Glossary

What is Smart Energy Management

Posted By Driivz Team
19 September, 2021

EV vehicle sales are surging. More than 10 million electric cars were on the world’s roads in 2020 and while overall new car registrations fell during the pandemic, global EV car sales share rose 70% to a record 4.6%. At the same time, EVs bring a growing appetite for electricity. The 2020 International Energy Agency’s Global EV Outlook projects that by 2030, the share of electricity going towards EV charging could rise to as high as 4–10% at peak demand.

On the other hand, the average car is parked about 95% of the day—and EVs are no exception. Add to that the dramatic fluctuations in peak demand for electricity though the day, offering periods of underutilized generation capacity.

Perhaps these puzzle pieces can fit together better than expected?

In fact, they do. Enter Smart Energy Management, a technology that optimizes the efficient distribution of power between the EV, the charger, the charging operator and possibly the electricity provider as well to the benefit of all.

 

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Optimizing EV Charging

Simply put, Smart Energy Management is a power optimization tool or type of load balancer for EV charging infrastructures. Yet the way it works is anything but simple. It is enabled by a centralized cloud-based management platform that uses an advanced algorithm to automatically shift charging loads based on demand while balancing:

  • dynamic electricity grid and renewable supplies
  • dynamic energy costs
  • preconfigured policies
  • the needs of vehicle owners

For charging infrastructure operators, Smart Energy Management ensures that the right amount of energy gets to the right power consumer at the right time, and at the right cost.

Since power demand fluctuates during peak hours and increasing power generation capacity is very expensive, electricity providers use incentives to encourage consumers to balance their demand. They can do this by reducing costs during some hours of the day, or even paying consumers that commit to reduce consumption at specific times. This is known as the energy flexibility market.

Smart Energy Management solutions balance the demand for energy throughout the day and automatically reduce energy directed to electric vehicles during peak demands.

Maximizing Energy Resources for EV Charging

Smart Energy Management automatically optimizes the use of locally generated renewable energy resources, charging stations, battery storage and all other elements at the charging site.

Local infrastructures may have limited capacity to support the additional energy required for EV charging on top of existing loads. Smart Energy Management solves these problems at the local level, behind the meter, and at the grid level.

Smart Energy Management also enables near real-time load balancing for single chargers, sites with multiple chargers and complete campuses spanning multiple sites. It lets operators monitor, manage, and adjust energy consumption and provides optimal charging demand response. Most importantly, the system will ensure that the vehicle is charged on time, while saving costs when possible.

Reducing TCO

Leveraging Smart Energy Management can optimize energy consumption and avoid costly infrastructure upgrades. And not only by avoiding charging during expensive peak periods with surcharges.

As vehicles are parked most of the day, using EVs as a distributed energy source – “batteries on wheels” – can minimize the strain on the power generation using Smart Energy Management to achieve local grid balancing and potentially even selling power back to electricity power generators. With Vehicle to Grid (V2G), vehicles’ batteries provide power to the grid during times of peak demand, and the vehicles’ batteries are recharged during times of lower demand.

V2G can be used anywhere parked vehicles will be spending more than a few hours. In office parks, drivers can register for V2G participation, noting the time they will need the vehicle. The grid draws on the vehicle’s stored energy and then directs energy back to the vehicle to recharge the battery, so it is ready for usage when needed. Similarly, EV owners can use their vehicles to power their homes during hours of peak demand and set the vehicle to recharge during hours of non-peak demand, such as early morning hours.

Integrating Renewables

Wind and solar energy are the most common renewable energy sources supplying energy to the EV charging sector. Generally, the energy generated from renewables is stored in batteries located onsite at the EV charging sites. Smart Energy Management can help ensure the energy can be easily accessed during times of peak demand and use EV batteries to help store renewable energy for later use.

Everyone Wins with Smart Energy Management

Smart Energy Management provides significant benefits to the EV charging ecosystem as a whole – from the electricity provider to individual EV drivers. It optimizes and stabilizes energy flow within a balanced grid while ensuring more reliable service and quality power.

From the perspective of the electricity provider, smart energy management enables them to optimize their infrastructure by efficiently distributing the available power between vehicles and other power consumers.

Businesses offering charge points to their employees or customers can ensure that they maintain the critical balance between the facility and the EV charging power requirements so as not to incur peak pricing charges. This is even more important for fleets that use electric vehicles.

For individual EV drivers, Smart Energy Management’s greatest incentive is cheaper, eco-friendly and safer charging.

EV owners and charger owners can further increase the benefits and lower costs by storing additional energy in the vehicles and then discharging that energy at night for use within their homes using V2G capabilities.

Want to learn more about how Smart Energy Management can help you? Read about Driivz Smart Energy Management for more insights into choosing a solution for optimizing your charging operations or contact us at contactus@driivz.com.

 

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