Electric vehicle fleet with charging infrastructure

To study the broad range of questions that electromobility presents and to translate a variety of research topics from theory into practice, Fraunhofer IAO operates an extensive fleet of electric vehicles and the necessary charging infrastructure. This consists of more than 30 alternating-current (AC) charge spots, each delivering a charging capacity of up to 22 kW per vehicle, as well as several direct-current (DC) charge spots for charging capacities of up to 150 kW per vehicle. In addition to the research vehicles, we offer electric vehicles for everyday use in the fleets of several institutes on campus.

Research topics

  • Peak loads in grid infrastructure
    Should electric vehicles be hooked up to all charging stations at the same time, peak output of up to 500 kW is possible in principle. It is extremely unusual for parking garages to be set up to cope with this kind of local demand peak, and retrofitting them with the necessary equipment would be prohibitively expensive. In practice, however, only occasionally will vehicles be plugged in to all charge spots and drawing power at full capacity simultaneously. The existing facility is therefore being used to determine the peak loads that arise in day-to-day use, so as to work out the maximum values it makes sense for such an installation to be designed to meet.
  • Load management systems
    In the event that parking garages are not designed to meet the highest possible peak loads, it is a good idea to put a control system in place to prevent the facilities from overloading in exceptional circumstances. Intelligent load management systems make it possible to spread out the times at which vehicles are charged or to limit power flows depending on the load. These systems can also take into account the peak loads of other users, e.g. connected office buildings and industrial facilities, as well as the situation on the power grid as a whole.
  • Fleet management systems
    While range is not a limiting factor for vehicles powered by internal combustion engines, it certainly is an important consideration in electric vehicle fleet management, along with the related issue of longer charging times. Whenever a vehicle is booked, it must have enough charge to meet the necessary mobility requirements. But since range is heavily dependent on factors such as the topography of the route, the time spent at high speeds, and the use of heating and air conditioning, there is a need to ensure a certain degree of flexibility for the planning of subsequent journeys. To this end we developed EcoGuru, an intelligent system that reliably balances the mobility needs of the user with the demands and restrictions of the vehicle and energy infrastructure, and tested it in real-life situations.
  • Micro smart grid
    The entire charging infrastructure is connected to a micro smart grid as a controllable consumer. As a result, electric vehicles are not only powered by green energy from a photovoltaic system, but they also form part of a higher-level energy management system. This makes use of the flexibility offered by having a variety of storage systems to achieve an efficient and grid-friendly balance between electricity generation and demand.
  • Fleet analyses and experiments
    The elektromobilisiert.de program offers companies analyses that assess the electrification potential of their vehicle fleets. As part of these projects, Fraunhofer IAO can provide electric vehicles from its research fleet for demonstration use and fleet experiments.

Facilities

more than 30 alternating-current (AC) charge spots, each delivering a charging capacity of up to 22 kW per vehicle, as well as several direct-current (DC) charge spots for charging capacities of up to 150 kW per vehicle.

In addition to the research vehicles, we offer electric vehicles for everyday use in the fleets of several institutes on campus.