The technology company The Mobility House is the first to realize multiple charging stations as controllable consumer equipment under section 14a of the German Energy Industry Act (EnWG) thanks to ChargePilot®, the intelligent Charging and Energy Management system. ChargePilot® processes the grid operator’s control signals via various communication standards, such as OpenADR, IEC 60870-5-104, or the established ripple control technology. Thanks to the new add-on module called “grid-optimized charging” it is possible to connect not only individual but also several charging stations simultaneously and to enable them to be controlled by the grid operator. Multiple customers are already using the new module. With the grid-optimized adjustment of the charging processes, operators of charging infrastructure are contributing to a stable electricity supply and the “Energiewende” (energy transition), while largely avoiding the widely feared expansion of the distribution grid. This is rewarded when it comes to pricing: the electricity costs can be significantly reduced thanks to lower grid fees, as experience with the first customers has shown.
If the grid operator intervenes, ChargePilot® reads the control signals (for example from the ripple control receiver), adjusts the power of the entire charging infrastructure within a few seconds, and distributes the reduced power to the individual charging points. The energy is distributed with phase accuracy and intelligently, for example if individual cars are prioritized or already fully charged or if charging stations are not in use. Furthermore, the power supply itself is not physically shut off abruptly, even in the case of complete load shedding, which prevents damage to the vehicle or the infrastructure. After a control intervention ChargePilot® automatically ensures that the power is increased again or that any interrupted charging processes are restarted. This is not generally the case in conventional implementation without an intelligent charging management system. In Switzerland in particular, the possibility of enabling the distribution grid operator to control charging infrastructure by means of control mechanisms such as the ripple control receiver is becoming increasingly relevant. Experience shows that not only grid connection consumers but also installers are being confronted with this challenge more and more.
As electric cars are generally connected to a wallbox much longer than needed for charging, there is no inconvenience for the user. On the contrary, with grid-optimized control, the operators of the charging infrastructure benefit from reduced electricity costs. The costs for charging power can be cut by up to 20%. For a fleet with 20 vehicles (15,000 km (9,300 miles) per year and vehicle), the potential savings can easily reach 1,200 to 2,400 euros per year, depending on the grid operator and grid fees.
"With volatile renewable energy, grid operators either have to expand the power grid, which is cost-intensive, or use tools such as controllable consumer equipment to organize the power supply more intelligently. The fundamental concept behind §14a EnWG is that costs for operators will be lower if they act in a grid-optimized way. Intelligent technologies such as ChargePilot® make this possible and are thus already providing a solution for the challenges of the future."
Marcus Fendt, Managing Director,
The Mobility House
Implementations have already been completed at several customer sites, including Creaplan Metzler in Blaichach (with Allgäuer Kraftwerke GmbH as service provider for the grid operator AllgäuNetz GmbH & Co. KG) and the headquarters of The Mobility House in Munich with SWM infrastructure.
"For us as a grid operator, this is an important step in the right direction. By integrating controllable charging infrastructure, we are able to further stabilize the grid. Moreover, the connected flexible consumers can save grid usage fees. And we can keep the grid fees relatively stable for all grid users, as we do not need to expand the grid down to the last kilowatt."
SWM Infrastruktur GmbH & Co. KG.
The technical strategy of The Mobility House for grid-optimized charging even for multiple vehicles has been accepted and welcomed by all the grid operators involved for the implementation of §14a EnWG. After all, charging parks with multiple electric cars in company parking lots, in depots, or on real estate and often with high levels of simultaneous charging are particularly challenging for the grid. The “grid-optimized charging” module for ChargePilot® is available in conjunction with static or dynamic charging management. It can be activated by the customer once they have registered with the grid operator and if the technical requirements at the site are met.
§14a is currently under revision. The Mobility House supports the proposal of the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband e.V.) (vzbv) and many others to incentivize grid-optimized consumer behavior.