A presentation about Electric Nation, providing information for the first time about the project’s Network Assessment Tool, was delivered at Western Power Distribution’s Balancing Act Conference which took place in London on 5 October 2017.
The ‘Future Networks – A Balancing Act’ event was held at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge, organised by WPD’s Innovation division, with an audience primarily comprised of members of the DNO community and the energy industry.
The Electric Nation presentation, delivered by Mark Dale, Innovation Manager, Western Power Distribution, together with Nick Storer and Daniel Hollingworth from EA Technology, explained the need for smart charging as numbers of electric vehicles increase.
Additional loading on low voltage (LV) electricity networks from EVs charging at peak times would result in at least 30% of these networks in Britain requiring investment by 2050, costing at least £2.2bn (based on research from My Electric Avenue).
Smart charging, as being trialled in Electric Nation, could reduce, delay or avoid the need to upgrade or replace networks.
The presentation also explained about the Electric Nation test system, which aimed to test smart charging algorithms before release to trial participants, and also to check the response of different cars to demand management. During the first year of the project the first algorithm configurations for GreenFlux and CrowdCharge were successfully tested ready for deployment, and 10 makes and models of EVs were tested.
There were also ten pilot installations between November and early December 2016, with the learning used to inform installer training before the main trial began.
Information was presented for the first time about Electric Nation’s Network Assessment Tool, which aims to identify parts of networks that are susceptible to growing levels of EV charging, how many networks will need reinforcement, when this will be needed, and which solution will be most cost effective.
Well over 400 smart chargers have now been installed as part of the project, with 40 different makes/models of EV on the trial, and Electric Nation is on track to achieve its target of recruiting 700 people buying or leasing new electric vehicles in the very near future.