Smart charging is being used in Electric Nation to manage the demand of groups of EVs charging, so that it does not exceed the available spare electricity network capacity. This is achieved using real-time communications between smart chargers and the smart charging solution providers, CrowdCharge and GreenFlux.
The trial will expand current understanding of the impact of additional demand from charging at home on electricity distribution networks of a diverse range of plug-in electric vehicles – with charge rates of up to 7kW, and a range of battery sizes from 20kWh to 80kWh+.
During the first year of the project many vehicles have been tested, including the BMW i3, Hyundai IONIQ Electric, Kia Soul, Nissan LEAF (16A and 32A), Renault ZOE (40kWh), Tesla Model S (85kWh), Golf GTE and Vauxhall Ampera.
EA Technology has designed and commissioned a test rig at its Capenhurst headquarters which allows testing of the smart charging systems to take place.
The testing has included the following:
Both demand management service providers have successfully passed the test programme stages, providing sufficient confidence that the current versions of the algorithms are suitable for deployment in the Electric Nation trial.
The providers will continue to develop their algorithm configurations during the lifetime of the project, and the test system will be used again to trial these developments.
Detailed analysis of this test programme is presented in the report available from the project website.
Installations of smart chargers at trial participants’ homes have been underway since January 2017 and data is being collected regarding the charging behaviour of this group of customers. The first year of the trial (2017) will focus on confirming:
In the second year the trial will move on to look at other factors which could affect the acceptability of smart charging such as the way customers can interact with the system and the amount of demand management which is necessary.
Electric Nation is a Western Power Distribution (WPD) and Network Innovation Allowance funded project. WPD’s collaboration partners in the project are EA Technology, DriveElectric, Lucy Electric GridKey and TRL.
The Electric Nation trial is taking place in the WPD network areas in the Midlands, South West and South Wales.
The project is seeking to recruit 500-700 people buying or leasing new electric vehicles (of all makes and models, pure electric and plug-in hybrids) to take part in the largest trial of its kind. Trial participants will get a free* smart charger installed.
Places on the trial are now filling up fast, so any new EV owners who want one of the latest smart chargers installed free of charge are advised to apply as soon as possible.
For more information and to check eligibility visit www.electricnation.org.uk
* Subject to eligibility and conditions