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EV charging, demand response link up through IT protocols, paper finds

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EV charging, demand response link up through IT protocols, paper finds

Combining information technology protocols used in demandresponse and electric vehicle charging helps utilities manage power supply anddemand and avoid blackouts, experts on these resources conclude in ajust-issued white paper.

Rapid growth in intermittent renewable energy and electricvehicles, or EVs, presents reliability challenges, but the experts conclude thatSouthern California Edison Co.proved combining the two widely used protocols turns electric vehicles intodemand response assets.

The "Using OpenADR with OCPP" describes how the leadingopen protocols for demand response and charging electric vehicles have beenapplied together to improve grid management, enhance energy efficiency andlower energy and transmission costs, according to the white paper.

Open Automated Demand Response, or OpenADR, and Open ChargePoint Protocol, or OCPP, have become industry standards.

OpenADR was created in a research center operated byLawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The lab's Demand Response ResearchCenter worked with California's investor-owned utilities to jointly develop thetechnology. The protocol was refined through the U.S. National Institute ofStandards and Technology and is being adopted worldwide through theInternational Electrotechnical Commission.

OCPP, developed in 2009 in the Netherlands throughcollaboration with Dutch grid operators, has become the de facto standard amongEV charging vendors and network operators, according to the white paper by AukeHoekstra of the Eindhoven University of Technology, Rolf Bienert of the OpenADRAlliance and Arjan Wargers of OCPP developer ElaadNL Foundation.

The OpenADR Alliance, which released the white paper on Oct.4, fosters development and adoption of the protocol, according to a newsrelease.

The white paper includes a case study in which subsidiarySoCalEd used OCPP and OpenADR to implement a workplace EV charging pilot.SoCalEd deployed 80 chargers to study consumer behavior with fee-based chargingat the utility's work facilities using payment kiosks.

To use EVs in demand response, the OCPP central servermonitors charging stations to find those that can slow or interrupt chargingEVs when needed. The grid operator uses the OpenADR protocol to send signalswithin seconds to those charging stations to reduce load based on the chargingstation's contractual arrangements with the grid operator.

The charging station operator also has arrangements with itsEV customers that determine the charging station's flexibility to participatein demand response events. Under time-of-use pricing, the EV customer uses anoptions menu to select a schedule, charging speed and whether interruptions areacceptable during demand response events. Customers who can accommodate themost flexible charging schedules get the cheapest energy bills. The EV customercan set a charging profile, present identification to start or stop fueling andprepay or pay per use.

Greenlots, a global provider of open standards-basedtechnology solutions for EVs, supported SoCalEd's EV charging pilot. Charginginformation — including duration and energy values — was communicated betweenthe charging stations and Greenlots' central server over the OCPP.

Greenlots offers a mobile app for EV drivers to get smartphone access to chargers. Drivers can specify charging and payment plans thatfit their schedules and budgets. The white paper points to the flexibility mostEV drivers have in fueling, especially with phone apps.

"But a car is also extremely flexible because it isusually parked more than 90% of the time. So if you see a peak in charging,chances are that most users are not inconvenienced if their charging is delayedby a couple of hours (especially if you give them an overrule option on theirsmartphone)," the white paper said.

SoCalEd will use lessons learned from the pilot to install1,500 charging stations within its service territory through its Charge Readyprogram the California Public Utilities Commission in January. The company willask the PUC to approve its planned $355 million program to increase the numberof charging stations to about 30,000 installations.

California's other investor-owned utilities also are workingon EV programs. PG&E Corp.'sPacific Gas and Electric Co.subsidiary is seeking regulatory approval for its Plug-in Electric VehicleDemand Response Pilot Project to demonstrate the feasibility of managing EVs asa controllable grid resource.

Sempra Energysubsidiary San Diego Gas &Electric Co. has launchedits "Power Your Drive" program to install 3,500 EV charging stations.Installation of the utility-owned stations will begin in early 2017, SDG&Esaid on its website.