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Published on December 31st, 2009 | by Susan Kraemer

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Siemens to Test Six Minute Charging For EVs on 33% Wind Powered Grid

December 31st, 2009 by  
 

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Sven Holthusen runs the EDISON project at Siemens’ Energy Sector in the Denmark branch of the international engineering giant. The EDISON project is working on raising charging power to as much as 300 kW so that batteries can be recharged on the go, in as little as six minutes.

The idea is to replicate the familiar: filling up at a gas station in 6 minutes or so, not in order to replace long slow overnight charges in home garages but to have an alternative to meet the needs of those apartment-dwellers who don’t have garages (and those who do, but who don’t sleep at least 6 hours at night) by making on-the-go-charges as available and as quick as filling up at a gas station.

This would not be an entirely new move for the international engineering giant Siemens. Recently the company worked with Statoil-Hydro and a consortium of other engineering companies on developing off-shore wind turbine technology.

The EDISON group includes the Technical University of Denmark and its Risø-DTU research center, as well as Denmark’s Dong Energy and local electric utility Østkraft, the Eurisco R&D center, and IBM as well as Siemens.

The first step for the consortium is to develop a 43.5 kW rapid charge capability for a 20 minute charge on a 400 Volt/63 Amp connection; which is the European equivalent of the heavy duty power that runs our dryers and electric stoves in homes, and runs most industrial machinery. The idea is to use the typical power supply most European households already have wired in.

The next step is the six minute charge, which Holthusen says is as fast as is possible with current battery technology.

A key thing the consortium is looking at is seeing how constantly switching the batteries on and off affects the grid; to make sure that the harmonics this creates doesn’t knock the grid out of sync. The real-world test is to be on the Danish island of Bornholm.

That is because the island, with its relatively high percentage of wind power for its 40,000 inhabitants, provides the perfect opportunity to see how a grid powered entirely by renewable energy functions when the proportion of electric vehicles increases. Iowa is 15% wind powered and Fox Island off of Maine is 100% wind powered. That would be a good site for the next tests. The test results should be instructive.

Image: Siemens

Source: Electric Vehicle News


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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today, PV-Insider , SmartGridUpdate, and GreenProphet. She has also been published at Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.



  • Colby

    ” (and those who do, but who don’t sleep at least 6 hours at night) ”

    I find it disappointing that you would say this, especially as a website that’s promoting alternative fuels, like electricity. Our Mini E, when fully drained (which rarely happens) can be charged in 2 and a half hours in our garage (yielding about 100 miles of range).

    While at times it would be nice to fill up in 6 minutes (on longer trips, etc), not sleeping 6 hours per night would not be a legitimate reason to visit a fast charing station. Even if you only sleep 4 hours per night, chances are your car is still sitting parked.

    I just wanted to clarify that it’s not either 6 hours or 6 minutes. There are plenty of compromises between the two.

  • Colby

    ” (and those who do, but who don’t sleep at least 6 hours at night) ”

    I find it disappointing that you would say this, especially as a website that’s promoting alternative fuels, like electricity. Our Mini E, when fully drained (which rarely happens) can be charged in 2 and a half hours in our garage (yielding about 100 miles of range).

    While at times it would be nice to fill up in 6 minutes (on longer trips, etc), not sleeping 6 hours per night would not be a legitimate reason to visit a fast charing station. Even if you only sleep 4 hours per night, chances are your car is still sitting parked.

    I just wanted to clarify that it’s not either 6 hours or 6 minutes. There are plenty of compromises between the two.

  • Birna N

    I don’t believe Fox Island is really comparable to Bornholm for several reasons.

    1) With its population of 40,000, Bornholm is very separate about 70miles east of Denmark with Sweden almost in between. Bornholm has some thermal power plants but has mostly depended on the 60kV power line to Sweden.

    2) Sweden is not an ordinary neighbor because it has huge hydro to regulate and backup their power.

    While Maine can certainly buffer a tiny island like Fox, I doubt Maine’s grid could buffer a big community using predominately wind turbines and lots of quick charging cars.

    Wind capacity can readily be consumed by a grid when its 10% of supply because thats in the range of load variability and predicitability. Once wind gets to 20%, the grid needs to scale up its peaky supplies such as gas or have a good HVDC line to a neighbor with hydro.

    So Fox Island is not really 100% wind powered when Maine provides their regulation & backup.

  • Birna N

    I don’t believe Fox Island is really comparable to Bornholm for several reasons.

    1) With its population of 40,000, Bornholm is very separate about 70miles east of Denmark with Sweden almost in between. Bornholm has some thermal power plants but has mostly depended on the 60kV power line to Sweden.

    2) Sweden is not an ordinary neighbor because it has huge hydro to regulate and backup their power.

    While Maine can certainly buffer a tiny island like Fox, I doubt Maine’s grid could buffer a big community using predominately wind turbines and lots of quick charging cars.

    Wind capacity can readily be consumed by a grid when its 10% of supply because thats in the range of load variability and predicitability. Once wind gets to 20%, the grid needs to scale up its peaky supplies such as gas or have a good HVDC line to a neighbor with hydro.

    So Fox Island is not really 100% wind powered when Maine provides their regulation & backup.

  • Brian N

    Whoops, previous post was me, must clean glasses 🙂

  • Brian N

    Whoops, previous post was me, must clean glasses 🙂

  • Ivan S

    I’m wondering how they are going to get 43.5 kW from 400 Volt/63 Amp!?!

    400V x 63A=25.2kVA

    Obviously they need nearly 2x power boost to reach 43.5kW. I assume this will require some temporary energy storage (a big UPS) whih accumulates energy from the grid between “fast charges”. But storing and recovering energy introduces energy losses.

    So, why not simply charge spare car batteries and work on standardising batteries and switch technology?

  • Ivan S

    I’m wondering how they are going to get 43.5 kW from 400 Volt/63 Amp!?!

    400V x 63A=25.2kVA

    Obviously they need nearly 2x power boost to reach 43.5kW. I assume this will require some temporary energy storage (a big UPS) whih accumulates energy from the grid between “fast charges”. But storing and recovering energy introduces energy losses.

    So, why not simply charge spare car batteries and work on standardising batteries and switch technology?

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