Smart charging technologies

Will smart charging be the future?

Smart Charging or smart charging is a broad term used to describe smart technologies that can remotely control the charging transaction. There is currently a rapidly increasing use of electric vehicles and simultaneous charging brings peak loads. This can cause negative impacts such as power outages on power grids and energy transmission infrastructure. However, the extent of the negative impacts on grid infrastructure can be mitigated by integrating smart charging into the grid. When charged smartly, electric vehicles can not only avoid overloading the local power grid, but can also provide energy to flexibly fill energy shortages. Smart charging can also ensure that electric vehicle charging is done at the most optimal time, when costs are low and the supply of (renewable) energy is high.

From V1G to bidirectional V2G

V1G charging, also known as uni-directional controlled charging, has been around for a few years now. Electric car charging is regulated so that charging capacity can be increased and decreased as needed. In some regions, it is even the case that charging is impossible between 5 and 8 because the grid load is too high then.

Vehicle-to-Grid or V2G goes one step further with its bi-directional concept, allowing charged power to also be temporarily returned to the grid to balance variations in energy production and consumption. Also with the advent of renewable energy sources with highly variable production levels, this balancing is becoming increasingly complex. With V2G, the energy in the electric vehicle’s battery can be delivered back to the grid. This allows the electric vehicle to serve as a buffer capacity to support the grid and absorb possible peak loads. On the other hand, excess electricity produced can be captured by the vehicles. V2G technology works through specially designed bidirectional charging stations. These charging stations may soon become an essential part of the energy transition and a stable energy grid.

In the near future, any battery on wheels could help balance supply and demand in the power grid.

Vehicle to Everything (V2X)

Another development in smart charging is V2X or Vehicle to Everything. V2X is also a bi-directional concept and is best described as V2G with additional benefits such as accessibility and efficiency. Some applications of V2X include Vehicle to Home (V2H) or Vehicle to Building (V2B). Depending on the concept, energy from an EV battery is used for household or office consumers. The electric vehicle can make energy available even when supplying it back to the grid is not possible.

V2X increases accessibility and efficiency compared to V2G charging points. V2G chargers, while serving their purpose, are extremely large. As a result, installation processes are not as simple and require a lot of resources to install. The V2X charger is characterised by its small size and low weight, making it more suitable for easy installation at private homes, offices and many other locations. Moreover, the response time for changing the charging direction has increased significantly, making the V2X superior in terms of energy efficiency.

EVSE Multifunctional bidirectional test rig (V2G and V2X) 

To provide a test solution for both AC and DC charge posts – uni-directional and bi-directional – there is a multifunctional test setup that integrates all the capabilities in one setup. These all-terrain converters combine the full functionality of an AC/DC power supply with all the capabilities of an AC/DC electronic load. The ability to extend the set-up modularly for higher powers gives the user maximum flexibility and security for the future. The set-up can thus also be used for testing and simulating batteries, AC and DC electric motors and all types of inverters.

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