Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Electric vehicle integration standards boost smart grid efficiency
One of the main reasons cities and utilities invest in smart grid infrastructure is to improve their impact on the environment. Eco-friendly efforts toward reducing carbon footprint and harnessing renewable sources of energy can have a significant impact on efficiency and help providers embrace a greener future. However, these efforts are not completely without the inclusion of electric vehicle connectivity.
According to Nanowerk News, electric vehicles present complex situations for utilities. The potential for these vehicles to overload a power grid is high, without the integration of solutions to address power drain, distribution and the seamless connectivity of charging stations. The key to success is in the flow of power and data from the individual vehicles to the smart grid's backend.
Recently, researchers examined this issue and developed a new strategy for streamlining the connection between the charging station and the power grid to minimize risk.
"Our experience has shown that charging station manufacturers are still shying away from the standard because the implementation is too complex," Dr. Erik Oswald from Fraunhofer ESK in Munich told the news source. "For this reason, we developed a reference installation that significantly streamlines the implementation."
Developing new standards and strategies for electric vehicle integration will help utilities and consumers improve their environmentally-friendly efforts, but utilities have to also look at their own backend to ensure it is able to keep up with the needs of these improvements. From deploying higher quality terminal servers to investing in the serial to Ethernet converters necessary to ensure latency free connectivity, utility providers will have to boost their own infrastructure in addition to supporting the new smart vehicle to grid interface projects.
To this end, the researchers from Fraunhofer ESK developed two improved standards for smart grid communications - ISO/IEC 15118 and IEC 61850. These improvements focus on the communication between the grid and vehicle, as well as overall communications across all smart grid operations, respectively. These efforts will boost energy management system efficiency and enhance testing and maintenance as well.
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