In the last version of our newsletter we reported that we’d commissioned the Electric Nation test rig at EA Technology’s office in Capenhurst. Since then the system has been extensively tested.
The purpose of the test system is to:
The test system uses the same type of chargers and communications technology which trial participants will be supplied with, plus additional monitoring to verify the behaviour of the charger, and how vehicles respond to demand control.
Over the last three months we’ve worked through a structured test programme with both demand control providers (Greenflux and CrowdCharge). This has allowed us to work from controlling a single charger, up to sharing out a demand constraint between multiple chargers.
In the trial the project team will share the amount of capacity available on the distribution network for EV charging at different times of day with the demand control providers. They will then manage charging to ensure this limit isn’t exceeded – reducing the rate of vehicle charging if/when this is necessary.
The purpose of these tests is to ensure that trial participants’ vehicles will receive enough charge during a demand control event, without breaching the limits that have been set. The results to date have been positive. The next stages for the testing are to increase the number of vehicles charging and to finalise the algorithm which will be used in the first stages of the trial.
Smart charging systems, such as that being trialled by Electric Nation, have the potential to contribute towards savings of at least £2.2 billion of electricity infrastructure upgrading work that would otherwise be required, based on the expected increase in the number of electric vehicles in the UK.