Charging solution for electric cars offers a great deal of functionality in a small space

Overview

AC vehicle connector type 2  

The electric vehicle can be charged with alternating current using the AC vehicle connector

  • Electromobility is becoming increasingly popular, with the Netherlands playing a leading role thanks to the country's well-established infrastructure network.
  • Dutch companies like Allego and Van der Sijs develop intelligent charging points that are equipped with a special energy management function.
  • The EV Charge Control Advanced charging controller controls and monitors the charging of electric cars on the three-phase AC power grid and exchanges data with the central controller.
  • Allego and Van der Sijs chose the solution from Phoenix Contact due to its flexible use and compliance with the relevant industry standards.

Customer profile

Established by power grid operator Alliander in 2013, Allego develops tailor-made charging solutions and infrastructure for communities, companies, and transport companies. With the aim of providing each and every user with an easy, inexpensive charging option that is available everywhere and at all times, Allego also operates in Belgium and Germany in addition to the Netherlands.

Application

Charging points specially designed for energy management  

Specially designed charging points: fully integrated in a compact, yet functional way

Dutch company Van der Sijs Techniek & Automatisering BV has developed an energy management system which can distribute the generated electricity via electric cars so as to optimally coordinate energy supply and demand, and prevent problems in the power grid.

When it came to the further development of the charging system, connection to a back office – as offered by Allego – was of vital importance. The Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) used to authenticate electric cars at public charging stations requires a back office of this type. This is because the standard, which monitors and manages the charging processes and also transfers the relevant user and billing data to the contracting party, is not designed for communication with just one charging point. Moreover, the charging application must have an energy management system.

Allego launched a survey and asked potential electric car owners a series of questions, including what they thought a charging station should look like. For most participants, it was important that the charging point should be as small and invisible as possible. Allego then took this feedback on board and incorporated it in the development of the Charging Plaza system. Phoenix Contact provides the automation components required for this system.

Solution

Compact charging point  

The charging point design allows for a great deal of variety in terms of possible applications

The charging points only contain the technology that is actually required. This includes the socket outlet, the locking mechanism, and the RFID/NFC chips to authorize and start the charging process. The small charging stations from Allego are specially designed for a compact charging space. They can be mounted on a post as a single, two or four-point version or on a wall as an individual charging point.

The EV Charge Control Advanced charging controller plays a major role in the system described. It is used to control and monitor the charging of electric cars on the three-phase AC power grid in mode 3 in accordance with IEC 61851-1. At the same time, the EV Charge Control Advanced exchanges data with the central controller via Modbus TCP/IP. An ILC 370 ETH 2TX Inline controller is used there, which in turn is connected to the back office system via OCPP.

The ILC 370 ETH 2TX has since been replaced by a more powerful AXC 3050 Axiocontrol controller. Instead of a maximum of 30 charging points, it is now possible to control up to 100 charging points with the AXC 3050.

Van der Sijs has concluded a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with Allego. The 3G router required for this enables a secure VPN connection to be established based on IPsec. Allego's service specialists can log into the central controller and charging controller via this connection.

Control cabinet containing all relevant components  

Easy integration into the application via the Ethernet interface

Allego and Van der Sijs chose components and systems from Phoenix Contact because they allow flexible use and meet the relevant industry standards.

“The ready-to-operate devices that were supplied can communicate with electric cars from various manufacturers as well as with the higher-level system,” explains Henk Roest, automation specialist at Van der Sijs. “This means that our energy management system is able to distribute the available energy to anything from one to an almost infinite number of electric cars.”

Summary

Patrick Langevoort, Innovation & Product Manager at Allego, sees tremendous market potential for the jointly developed charging solution: “The charging point that we designed allows the necessary number of electric cars to be charged at locations where this was previously impossible due to space constraints.”

According to Allego and Van der Sijs, the additional challenge now is to achieve the necessary economies of scale with the solution they have developed. As Langevoort adds: “The market for electromobility is in its infancy. However, we also need to offer appropriate charging systems that are economically feasible.”

Phoenix Contact UAB

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03228 Vilnius
+370 5 210 6321
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