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Posted: Feb 12, 2014
Seamless e-vehicle/smart grid connectivity through intelligent communication
(Nanowerk News) To prevent e-vehicles from overloading power grids while charging, seamless connectivity is required. To help address this issue, Fraunhofer ESK is developing underlying communication methods for a uniform energy management system. At the Hannover Trade Fair (April 7-11, 2014, booth C10, exhibit hall 13), ESK researchers will be demonstrating how the charging station serves as an interoperable node between the e-vehicle and the network control center using the ISO/IEC 15118 and IEC 61850 standards. Having already implemented both communication interfaces, ESK engineers can now illustrate how the concept works in practice.
With its solution, the institute helps charging station and e-vehicle manufacturers and grid operators to implement the communication standards and test their products for standards compliance.
Value-added services based on IEC 15118
Whether vehicle authentication, automatic time-delayed charging or dynamic billing models – digital communication before, during and after charging is essential not only for the charging process. It also allows charging station operators to offer customers a wide range of value-added and convenience services. This also requires complex, EU-wide communication technologies. This requirement, which is also being demanded by the EU, led to the creation of the ISO/IEC 15118 standard.
"Our experience has shown that charging station manufacturers are still shying away from the standard because the implementation is too complex," explains Dr. Erik Oswald from Fraunhofer ESK in Munich. "For this reason, we developed a reference installation that significantly streamlines the implementation."
As part of the SmartV2G (smart vehicle to grid interface) research project sponsored by the EU, ESK researchers carried out a thorough technology analysis and subsequently developed an enhancement of the ISO/IEC 15118 standard to effect communication between the charging station and the e-vehicle. They then tested the interaction of the individual components using the HomePlug Green PHY transmission technology together with IPv6. Interoperability tests will also be carried out over the course of the project.
Uniform grid communication based on IEC 61850
Energy providers and grid operators are forced to communicate with a wide range of elements in the network. These range from various energy sources such as biogas or solar systems, to different types of end users such as private homes, industry parks and e-vehicle charging stations. To date, this communication has been based on proprietary protocols.
With the enhancement and implementation of the IEC 61850 standard that stemmed from the energy industry, Fraunhofer ESK is introducing trade fair visitors to an additional solution that supports the conversion of the power grid to renewable sources. The enhanced IEC 61850 standard not only enables the simple and flexible integration of charging stations and e-vehicles into the smart grid. Energy providers and grid operators now have one standard for communicating with all elements in the network, thus significantly streamlining their energy management systems. By combining these international standards, the charging station is transformed into an interoperable node that transfers the intelligence of the smart grid to the e-vehicle charging process.
The smart grid communication experts at Fraunhofer ESK are available to share their extensive know-how with charging station and e-vehicle manufacturers. This includes technical advice on charging station enhancements, hardware selection and support during integration of the interfaces and standards into the existing software, and testing the charging stations for standards compliance. The charging infrastructure, which is being demonstrated at the joint Fraunhofer Energy Alliance exhibit booth in the form of software and hardware, acts like a remote node to test the implementation of the communication standards and the products.