Innovative, future-proof charging infrastructure in Portugal

E-REDES

Innovative, future-proof charging infrastructure in Portugal

E-REDES is mainland Portugal’s distribution system operator, and is responsible for the management of the voltage grid and operating 228 thousand kilometres of distribution network.

E-REDES applies energy efficiency solutions and develops a smarter energy distribution grid across Portugal. The company is committed to promoting sustainable mobility and electrification, as part of the goals defined by the EDP Group. E-REDES intends to have a charge point for each electric vehicle in their fleet.

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Challenge

Grid capacity may become insufficient in many areas across the country

In 2020, over 12% of new car sales in Portugal were electric, and forecasts suggest that the uptake of electric vehicles will only accelerate in the coming years. There is a risk that grid capacity may become insufficient to power the required number of charge stations for EVs in many areas across the country. Therefore, Portugal needs to prepare its electric grid for the influx of EVs and ensure a smooth transition to low-carbon mobility. E-REDES started an innovative EV charging project at their office in Setúbal to test smart charging technology from GreenFlux.

Solution

Smart charging per phase to increase the number of EVs charging simultaneously

The E-REDES charging site consists of eighteen charging points connected to the GreenFlux platform, and a local smart meter from Smappee that measures the energy consumption of the office building. The installed solar panels on the roof of the building act as input of the smart charging algorithm, increasing the available power capacity. If the consumption of the building is high, the GreenFlux platform receives a signal and reduces the power available to EVs.

The meter data also shows whether an electric vehicle is charging single- or triple-phase. As a result, smart charging per phase can be applied to increase the number of EVs charging simultaneously. GreenFlux’s fallback scenarios were tested rigorously, as proving out these capabilities under real-life test situations is critical for E-REDES to guarantee a safe operation of the grid.

Results

Reduced charging infrastructure investment

  • Future-proof charging site

  • DC charging prioritisation

  • EV Charging app

Using smart charging, E-REDES can reduce their investment in electrical infrastructure. There are already multiple E-REDES buildings with charge stations in place waiting to roll out GreenFlux’s smart charging technology. With the site in Setúbal, E-REDES has a future-proof charging site and an excellent use case to roll out to their other offices. In the future, DC chargers will also be added to the Setúbal site and will share the available charging capacity with AC chargers. Thanks to smart charging, capacity between AC and DC chargers can be shared intelligently. In this case, the session of the DC charger will be prioritized over the charging sessions of the AC chargers. Moreover, a charging app will be introduced to E-REDES employees. In the app, the employees are able to find available chargers in the E-REDES charging network at all their company’s buildings across Portugal.

More information about the project can be found here

Download the whitepaper: EV Smart Charging: Optmising with Renewable Energy

We are testing different scenarios with very hard limitations. It is really good to see how everything responds really quickly in the GreenFlux EV charging platform.

Carlos Silva, E-REDES

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