UK Power Networks Participates in London EV Charging Trial

UK Power Networks Participates in London EV Charging Trial


Between December and April, the companies are testing POD Point’s new Carbon Sync software and Smarter Grid Solutions’ ‘active network management’ system to briefly suspend the flow of electricity to selected public EV charge points at peak times on the network, while still ensuring drivers receive a sufficient level of charge.

Trial sites include five public charge points in London, ten in Beckton, and 50 of the most popular points in London.

Low Carbon London program director Michael Clark says, “Success in these trials could reduce the cost and disruption associated with building new power infrastructure to support the expansion of EV charging systems, benefiting consumers across the country. We believe this is the first trial of ‘active network management’ involving electric vehicles in Britain.”

Alan Gooding, Smarter Grid Solutions commercial director and co-founder notes, “Active network management is already proven as a highly effective way of connecting larger volumes of distributed energy, such as solar, wind and CHP, to congested electricity networks. This new trial is a great opportunity to demonstrate that the technique can also help electricity network operators to accommodate other features of a low carbon economy, such as electric vehicle use.”

POD Point chief executive officer Erik Fairbairn believes, “Adding electric car charging facilities will require close monitoring to ensure that drivers are supplied with the electricity they need without potentially overloading the electricity network. The software used in this trial monitors in real time the demand, the status of all charge points in the network, and the level of charge required by each car in real time. This information is fed into a control algorithm which carefully manages the charge point to ensure the driver gets a full charge without exceeding local capacity.”

The Government’s Carbon Plan has committed to source 10 percent of UK transport energy from renewable sources by 2020. Expert estimate that without smart controls on the electricity network, a 25 percent increase in EV usage by 2030 could require half the transformers closest to homes or businesses to undergo an upgrade, which in turn could increase the cost of new EV infrastructure.

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