Russelectric adds EV charging to Massachusetts microgrid

  • May 4, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Siemens subsidiary Russelectric, a manufacturer of distributed energy and microgrid control systems for mission critical commercial facilities, has added electrical vehicle charging capabilities at its Hingham, Massachusetts, facility.

In 2017, Russelectric installed a renewable, hybrid microgrid at Hingham, consisting of grid power, solar photovoltaic power generation system, energy storage system and diesel generator. The microgrid was designed to serve as both a source of renewable and emergency back-up power for the facility, and as a research and development platform to explore and demonstrate customer technology.

Recently, two VersiCharge charging stations were added to complement Russelectric’s microgrid. These level-two charging stations have a capacity to charge electric vehicles at up to 7.2kW (30A), thus providing a full charge for most EVs in under four hours. The capability of the chargers to meter the energy consumption and execute load profiles provided by compatible controllers through either a local or remote connection makes them easy to integrate into the microgrid use case.

“The charging stations allow Russelectric to provide charging capability, sourced from renewable power, for our employees’ electric vehicles, during normal business operations as well as grid outages,” said Jason Martin, head of Russelectric. “In addition, they serve as an R&D platform to explore how our customers can integrate electric vehicle charging into their distributed energy power systems.”

Siemens’ charging technology is designed to be future proof, to account for the future use case of providing energy back to the building from the EV battery.

“The challenge in providing energy back to the building is not in the charger technology, but rather in the implementation with respect to customer preferences,” said Celia Dayagi, head of product management for Siemens eMobility in North America. “This pilot installation will be an excellent sandbox in which we can explore how to execute driver and building preferences in a microgrid setting.”

Founded in 1955, Russelectric provides high-integrity power controllers for mission critical applications in the healthcare, information technology, telecommunication, water treatment and renewable energy markets. The company maintains vertically integrated manufacturing facilities in Massachusetts and Oklahoma, where it designs and builds a line of automatic transfer switches, switchgear and controls.