Charging management for green e-fleet

Intelligentes Management-System für E-Flotten
© Fraunhofer IAO


Fraunhofer IAO readies its electric vehicle fleet for smart charging management

May 2014 marks the start of smart charging management for the Fraunhofer Institute Center Stuttgart’s fleet of electric vehicles. Software developed at Fraunhofer IAO forms part of “EcoGuru” – a smart management system for e-fleets that helps to operate charging infrastructure in a way that is both optimized and green. And it harnesses renewable energy.

Behind the scenes of the electromobility research fleet at the Fraunhofer Institute Center Stuttgart is one of Germany’s largest charging infrastructures. To ensure this infrastructure’s future optimization and sustainability, Fraunhofer IAO is introducing a smart charging management system. As part of the “eFlotte – eFlotten- und Lademanagement (eFleet and charging management)“, a total of 27 charging points have been modernized.

Communication between the management system and the charge spots is based on the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP). Defined by the Open Charge Alliance (OCA), this protocol allows charging points to communicate with an overarching management system. For now, this covers data relating to user authorization at the charge spots and on the charging processes currently underway, as well as on billing data. And with the next version it will also be possible to control charging events. The Fraunhofer experts are planning to actively participate in the OCA and to further develop the standard.

Kristian Lehmann, research assistant at the Fraunhofer Application Center KEIM, develops the charging point backend and explains: “This allows the Fraunhofer Institute Center’s charging infrastructure to act as a controllable consumer – and we can use EcoGuru to integrate it into the micro smart grid, which is currently set up at the Institute Center in Stuttgart as part of the charge@work research project.”

Starting in May 2014 and for a period of 12 months, the eFleet living lab is encouraging fleet operators and solutions providers to put forward ideas; these will then be integrated into an overall system and put through their paces under realistic conditions. Being launched at the same time is the KEIM.inno network, which gives its partners the opportunity to gain experience, exchange information and get involved in the eFleet project.

The new charging management system is just one part of a wide range of Fraunhofer IAO research activities and projects centered on the EcoGuru mobility management system. This IT platform collects real-time data from vehicles and charging points in order to meet drivers’ mobility requirements best and do so in the greenest way possible. Fraunhofer IAO will be presenting live demonstrations of the EcoGuru system at the “Flottenmix der Zukunft” event on May 12, 2014.

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