Internet of Things Feedback Loops for EV Charging
- February 28, 2018
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Like any key fast trending buzz phrase, the Internet of Things (IoT) can feel a bit nebulous to define but specific examples prove out the practicality of the concept. The Internet of Things is about the responsive interplay between various connected devices that proactively sense things and react to them with minimal human intervention. Potential IoT applications abound in the energy space. And though it may still be early with us in the “dawn” of the electric vehicle movement, successful Internet of Things feedback loops may solve some bigger issues and help increase EV adoption.
EV charging rates and times of day for charging can help ease EVs onto the grid in an automated IOT-friendly manner. The goal is to incentivize more drivers to adopt electric vehicles while also incentivizing them to charge their vehicles at non-peak times. Utilities are also keen on optimizing charge loads and grid balancing. Devices like the eMotorWorks’ JuiceNet (acquired by Enernoc and now by Italy's Enel), an Internet of Things (IoT) platform for the “smart management of EV charging and other distributed energy storage facilities” could be a mainstay for drivers willing to opt-in to charging schemes that are driven by aggregate energy flows on the grid. For example, grid balancing and energy management services can be provided for EV’s hooked up for overnight charging but the actual charging of the battery will only activate as dictated by algorithms built into the IoT platform that will sense the optimum charge time based on energy flows. A user could simply plug their vehicle into their level 2 home charger when they arrive home from work, update the system with when they plan on driving the car again in the morning, and then have the system activate and charge the vehicle in the most grid optimized way.
IoT feedback loops in the energy space require close coordination between power generators, system vendors and the end-user. But when the component parts come together, there’s great potential for a win-win scenario that allows drivers a fully charged vehicle through the most optimized grid of the day.