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http://www.energylivenews.com/2014/03/03/london-trials-new-smart-system-for-ev-charging/

My first thoughts on reading this was great! At last some progress towards the Smart Grid... something that we have all been waiting for for some time. Then I read it again and the implications of this report hit me...

The Smart Grid concent seems like a great idea... managed car charging at home at peak times to smooth out the grid demand. But this is talking about managing public charging!

So, imagine, you plug in for a quick 1hr 7kW charge in your Nissan Leaf at a public 7kW charging post knowing you won't get home without that 1hr charge but when you return you find your car didn't actually get that hour because the Smart Grid turned off your charging for a while! :eek:

Now of course I don't know the details and it might be that it is only turned off for a few minutes so that it doesn't significantly affect you but if it is only minutes then I fail to see how it helps.

I await to hear more details about how this trial will help and I hope that whatever Smart Grid technology they use that it isn't used in such a way as to mean we return to our cars with insufficient charge to get home.

I am generally in favour of the Smart Grid and find the whole concept very exciting but I am curious how it will work in a public charging situation.
 

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I agree with you Paul. Smart grid is an excellent idea. I get home from work at 6pm its very unlikely I will go back out in the car until 7am the next morning. There is a 13 hour window there to charge my car, as long as its at 100% charge before i leave for work I couldn't care less.

But as you mentioned in a public charging situation this should never be used! You want the full load of that charging station with out interruptions. Are these people making these decisions sane or what?
 

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I read in the text: It will briefly suspend the flow of electricity to selected EV charge points at peak times on the network while ensuring drivers still get enough charge. The smart control system is designed to have no noticeable impact on those using the charge points."
As a trail, it sounds like a good idea to test?
London is more likely to be the place for long stays - so their customers would neither notice, nor care about the interruptions?
I would also like to see trials of Vehicle-to-grid being used. See: http://electricvehicle.ieee.org/advanced-charging/vehicle-to-grid-technology-v2g-and-wireless-charging/
Provided the system can handle your charge level to meet user needs, it has to be good - overall!
 

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it would also require changes in the cars, when I plug into a 7kw public charger I use the timer override function. If the post stops the flow of power it thinks its finished its charge. If the post started up again a few mins later I think the car would sit until its scheduled time
 

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Good point Jon. I had forgotten about the need to use the override on the Leaf.

In spite of how much I want to see the Smart Grid introduced I just don't think it appropriate or sensible on public charging. At the moment of course there isn't much public charging on 7kW posts at all and as car ranges increase and rapid charging becomes more of the norm when away from home I do not see the need or the benefit from using the Smart tech on public charging. Most of the grid loading will happen when people get home from work at 6pm - 8pm and plug in. That is currently where peak load occurs now and EVs will make that peak much worse. The extra load on the grid on public charging will occur mostly during the daytime and not during peak load periods.

I can't help feeling that this is just another one of those "good" ideas that people have when they have never owned an EV and don't know anything about them... like most councils and, I am beginning to think, OLEV.

It looks to me like it hasn't been thought through at all.
 

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Which is better - that some lights go out when the National Grid cannot suddenly deal with the loss of a major power station - or that your (and a lot of other people's) charging is suspended for a few minutes while the National Grid get an alternative generator up and running?

To avoid jontracey's problem about cancelling the timer override function, the charging points could be instructed to reduce the charging rate to a low value rather than turning the posts off altogether.

Longer 'non-charging' times to avoid the early evening peak load is probably a task more suited to home chargers.
 

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The whole lot is bloody ridiculous! If I plug in its because I need a charge, I don't want some faceless body deciding if I can have my charge or not, especially if I'm paying through the nose for it at some stupid middle of nowhere park and ride for example.
 

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it would also require changes in the cars, when I plug into a 7kw public charger I use the timer override function. If the post stops the flow of power it thinks its finished its charge. If the post started up again a few mins later I think the car would sit until its scheduled time
If the charge point temporarily lowered the advertised current down to something pathetically limp like 6A, rather than stopping the charge entirely, then it won't need the Leaf's charge timer override to resume charging when there's enough grid capacity.
 

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The system should know what time you depart, and will give you a full battery by the time you leave. But over a few hours the power may go off or be throttled back to stabilise the grid. Being able to dump loads like this can make you money, if you have enough aggregated load... 2MW before you can sign up for balancing services. However there's a market developing for demand aggregators who sign up several smaller sites and sell the aggregated demand back to the balancing market. Some fag packets I have written on means it could be theoretically possible to provide free charging as the income from load shedding for 2 consecutive half hour settlement periods is higher than the per kWh cost to charge a current 20kWh EV! There's food for thought! Trouble is the services aren't required all the time.

It's also why I think VTG is a non starter. Best to just get EVs to stop charging for a bit instead of exporting. Car batteries are to expensive to waste precious cycles on VTG.

Regarding home smart meters... The new official smart meters known as SMETS 2.0 compliant meters have the capability to send signals to 5 auxiliary circuits in the home area network - a dedicated wifi type system. Think washing machines, fridge freezer, storage heaters and EVs of course. How these circuits get used is up to whatever applications and tariffs the energy suppliers develop as the standard just gives the capability to send the signals.

Sadly if you already have a smart meter you've jumped the gun as no one to date has a SMETS 2.0 installed. And you are unlikely to get one as the 2020 obligation is to get all homes with a smart meter. You'll be at the back of the queue as the fines for non compliance (ie not completing all homes) could be huge. E.on recently got fined £7m for not getting advanced metering equipment in all their larger business customers. When you realise that's for about 7,000 they missed and it works out at £1,000 per customer it was cheaper to get the meters installed. Hence why I can't see them going back and doing SMETS 1.0 or earlier non SMETS meters until the roll out has given everyone else a meter. There's 22m residential properties in the UK. 5 years is 1780 days. So once the ramp up starts this year the energy suppliers are going to have to install over 12,000 meters a day (on a 7 day week). Massive piece of work!
 
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