My Electric Avenue tests Esprit over winter

26th January, 2015

My Electric Avenue, the ground-breaking electric vehicle (EV) project led by EA Technology and hosted by Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSEPD), has early signs showing that the Esprit technology is curtailing electric vehicle (EV) charging to protect the low voltage electricity network.

Last year My Electric Avenue installed monitoring and control equipment, Esprit, in nine ‘clusters’, where groups of neighbours are driving and charging their Nissan LEAFs on the same electricity feeder as part of our technical trials.

Electricity demand tends to be higher in the winter months due to lower temperatures and shorter daylight hours. Over the Christmas period technical trial participants were putting Esprit to the test, and witnessing it in action!

Several ‘clusters’ showed evidence of Esprit monitoring the electricity network and, when demand came close to limits, switching off chargers which were charging EVs plugged in at that particular time. Esprit then switched the chargers back on, once the peak demand had passed.

My Electric Avenue is now the first trial in the UK which has directly controlled domestic EV charging, preventing underground cables and substations from being overloaded, and has proven its capability during the highest winter peak!

The project is focusing on how best to manage the network when a large number of Electric Vehicles (EVs) charge in the same street at the same time. It aims to prove Esprit, which would avoid the need to dig up roads to install higher capacity electric cables or related infrastructure as numbers of EVs increase and raise electricity demand in a local area.

Commenting on the progress made to date, Dave A. Roberts, EA Technology’s Future Networks Director, says: “The project is now charging ahead in its final year, gathering the right data, testing the technology and getting real evidence that the solution works for UK networks. The University of Manchester has made a fantastic start in laying the groundwork for simulating the impact of Esprit, and providing valuable analysis on charging behaviours of our trial participants.”

The My Electric Avenue Project was delivered between January 2013 and December 2015 by EA Technology on behalf of Scottish and Southern Energy Networks (SSEN) as part of the Low Carbon Networks (LCN) Fund suite of innovation projects. As the Project is now complete, this webpage will no longer be updated, however you can learn more about the work undertaken by EA Technology at www.eatechnology.com and SSEN at www.ssepd.co.uk/Home.

For details of My Electric Avenue's legacy iniatives, visit the webpages for the Smart EV Project and the EV Network Group

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