Burns & McDonnell Install Bi-Directional EV Chargers in Colorado

4 years ago by Mark Kane 4

Burns & McDonnell Bidirectional EV Chargers at Fort Carson, Colorado feeding (or being feed) electric trucks.

Burns & McDonnell Bi-directional EV Chargers at Fort Carson, Colorado feeding (or being fed by) electric trucks.

Burns & McDonnell 60 kW bidirectional fast charger

Burns & McDonnell 60 kW bi-directional fast charger

Burns & McDonnell announced at the end of August that together with subcontractor Coritech Services, they’ve developed a system of bidirectional, fast-charging stations for a fleet of plug-in electric vehicles in Fort Carson, Colorado.

“This first-of-its-kind system will push power back to the base microgrid when needed to meet installation demand or improve overall power quality.”

The system, consisting of five 60 kW bidirectional chargers and the necessary controllers, were successfully commissioned on 29 August as part of the Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security (SPIDERS) microgrid project at Fort Carson. The project is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Omaha District, and includes technical guidance from CERL and TARDEC.

A performance test was conducted using electric trucks form Smith Electric Vehicles and Boulder Electric Vehicle. Noteworthy is that Boulder Electric, together with Coritech Services, introduced 60 kW V2G capability, so this station should be fully utilized with these trucks.

Total charging and discharging power of the five chargers is as high as 300 kW and is done via SAE “J1772-compliant bidirectional charging cables,” which likely means J1772 combo plug.

In Burns & McDonnell’s opinion, this solution lets local utilities run more efficiently and less costly, additionally acting as a backup:

“The vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging includes power factor correction, which is a growing concern at locations such as Fort Carson that are experiencing a growth in on-site solar power generation, resulting in utility rate penalties.”

“The chargers are also integrated into the SPIDERS backup power microgrid, which allows the installation to utilize a fleet of bidirectional-capable electric vehicles as energy storage devices that, in conjunction with diesel generators and a 2-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic array, increases the reliability and efficiency of backup power systems to critical facilities at Fort Carson. The Burns & McDonnell team also includes Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and Intelligent Power & Energy Research Corporation (IPERC) that provided design, programming and aggregation of the vehicle charging solution and microgrid integration.”

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4 responses to "Burns & McDonnell Install Bi-Directional EV Chargers in Colorado"

  1. Rick Danger says:

    Since when did the term “bi-directional” take over for v2g? If they hadn’t said v2g in the quote, I wouldn’t have known wtf you were talking about.
    Granted, it’s early and the coffee water is still heating.

  2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

    So what happens when you want to use the vehicles and want power at the same time?

    Yes, I’m a V2G-skeptic.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      On a macro scale, the law of averages apply. There will always be vehicles to tap power from.

      On a micro scale, you may have those situations, but even then, you’ve greatly increased the amount of time that you have additional backup power compared to without V2G. (i.e. all the time during the day that you’re parked and do not want to use your vehicle)

  3. Rick Danger says:

    I dunno, but it’s always seemed to me that most commercial vehicles are being used during the day, so when they stop for a charge, they need the charge ASAP. No time to waste sharing power back to the grid.

    It might be a boon on hot summer weekends though.