EV Charging DC Microgrids Lift Off in North America with Phase 2 of ARDA Power’s Burlington DC Microgrid Project
ARDA Power will construct an EV Charging DC Microgrid as Phase 2 of its first-of-a-kind DC Microgrid Project at the Etratech (a Gentherm Company) manufacturing facility in Burlington, Ontario. The grid-connected microgrid will DC couple 50 kW of solar generation, 10 kW of natural gas generation, 100 kWh of lithium-ion battery storage, LED lights and a 50 kW DC EV Fast Charger.
Like other fast chargers the Burlington Project’s 50 kW EV Fast Charger will charge electric vehicles with DC power bypassing the vehicle’s onboard charger. But unlike traditional fast chargers with AC power input, the project’s charger will use DC power input directly from the microgrid’s DC bus.
The expanded microgrid takes the demonstration of the utility grid interconnection benefits offered by direct current microgrid architectures to the next level. Despite expanded solar and battery power capacity and the addition of an EV Fast Charger, the microgrid will keep its existing import-only 15 kW interface to the utility grid in the form of a uni-directional AC-DC power converter. From the utility grid’s perspective the microgrid will appear as a traditional 15 kW load, since all of the microgrid’s DC coupled distributed energy resources and loads will be electrically “hidden” from the utility grid behind the 15 kW converter.
Thanks to ARDA’s DC Microgrid technology the system will operate seamlessly during power outages and allow the host site to avoid the additional demand charges that would normally result from an addition of Fast Chargers.
Advisian, consulting arm of the global engineering firm WorleyParsons Group, will provide support to ARDA Power in project planning and system optimization, and help ARDA build on the learning from the project in preparation for mass deployments of commercial EV Charging DC Microgrids.
Tristan Jackson, Advisian’s Director of Smart & Distributed Energy, said, “A typical EV Fast Charger station with multiple fast chargers requires a whopping 500-600 kW grid connect with significant capital costs to system stakeholders. Moreover, once operational it is subject to very high energy costs due to significant demand charges and high consumption during peak hours. In some cases, it may also require the utility to upgrade grid equipment to support the increased load, adding to the interconnection costs. Distributed energy resources anchored by a battery energy storage system can lower the energy cost, but if they are AC-coupled the capital cost and risk associated with obtaining utility grid interconnection permits is daunting. ARDA’s approach allows owners to get the best of both worlds, reducing the utility interconnect to a fraction of the 500-600 kW capacity required by an AC system, while lowering energy costs thanks to DERs”.
He continued, “In comparison with AC coupled EV Fast Chargers and DERs, ARDA’s DC coupled system offers superior efficiency by avoiding unnecessary conversion losses that result from going through multiple AC-DC, DC-AC converters and transformers.”
“We are pleased to add this exciting functionality to the Burlington Project allowing employees in the host building to EV Fast Charge while at work using renewable and distributed generation”, said Peter Lewis of ARDA.
“This system, by using ARDA’s modular DC-connected architecture, solves a major problem for EV Fast Charging - namely how to provide fast charging using renewable and distributed generation at an affordable cost without stressing an already stretched grid”, said Aleksey Toporkov, President of ARDA Power. “Initial customer conversations confirm that our EV Charging DC Microgrid will be extremely attractive to commercial/industrial customers driven by a desire to provide fast EV charging as a revenue source and/or amenity, while at the same time providing backup power for host properties, and reducing their ever increasing demand charges. We look forward to completing this project in mid-2019 and welcome collaboration from industry partners during the implementation”.
Phase 1 of the Burlington Project was funded in part by Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC).
Learn more about Burlington Project here
About ARDA Power
ARDA Power is working to change forever the way the world implements microgrid systems for non-residential buildings. For the first time ever, you can simply and quickly configure a system using common controls and standard components. A battery-centric, DC-connected platform conceived by ARDA engineers with technology originally developed at the University of Toronto makes possible microgrids that are simple, low cost, resilient and versatile - whether used for EV fast charging, backup power or demand charge reduction.
Advisian helps clients respond to changing global conditions through the real-world experience and technical depth of its consultants. As the global advisory and consulting business line of the WorleyParsons Group, we offer end-to-end services integrating strategy, management, and technical consulting, moving seamlessly into proven project delivery.