Eaton Advances Integrated Solar-Assisted Electric Vehicle Charging Station in Collaboration with Tennessee Valley Authority and EPRI

Eaton Corporation is collaborating with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on a prototype integrated solar-assisted electric vehicle charging station to be erected at EPRI’s research laboratory in Knoxville, Tenn. Additional stations are planned for Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Nashville, Chattanooga and another site in Knoxville.

Smartsystem
Simple block diagram of the SMART system. Source: EPRI. Click to enlarge.

The prototype charging station used by EPRI and TVA, also known as a Smart Modal Area Recharge Terminal, or SMART station, will provide information on energy usage, the time when the equipment is used, the amount of solar-generated electricity produced and stored, and the potential impact of load clusters—when several vehicles are refueled at the same time—on distribution system reliability.

The collaboration will create a model charging facility that will charge electric vehicles quickly and reliably, and it will produce data to assist in implementing key components of a smart electrical grid. These components could include integrating renewables onto the grid, utilizing a battery storage system, assessing the impact on reliability of a distributed resource generation, testing advance metering infrastructure and analyzing electric vehicle supply equipment.

The base design includes the following attributes:

  • 10 parking spaces each with electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) rated at 32 A, 240 V (7.68 kW capacity)
  • Approximately 2 kW of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels provided per charge space (Its primary function is to offset vehicle energy usage.)
  • Approximately 5 kWh of usable battery storage provided per charge space (Its primary function is to allow mitigation of peak system power demand.)
  • All subsystems are linked by being grid-tied.
  • Nose-to-nose parking layout with a center access aisle
  • Subsystems modular at the two-space level

Eaton recently announced that it will collaborate with Takaoka Electric Manufacturing Company, Ltd. to develop and launch DC Quick Chargers, a key component in the charging of electric vehicle battery packs. The collaboration will enable Eaton to provide a complete line of charging stations across residential, commercial and industrial applications in North America.

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