Chargefox, Australia’s biggest and fastest growing public EV charging network, has partnered with PowerTec, the grid energy storage and microgrid control specialist, to design, build and operate a fleet of bespoke EV charging batteries. In a world-first, these batteries will reduce setup costs of EV charging infrastructure and reduce the amount of grid-supplied power required to operate charging stations.
There has been much discussion about the impact of EV charging on the Australian electricity grid, and questions as to whether or not the grid can support an increased demand. The bespoke battery systems installed as part of the Chargefox and PowerTec partnership ensure that the EV charging stations on average require 50% lower peak power than traditional ultra-fast EV charging sites. Being charged from on-site renewable energy, they also reduce the necessary grid-supplied energy. Improving grid stability and enabling dynamic access to energy markets are further benefits of the novel technology. These bespoke features are based on PowerTec’s PowerCache® battery system technology.
Using this battery system on an existing site, the reduced peak power means that a separate physical connection to the distribution network can be avoided, resulting in major cost reductions in setting up EV charging infrastructure. Cutting the cost of building EV infrastructure means that more charging stations can be built, allowing more opportunities for EV drivers to charge their cars. Range anxiety, and the ability for EV drivers to access charging stations is a key barrier to EV adoption.
Once complete, Chargefox will manage a fleet of 6 battery sites, with a total power of 1.5MW, available to deliver full power for over one-hour. This minimises the impact of EV charging across the grid and allows Chargefox to provide important grid support services at its sites.
Each 250kVA/273kWh “PowerCache” system combines LG-Chem lithium-ion cells with Danfoss Drives inverters and PowerTec distributed energy controllers, delivering incredibly flexible power to manage EV charging demand.