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EPRI to showcase “advanced software platform” for PEV charging


October 15, 2014
By Anthony Capkun


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October 15, 2014 – The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)—along with several auto manufacturers, utilities and regional transmission organizations—says it will demonstrate an “advanced software platform” for integrating plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) with smart grid technologies.

The technology—Open Vehicle-Grid Integration (VGI) Platform software system—was developed by EPRI and Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd.

Managing the electricity demand of PEVs during charging offers several benefits, says EPRI, including:

• The vehicle owner can set their PEV to automatically charge during off-peak periods, potentially saving several hundred dollars.

• The vehicle owner retains ultimate control over their EV and can decide when to participate and when to opt out.

• Utilities can avoid upgrading transformers and other distribution assets, reducing costs for all customers.

The software platform aims to provide information to adjust PEV charging loads up and down to accommodate the intermittent availability of renewable energy sources.

The VGI platform demonstration this week will showcase its demand-response and load curtailment capabilities through a single, standards-based interface, and will involve eight EV manufacturers.

“This demonstration represents a major milestone toward implementing a common interface communications architecture that meets the needs of utilities and equipment manufacturers while simultaneously benefiting electric vehicle owners and electricity users,” said Dan Bowermaster, manager of EPRI’s Electric Transportation Program.

The open VGI platform facilitates communication with EVs, enabling utilities to take advantage of the built-in smart charging capabilities and deploy PEVs to support grid reliability, stability and efficiency, says EPRI. The utility will be able to send requests to the PEV either through a public broadband connection or the vehicle’s on-board control system to turn charging On/Off or to reduce the charging power level when conditions on the grid require a load reduction to offset peaks in electricity use.

In the next development phase, the EPRI team will integrate the PEV communications platform with residential, fleet and commercial facility energy management systems. This will enable testing of its ability to manage local control scenarios such as demand management for commercial and industrial consumers. Additionally, it will enable interface communications for charging stations and commercial demand response facilitators.