interface and the installation is adapted accordingly. Enexis Netbeheer predicts a future in which “charging hubs” such as the Transferium in ‘s-Hertogenbosch will become more common (in the Netherlands and abroad). Due to Enexis Netbeheer’s experiences in the CONNECT project, new, similar ‘hub projects’ can refer to and encourage this way of dynamic and smart charging.
10-times more charging stations without grid reinforcement
GreenFlux supplied the smart charging technology, which is part of the GreenFlux cloud-based energy management platform. The platform takes the local energy production, the status of the battery storage, the power consumption of the bus charger and the building as input, and outputs a smart charging signal to the 26 charging stations installed for electric cars. By dynamically controlling the charging speeds of individual charging points, the platform ensures that the burden on the transformer remains below a desired threshold. Using smart charging technology, it is now possible to install 10 times more charging stations without having to adjust the electrical installation. This makes the Transferium at ‘s-Hertogenbosch future-proof and scalable.
More details can be found on the project website, LinkedIn and the video below.