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Integrating charging stations to the power grids

Integrating charging stations to the power grids
21 . Dec . 2021

The widespread adoption of electric vehicles as sustainable alternatives to internal combustion engine vehicles inevitably leads to the proliferation of charging equipment , including Electric Vehicle Service Equipment ( EVSE ) .

The grid integration of such devices, especially high-power , fast chargers , is a serious endeavor, as the location of such devices (along highways far removed from significant grid infrastructure) and load profiles (high power bursts of charging spread randomly throughout a day) vary significantly from classical commercial or industrial loads.

In addition, this load is always non-linear , whether the charger is located on board of the vehicle and the EVSE supplies AC power, or if the charger is outside of the EV and the EVSE supplies DC power. This means that Power Quality is an aspect that always needs to be addressed in this application to ensure interoperability and overall grid stability, especially when the hosting capacity of the grid is reached or exceeded.

In this respect, to ensure that the integration of EVSEs in the grid happens smoothly and does not hinder anyone from reaching their sustainability targets, a research project was initiated by a Dutch consortium, with the help of KEMA Labs . The project aims to scientifically evaluate the level of SupraHarmonics emission from EVSEs, model the severity the presence of SupraHarmonics could have on any grids’ operation and reliability, and where appropriate propose how the regulations and standards could be enhanced to avoid unexpected behavior.

The TEPQEV project (Time proof Electricity grids by Power Quality improvement of Electric Vehicles) is supported by the Topsector Energy (subsidy of the Dutch ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate) and includes ElaadNL (as project coordinator), Eindhoven University of Technology , Heliox and two of the Dutch distribution grid operators: Enexis and Stedin .

The project itself gathers real-life measurement data in three different ways:

  • PQ measurements of AC based EVSEs and low power DC based EVSEs in the ElaadNL Testlab;
  • PQ measurements of high-power, DC based EVSEs and system behavior in the F lex Power Grid Laboratory (FPGL) of KEMA Labs , Arnhem (The Netherlands);
  • PQ measurements at selected field locations with significant high-power DC based EVSEs, such as bus terminals, parking facilities, etc.

The data gathered during all these measurements feed directly into an analytical model being developed by TU Eindhoven , which aims to quantify the impact of the power quality effects of multiple EVs charging on the public electricity grid . The combination of lab and field measurements expands the applicability of the derived model significantly.

The project , as well as KEMA Labs involvement, will run until October 2022.

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