Insights | Case Studies

Smart demand vehicle charging solution

For: Leading UK energy supplier

The issue:

A major UK energy supplier wanted to develop a cloud-controlled vehicle to grid power management solution to complement renewable generation and meet grid system demand needs.
They came to Red with the idea and concept and needed help to make this a reality.

Our objective:

To scope, design and develop a production and scale-ready solution that would enable the energy supplier to offer smart in-home vehicle charging that:

  • enabled demand management of supply (especially peak supply) to and from the grid
  • lowered carbon generation intensity
  • reduced charging costs for customers

What we did:

Strategy & feasibility
Definition of the hardware and embedded software architectures.

Proof of concept & design
Development of the hardware solution capable of supporting three product types.

Development & Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

  • Production of the product prototypes.
  • Design and development of the embedded software stack, including the sensor data processing and control algorithms.
  • Development of an AI control process and the cloud interface to manage demand.

Compliance
Ensuring hardware and software compliance with the necessary standards including CHAdeMO and safety.

Performance monitoring
Various system level sensors were incorporated into the design and development to provide monitoring data on:

  • Safety critical operations e.g. Earth leakage, Insulation leakage, Switching, Process interlocks, Emergency stop detection
  • Load management operations in line with National Grid requirements
  • Voltage, current, power consumption, power factor reporting including AC Current, DC Voltage, DC Current.
  • Application layer functionality such as Load Control match and Firm Frequency Response (FFR), Charging, Load Switching and Metering operations

Over 75% of electric vehicles could be using smart charging by 2050*

Well over 2.8 trillion data points will be collected into 2050 to understand where electric vehicles are charging on the electricity system*

*Source: Future Energy Scenarios – nationalgrid ESO, July 2019

How we did it:

The solution we developed uses AI to create ‘smart-charge’, controlling the balance of demand load across the grid.
The sensing technology we integrated into the product design and hardware is key to the control system and management of grid services.
We knew the potential pitfalls and could help to navigate the customer through each stage of the development journey.

The outcome:

The client was able to develop and scale their concept without costly delays or issues, to offer their customers a state-of-the-art in-home vehicle charging solution, reducing their bills and importantly, reducing demand load and carbon generation.
The client is able to collect important data to provide insight to their customers and National Grid, but also monitor performance and prevent any potential issues becoming bigger problems.

Our deep experience of delivering end-to-end product development meant we designed with scale in mind. This meant the client could take the product to market quickly and efficiently, with no delays and in full compliance of safety legislation.

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