Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA)

Bus charging at RIPTA depot

Leveraging automated load management (ALM) made possible by ChargePilot®.

    Solutions Used: ChargePilot®, ALM, Charging Simulations

The Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority (RIPTA) embarked on a groundbreaking project to electrify their Broad Street Station, exemplifying innovation in public transit. As a part of their fleet decarbonization efforts, RIPTA faced a significant challenge: integrating advanced charging management within the constraints of the existing grid. Partnering with The Mobility House and leveraging their ChargePilot® charge management system, RIPTA was able to optimize charging in real-time, thereby avoiding extensive and costly infrastructure upgrades.

RIPTA's commitment to sustainability is evident in their meticulous planning and phased implementation approach. The first phase involved electrifying the high-ridership R-Line, necessitating the installation of four high-voltage fast-charging pantographs. Leveraging automated load management (ALM) made possible by ChargePilot® from The Mobility House, RIPTA maximized a 1 MW utility connection to accommodate 1.8 MW total charger capacity.

A notable aspect of the Broad Street project is the incorporation of a 600-kilowatt backup diesel generator. While this might seem counterintuitive, it underscores RIPTA's forward-thinking approach to operational resilience. The generator provides a fail-safe, ensuring continued service during grid failures, albeit on a reduced scale. This set-up not only minimizes capital costs but also provides a real-time adaptive solution to power constraints, ensuring that electrified services remain uninterrupted even under duress.

Key Project Facts:

  • 14 New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE NG 40-foot battery-electric buses replaced the current diesel fleet on the R-Line, becoming the state’s first fully electric route.
  • Automated load management (ALM) feature of ChargePilot®. proactively ensures that total load from all chargers remains within the 1 MW set point.
  • ALM setup to automatically switch between the 1 MW grid limit to below 600 kW, guaranteeing that total load will not exceed the generator’s capacity.

RIPTA's success in electrifying their fleet serves as an inspiring example for transit agencies nationwide. By integrating cutting-edge technology with strategic planning and robust partnerships, RIPTA is not only reducing emissions but also ensuring a reliable and resilient public transportation system for Rhode Island.

The Mobility House employee explaining load management

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