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Communication interface connects e-vehicles to power grid

19 Nov 2013  | Christoph Hammerschmidt

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Researchers from the Fraunhofer ESK have established and implemented the needed communication interface to seamlessly connect electric vehicles to the power grid. Researchers aim to develop a system in which electric vehicles use and temporarily store energy. The charging station functions as an active node that communicates with the vehicle and an energy management system in the smart grid. The research led to the creation of a demonstrator that simulates the entire information chain, from the vehicle to the energy management system of a control centre.

Researchers are creating a consistent, manufacture-independent specification for the e-vehicle-to-charging station communication through ISO/IEC15118. This standard defines a comprehensive exchange of information that is essential for the "smart" charging process. Communication between the charging station and the smart grid will be based on an enhancement of the IEC 61850 global standard.

With the development of this interface, Fraunhofer ESK researchers provide a significant contribution to the further development of the IEC61850-90-8 specification, which to date has been available in draft form. By combining the two standards, the charging station is transformed into a node that integrates the electric vehicle charging process into the smart grid.

A demonstrator developed by the Fraunhofer researchers simulates the entire information chain, from the vehicle to the energy management system of a control centre. During this simulation, a variety of information such as battery status, charging progress, charging mode, authentication data, and price and payment information are exchanged among the participants.

The research is part of the EU-sponsored SMARTV2G (smart vehicle-to-grid interface) project, which is funded through the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

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