Intelligent and e-mobile thanks to SmiLE

Smart integrated charging of electric vehicles in company car parks to save costs and bring benefits

17.2.2021 | THD-Pressestelle

One reason why more companies have not yet fully switched to electric mobility or do not offer charging stations is the concern about significant additional costs in terms of electricity consumption. Companies usually have a contractually agreed annual maximum load. If this is exceeded, depending on the size of the company, surcharges of up to several hundred thousand euros on the unforeseen load peak can be the result. The parking and charging management system “SmiLE” will soon provide a solution to this problem. Scientists at the Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT) are developing the system.

Prof Dr Andreas Berl is responsible for the project and knows the explosive nature of the topic. The problem for companies is uncontrolled charging. The feared additional costs caused by peak electricity consumption are quickly reached. A load peak is when the average energy consumption in an interval of 15 minutes exceeds the maximum contractually agreed upon with the electricity provider. There are many reasons why a load peak occurs. According to Prof Berl, this is the case when charging processes are started immediately with maximum power and batteries are unnecessarily “fully” charged. When charging processes are unscheduled, without enquiring about the next use of the vehicle. Or if the charging processes are not coordinated with the rest of the company’s energy system (e.g. load management).

In order to solve these problems, the research group led by Prof Berl is developing the SmiLE parking and charging management system. The goal is to bring more companies to e-mobility. The system is connected to the company’s existing energy system. SmiLE also makes it possible to reserve a parking or charging option so that the e-vehicles are charged according to the reservation details. In addition, a company’s own vehicle fleet can be integrated into the charging management. With the help of AI-supported forecasting methods, the charging processes can be planned in such a way that no expensive peak loads occur. To this end, DIT is developing and implementing algorithms for optimal charge planning and forecasting models. In addition, the charging planning is to be optimised according to the entrepreneurial goals. Exampled of this are the maximum use of renewable energies, the extension of the service life of vehicle batteries and stationary energy storage or the minimisation of charging costs.

To identify the respective requirements, the many years of experience of E-WALD GmbH, one of the largest German charging infrastructure operators, and eeMobility GmbH, which operates charging infrastructure for companies throughout Germany, are of great importance. Seamless communication between the respective system components and in particular the connection between the SmiLE system and the charging stations is the focus of eeMobility GmbH in the project. The SmiLE project (No. AZ-1405-19) is funded by the Bavarian Research Foundation. The project started in May 2020 and ends in 2023.

Bild (eeMobility GmbH): The SmiLE project of the Deggendorf Institute of Technology aims to bring more companies to e-mobility.