EWE NETZ's service fleet in the district authority "Oldenburg Süd" is battery-electric. The company is using 11 Nissan e-NV200 vans and is testing the IO-ELON charging and fleet management system from the Flensburg-based software company IO-Dynamics, which is used to manage and control the fleet at the district maintenance facility.
The focus is on the following functions:
- Visualization of the status of the vehicles (charge level, battery health) and the charging stations
- Control by the grid operator with the help of OpenADR
- Simulation of a planned PV system in real operation
- Demand-based load management with 24h charging planning (scheduling)
- Load peak avoidance under consideration of the charging levels
The software automatically controls the local energy management, reduces load peaks, automatically adjusts and distributes charging processes. The charging level of the individual vehicles is taken into account in real time in the automatic charging scheduling. The charging levels can be viewed conveniently from the driver's desk. In a further step, it is planned to set up an overview monitor in the lounge area.
IO-ELON integrated into EWE NETZ's electric vehicle fleet
The employees of the Oldenburg Süd District district authority use electric transporters to carry out technical operations in the region. With the help of built-in telematics modules in the vans, IO-ELON collects various vehicle data during the charging process, e.g. the current charge level, charging power or battery health.
The findings are aggregated in the IO-ELON cloud and can be viewed by the user in the front end of the software. In this way, IO-ELON calculates an optimal driving and charging plan for the next 24 hours and can thus automatically control the charging stations installed at the site.
Simulation of fleet expansion
The software is modular and grows with the vehicle fleet. Thus, it can be adapted to individual requirements and expansions of the vehicle fleet, e.g. when a PV system is built. For this purpose, IO-ELON enables a simulation in real operation with a real, site-accurate solar forecast in advance, whereby the charging processes can also be controlled according to this fictitious PV system. The dimensioning and benefits of a PV system for the e-fleet are therefore already known in the planning phase, which means that the potential can be optimally exploited.
As a fleet operator, the company benefits from intuitive monitoring, which not only simplifies general processes, but also facilitates optimization and further development of the electric vehicle fleet based on historical data.
Battery health monitoring
The most important and valuable component of an electric vehicle is its battery - making it all the more important to look after its "health". This is helped by intelligent charging management, which coordinates the charging cycles of the electric vehicle fleet and thus preserves the life of the vehicle battery as much as possible. The capacity of lithium-ion batteries decreases with the number of charging cycles, the load caused by charging and discharging processes, and the frequency of low and high charging levels, among other factors.
By monitoring the vehicle's real-time data, IO-ELON also realizes automated early damage detection of the battery. EWE NETZ's electric vans have been in operation since 2019 and the vehicle battery with the lowest battery health is 91 percent. If the electric car battery can only store 70 percent of the original amount of energy, it has reached the end of its vehicle life. The use of IO-ELON ensures that damage to the vehicle battery is reduced through adapted charging processes. This preserves the range and increases the resale value of the vehicles.
No connection overload due to peak shaving
The IO-ELON charge management software shifts charging processes in such a way that peak loads are prevented and the most constant possible load profile at the grid connection is ensured. Intelligent load management ensures that the allocated power limit, e.g. at the grid connection, is not exceeded. In order to implement peak current smoothing as effectively as possible, it is essential to know the exact battery status, the charging time required accordingly, as well as the planned vehicle use and availability and charging power - no problem for IO-ELON by using the vehicle real-time data.
Targeted load control via OpenADR
OpenADR (Open Automated Demand Response) is an open cloud-to-cloud communication protocol to specifically control intelligent power grids, so-called "smart grids". It can be used to adapt the power of the electric vehicle fleet to the current load on the power grid and thus stabilize the supply network. IO-ELON supports the OpenADR protocol. Together with EWE NETZ, tests are being conducted to determine how charging processes can be controlled by the grid operator without significantly affecting vehicle use.
About the project
The implementation at the EWE NETZ site is taking place as part of a pilot project of EWE AG. The Venture Capital team from the Innovation business area initiated the project and now forms the bridge between the young startup and EWE NETZ. In the process, VC gathers valuable insights and knowledge about charging & fleet management and uses this to form a sound basis for evaluating promising investment opportunities in the context of electromobility.
About EWE NETZ
Headquartered in Oldenburg, EWE NETZ is a subsidiary of EWE AG. As the responsible network operator within the EWE Group, EWE NETZ GmbH operates distribution networks in the electricity, gas and water sectors as well as a telecommunications network in the northwest of Niedersachsen and in parts of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
IO-Dynamics: Johann Olsen
EWE AG: Dr. Matthias Rupp
EWE NETZ: Daniel Speiser