Improving Commercial Viability of Fast Charging by Providing Renewable Integration and Grid Services with Integrated Multiple DC Fast Chargers

Aggregating PEVs to efficiently balance the DC fast charging load demands with renewable energy over-generation.

Zeco Systems, Inc. dba Greenlots

Recipient

Los Angeles, CA

Recipient Location

24th

Senate District

53rd

Assembly District

beenhere

$826,250

Amount Spent

closed

Completed

Project Status

Project Result

Four 50 kW direct current fast chargers and a 48kW and 110 kWh repurposed EV second life battery were installed at the demonstration site in Monterey Park, CA, in March 2020. Charger usage was low due in part to COVID-19 impacts on travel behavior, so the project team used data from other similar installations to conduct analyses of demand charge reduction, demand response participation, and renewable integration. The simulations showed a 23 percent reduction in demand charges when the second-life battery energy storage system (BESS) was used to limit site peak demand; a 20 to 40 percent energy reduction during capacity bidding program events in 2020; and a 13 percent savings in utility energy costs if a photovoltaic array is used to charge the BESS.

The project team also simulated fleet scheduling to show how fleet operators could shift their loads and evaluated second-life battery response and degradation as the battery discharged to support site peak loads. The capacity loss during a 5-month period was 5 percent between the two battery stacks, which translated to an estimated life expectancy of four to seven years.

A project final report detailing project activity and results is expected to be released to the public this year.

The Issue

Publicly available direct current (DC) fast chargers for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) allow drivers to charge quickly when needed, such as when taking long trips. However, DC fast charging installations can be expensive to operate and can cause stress on distribution infrastructure due to their high-power demands. With growing installation and use of DC fast chargers, unmanaged charging can contribute to peak load growth and increased grid congestion. There is a critical need to develop flexible technologies for managing DC fast charging and optimizing on-site distributed energy resources such as stationary storage to improve the commercial viability of DC fast charging and reduce burdens on distribution infrastructure.

Project Innovation

The project enables day-ahead and real-time pricing for DC fast charging by developing an integrated hardware and software platform to engage drivers and customers, manage DC fast chargers, and control an on-site second life PEV battery storage device to limit peak demand. The site controller and network-based platform advances smart and efficient charging by managing four multi-port fast charging stations to minimize grid impact and lower operating costs, evaluates the suitability of DC fast charging to participate in demand response programs, and develops and evaluates control strategies to integrate more renewable generation on the California grid. The project produces real and simulated data from the demonstration site in Monterey Park that supports DC fast charging service provider planning regarding use of managed charging and distributed energy resources. The technologies developed are being commercialized at other sites in California and nationally.

Project Benefits

This project advances technologies for aggregation and management of networked DC fast chargers and on-site stationary storage to help reduce grid burden, integrate more renewable generation, and improve the commercial viability of DC fast charging. This will lower the cost of EV charging, help to accelerate transportation electrification, and support efficient use of existing distribution infrastructure.

Lower Costs

Affordability

Integrated DC fast charging management with second-life PEV batteries offers lower operating costs and can increase operating revenues by more than $4,000 per year for each DC fast charger.

Environmental & Public Health

Environmental Sustainability

Using second-life lithium batteries from PEVs as energy storage extends product lifetime and provides another marketable use for these batteries as an alternative to disposal or recycling.

Greater Reliability

Reliability

Intelligent software control will enable the availability of flexible capacity to the grid, allowing additional renewable integration and reduced stress on grid during peak hours with demand response capacity.

Key Project Members

Project Member

El Hadad

Engineering Manager

Subrecipients

Rocket

Maxgen Energy Services

Match Partners

Rocket

Zeco Systems, Inc. dba Greenlots

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