Duke Energy

Duke Energy

Siemens Energy Management Division, together with Duke Energy and Ford, recently demonstrated the results of an 18-month project on residential smart charging capabilities to lower energy costs and, at the same time, assure grid reliability.

The project was granted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.

Siemens developed a lot of additional features for its EVSE to make charging smarter - schedule charge periods, see usage statistic or even let utilities to control charging periods.

According to Siemens, if utilities were able to control the charging process, energy bills could be lowered up to 60% compared to standard rates. We believe that real world benefits would be less, as the base scenario for electric car owners is typically already two tariff rates, including one for night charging.

General sales of EVSE with Wi-Fi connectivity and smart phone application used in this demonstration is expected to be available in 2015.

"Held at the Duke Energy Envision Center in Erlanger, Ky., and utilizing a Ford Fusion Energi Plug-In Hybrid, Siemens provided the first Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approved residential electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) to demonstrate the ability to monitor status, report energy use, and be controlled locally from the local area network and from the cloud.

Siemens’ EVSE was shown to be accessible by web-connected computers, smart phones and tablets, allowing the EV owner to better monitor the status of the EV charging, schedule future charge events, as well as determine the total kilowatt hours consumed and the cost of charging.

With these technology developments, an EV owner can now better understand exactly what they are spending to charge their electric vehicle, schedule the charging process when rates are lowest, and share their charging experience. Utilities can also take advantage of the technology to offer programs that help manage the time and level of EV charging across the grid to increase grid reliability and efficiency while minimizing peak demand."

Siemens VersiCharge

Siemens VersiCharge

Barry Powell, head of Siemens Low Voltage & Products stated:

“This demonstration marks a turning point for the EV industry and proves the tangible benefits of bringing advanced EVSE technologies into the home and the power marketplace. Intelligence in EV charging stations means homeowners can reduce the cost of charging up to 60 percent by automatically charging during low energy rate periods, where such programs are available. Utilities can shift loads off critical peak periods to avoid the need for new generation sources.”

Mike Rowand, director, Technology Development at Duke Energy remarked:

“As EVs gain in popularity, it will be important for both drivers and utilities to have improved information -- making charging more available and cheaper."

Control the EVSE from an OpenADR server

"Also demonstrated was the ability to monitor and control the EVSE from an OpenADR server. OpenADR is an open standard for Automated Demand Response, allowing utilities to manage grid load resources remotely and automatically. By using OpenADR or by directly accessing the Siemens Cloud, utilities can offer rate programs to EV owners to allow the consumer to charge at highly attractive rates while simultaneously allowing the utility to manage the loads on the grid. By shifting each EV charging event slightly in time, utilities can potentially reduce the peak demand on the grid, which in turn helps to reduce the total amount of generation needed.

The Siemens EV charging station presented at the Envision Center also demonstrated a unique, new industry standard interface designed to allow appliances to work with utility demand response programs. The connection is based on the CEA-2045 modular communications interface standard, introduced in February 2013 by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is assessing the CEA-2045 interface to determine its ability to provide smart grid connectivity standard for water heaters, AC units and other large home energy loads. This Siemens EV charger is believed to be the first EVSE that provides this connectivity. In addition to the CEA-2045 connector in the EVSE, Siemens also demonstrated a CEA-2045 communication module that provides Wi-Fi communications for any CEA-2045 enabled appliance."