08.2023 - 07.2026

System charging

The Systemladen project aims to combine the charging solutions for electromobility and decentralized energy system solutions that have been developed individually and separately in recent years into a holistically conceived ecosystem.

Motivation

Charging solutions for electromobility and corresponding charging stations are currently available in a wide variety of versions and performance classes for various applications and use cases in the market. However, there are still diverse and challenging obstacles to overcome for achieving mass-market, competitive, and environmentally sustainable deployment. All necessary system components and solutions have already been individually and successfully tested in practical applications over the past years and decades. Many partial aspects have also been implemented on a large scale. Nevertheless, the overarching vision of cost-effective charging of electric vehicles with 100% renewable energy has not yet been achieved. Lack of long-term stable system architectures and framework conditions, a general universal interoperability of system components, and the drastic reduction of component and operating costs hinder implementation. To master the enormous complexity of the interconnected system and ensure resilient functionality and profitability, the system solutions and the overall system must be thought of and optimized holistically. All system components – whether hardware, software, or processes & services – must be specifically tailored, and this needs to be done as quickly and promptly as possible. Building on previous research efforts, which laid the necessary foundations and developed initial successful solutions, a new generation of charging solutions is now being prepared and tested in practical pilot applications.

Objective – Overall Project

The main objective of the joint project and the new solutions it aims to achieve is the largely local balancing of PV volatility through intelligent variable charging solutions – without loss of comfort and availability restrictions for the vehicle user, while at the same time saving costs compared to conventional charging from the grid.

The individual components of the various project partners (PV storage systems, charging stations, aggregation tools, connectivity technologies) are mature and established for their current application, but do not yet meet the new requirements and challenges from a system perspective. In addition, they also require a further, significant reduction in costs.

Against this background, the joint work objective is to further develop, supplement and combine existing solution modules and components into a modular overall system solution for the optimal linking of charging infrastructure and intelligent renewable energy systems. The planned project is intended to make a relevant contribution to cost reduction and sustainable system integration and thus to solving the above-mentioned challenges. The core idea is to integrate the charging solutions on the one hand and the decentralized energy system solutions on the other through a holistically conceived ecosystem.

The new overall solution should be future-proof, interoperable and open to third-party modules, covering the entire range of applications from private PV home systems to multi-family homes and businesses to large charging parks and vehicle fleets. In addition, the aim is to integrate digital backend solutions into grid operation and the market. The aim is to reduce charging costs, increase user benefits and facilitate the conversion of the energy and transport system through international scalability suitable for the mass market and holistic optimization of the overall concepts as well as device and software modules.  In addition, insights will be gained into suitable qualification procedures and for the future design of technical and regulatory framework conditions.

Project Structure

The research project is divided into 9 interdisciplinary work packages.

At the beginning of the project, a systematic analysis of requirements, framework conditions and use cases will establish a basic framework for the subsequent component development of modular overall system solutions and research work. In particular, the combination of charging and energy system infrastructure will be considered, taking international aspects and trends into account. During the course of the project, the trend analyses will be fed back several times in order to incorporate current developments into the process. Building on this, congruent and future-proof system architectures will be developed for the interoperable integration of charging solutions into the local energy system and into energy and grid system service markets. In order to ensure a continuous energy supply even in the event of a crisis or fault, the advantages of decentralized renewable energy generation are considered in resilience concepts. The basic research will continue simultaneously until shortly before the end of the project.

The technology and solution development includes software modules for optimized electromobility integration in local energy management solutions as well as integration of the charging infrastructure in VPP backend solutions for sector coupling. Holistic system planning processes for complex system structures such as apartment buildings or business parks with multi-user charging, PV systems and battery storage are also included. Component and system qualification procedures for the qualification and quality assessment of system solutions are being developed as a basis for future standards. To ensure consistently reliable, fast data transmission, avoid connection overloads and simplify installation and commissioning, connectivity is being improved even in unfavorable conditions. The optimization of the DC and AC charging stations to simplify system integration completes the project’s development work.

The project is being scientifically supported by the research partners Forschungsstelle für Energiewirtschaft e.V. and Biberach University of Applied Sciences and supplemented by studies focusing on the grid, energy industry and system qualification.

The practical implementation of the joint project involves testing and demonstrating the new solutions as a complete system for the respective application in practical use.

Finally, the findings will be synthesized and evaluated and recommendations for the design of future framework conditions and regulations will be derived.

Figure 1: Project structure of system charging

The FfE’s Project contents

The Forschungsstelle für Energiewirtschaft e. V. (FfE) will initially establish a common understanding between the partners in the key research areas of the project in its role as scientific advisor to the research project and research essential framework conditions and principles for the project. The processing and documentation of nationally and internationally relevant trends and framework conditions is the foundation for the further development and optimization of the project partners.

The FfE will also deal with the technical and economic evaluation of the solutions developed in the project. In this context, developed prosumer and charging infrastructure solutions will be identified and evaluated in terms of their economic efficiency using simulative analyses. As a central player in a decentralized energy system, the prosumer has a decisive role to play in this project. They are not only producers of decentrally generated energy, but also act as consumers. The integration of this role into the existing energy system with the aim of enabling a resilient and cost-effective charging infrastructure requires not only the formulation of requirements for this role but also the investigation of its influence on the energy and grid infrastructure. FfE is investigating this influence with the help of its simulation and optimization models “GridSim”, “eFlame” and “ISAaR”.

Finally, FfE will deal with the synthesis of results. System properties and performance of the solutions developed in the project will be characterized and evaluated with a focus on the technical and economic future potential. Deriving recommendations for the future design of local, resilient and cost-effective charging solutions in the energy system will round off the sub-project.

Methodology

The simulation and optimization models are used in particular to calculate and analyse the potential repercussions of charging solutions on distribution grids and the energy system. “GridSim” simulates the resulting loads in the distribution grid and identifies the need to expand the grid. “eFlame” simulates various charging solutions to evaluate the economic efficiency of the properties and “ISAaR” supplements this with the characterization of the charging solutions in connection with energy system repercussions and GHG savings potential. Based on the analyses, the effects and possibilities of large-scale use of the various charging solutions are evaluated.

Figure 2: Modeling of charging concepts

System landscape

Through the cooperation of a broad consortium of industrial partners in the fields of power electronics and PV system solutions, digital solutions for the energy industry and grid operators, connectivity solutions as well as charging stations and charging park solutions, together with scientific partners from energy industry research and energy system technology, this project has all the necessary expertise.

The practice-oriented system solutions for the five segments PV home charging, multi-family homes, commercial & fleets, charging parks and public charging points, as well as VPP backend solutions for grid and market integration, are implemented as follows:

The platform operator markets the flexibilities provided by the aggregator through digital market and grid integration via the backend and VPP as well as by integrating the charging infrastructure into VPP solutions. The aggregator bundles the flexibilities of the n-connectors and issues control commands to the EMS via the DAM or the SMGW. By developing new and efficient connectivity solutions in the mesh system and integrating them into home storage systems, photovoltaic systems, inverters, heat pumps and charging stations, a robust wireless connection is established between the subscriber’s participating devices. Incoming control commands or outgoing feedback messages are also transmitted via the EMS. The control commands and feedback messages are processed via the SMGW/CLS or DAM/OEM to the responsible MSB and aggregator.

The implementation of the goals set in the project regarding §14a, market-based grid services, load management in multi-family houses, commercial buildings and fleets as well as price-optimized charging will be accompanied by studies on interoperability and grid and energy industry analyses. The various systems will be qualified accordingly based on the structure and interoperability of the players.

Figure 3: Structure of the all-in-one system in the system charging project.

Project Partners

6 partners are involved in the system charging project. On the industry side, the consortium combines expertise from the sectors of power electronics & PV system solutions, digital solutions for the energy industry & grid operators, connectivity solutions and charging stations & charging park solutions. The scientific partners from energy industry research and energy systems technology also cover the necessary scientific expertise.

Under the leadership of the consortium leader SMA Solar Technology AG, the project is made up of the industrial partners convea GmbH, elexon GmbH, who Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH and the research partners Forschungsstelle für Energiewirtschaft e. V. and Biberach University of Applied Sciences, Chair of Electrical Systems.

Funding

The research project is funded by Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK)  (Funding Code: 01MV23012E).