Delta goes to university to test EV and grid balancing

  • October 26, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

Delta, a Taiwanese specialist in power and thermal management, is collaborating with Brandenburg University of Technology on an on-site proof-of-concept to test the feasibility of enabling a smart grid capable of balancing demand and supply between grid operators and electric vehicle (EV) owners.

Delta’s EV charging infrastructure, which includes six 100kW fast EV chargers and three vehicle-to-grid (V2G) bi-directional EV chargers, provides the foundation technology for a viable end-to-end power management system that tightly couples the EV’s storage to a realistic simulation of the main electricity grid on the distribution network operator level.

Harald Schwarz, a professor at the university, said: “We appointed Delta Electronics as an industry partner for this collaboration because of its diverse range of hardware and software EV charging solutions plus its ability to manage a project of this nature to a very high standard. Our choice has been more than justified.”

The challenge is to prove to the EV community that drivers will always have the power they need when they need it and the grid operators will be able smooth their loading, reduce CO2 emissions, enhancing the stability of the grid, and remove the need for major grid investments. To address this, the project comprises EVs and their users, ultra-fast charging points for fast charging to their EVs, V2G bidirectional EV chargers for grid stability and to decrease the power transmission within and between the power clusters, a simulation of a smart grid – which is constantly fed with data from a real grid during archiving of the most recent grid status – and the software that is needed at every point along the chain.

“Delta is proud to have been selected for this project by Brandenburgische Technische Universität,” said Vincent Lin, senior director at Delta in Emea. “It is an honour to help lead such an important and innovative development and one which will help move the world to a more productive use of renewable power supplies.”

Delta provided the project with six 150kW EV chargers and three V2G bidirectional EV chargers. The hardware is spread between the three participating institutions: Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus-Senftenberg; Universität Potsdam; and Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde.

Delta is also leading the development of a communication and charge-point management backend system required at many points in the process, and which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The system is to be used at every point, both behind the scenes for control of and communication between devices, and at the human interfaces, including the EV drivers via their smartphones, the charge point operators and the grid controllers. Delta attaches particular importance to using standard software interfaces and open communication protocols. This simplifies the integration of the software to be developed into the ecosystem of e-mobility.

Delta was chosen for its experience in developing EV charging systems and control software. The company’s background means its technologies and skills closely match the technical requirements of the research project. It also lends its software project leadership expertise to the development of the applications needed to control energy flows to where they’re most needed.

Test vehicles are being deployed to help understand the implications and opportunities for the blending of e-mobility with the electricity supply grid. Based on the results it generates, the project is expected to bring benefits to the Brandenburg community in terms of better EV infrastructure.

Founded in 1971, Delta provides switching power supplies and thermal management products with a portfolio of smart energy-saving systems in the fields of industrial automation, building automation, telecom power, data centre infrastructure, EV charging, renewable energy, energy storage and display. It serves its customers through its sales offices, R&D centres and manufacturing facilities spread over close to 200 locations across five continents.