Renewable Energy & EV Charging – Perfect Synergy
The ultimate promise of electric vehicles is a cleaner environment. That cannot be achieved if the strain on the power grid requires additional investment in non-renewable resources to deliver the energy.
That’s why renewable energy for EV charging is so critical. Using renewable energy to power the EV charging infrastructure eliminates the strain on the grid and the environment simultaneously, especially when paired with smart EV charging.
Smart EV charging increases the ability to control the charging process, distributing power between charging sites and campus requirements and among the individual charge points within a charging station.
With smart EV charging, energy requirements can be met consistently without undue demands on the campus or station. EV smart charging also saves infrastructure costs for the utility itself, eliminating the need to expand capacity. Furthermore, smart EV charging makes it easier to adjust pricing based on times of peak demand, increasing the incentives for consumers to charge EVs during lower-demand hours.
The more renewables in use, the fewer charge points need to depend on the grid at all. For example, solar panels installed on the property of the charging stations can be used to charge the sites’ batteries, charging EVs without placing additional demand on the grid. The energy stored in the batteries can also reduce pressure on the power infrastructure during times of peak demand.
In addition, eMobility service providers can negotiate contracts with utilities that prioritizes the energy they receive to be generated with renewables, such as solar or wind power. Beyond just solar and wind power, other renewable energy sources include geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydroelectric.
With two-way charging, the batteries from the EVs can be used to charge the campus or home, further eliminating the need for non-renewable-based power directly from the grid. Consumers see additional benefits by combining renewables with bidirectional EV charging to power their homes; they may not need to pay for the initial electricity (with roof-top solar panels), and they don’t have to buy as much from the utility when the solar panels aren’t being energized.
By implementing renewable energy within an EV fleet infrastructure, businesses and cities can further reduce pollution and their overall carbon footprint by lowering greenhouse gas emissions from both the vehicles and the power plants.
Renewables and EV Charging in Action
ElaadNL, the knowledge and innovation center in the field of smart charging infrastructure in the Netherlands, has already put renewables – solar and wind – into action, combined with smart EV charging energy management.
They are balancing the energy demands of 57 charge points, reducing total demand, and leveraging clean energy. Furthermore, they’re getting real-time insights about the charging station uptime and alerts when things go wrong.
ElaadNL has smart meters on the site’s electrical topology as well as at every charge point. The data is combined to deliver analysis of energy used for EV charging and campus support, as well as the quality of the electricity and the generally available energy levels. ElaadNL has fine-tuned the system to define which chargers receive green energy only, allowing it to optimize usage.
Getting It Done
Driivz already supports the integration of renewable power and smart EV charging. Its proprietary, complex algorithms translate into easy-to-use tools for smart energy management.
Smart energy algorithms not only assign the destinations of the renewable energy but also how much of that energy to allocate for individual EV charging. The algorithms consider the individual batteries’ state of charge, power availability, EV departure time, and the priority level to ensure the ideal balance of power.
The combination of renewables and smart energy management significantly reduces GHG emissions and creates a cleaner world. It also promises to be very profitable.