OptiCarge PLUS: Power directly from roof into tank
With OptiCharge an innovative research project started in the summer 2015 in the midst of Saarbrücken. Since December 2019 the follow-up project has been started with OptiCharge PLUS. The users of the equipment, a consortium research facilities and companies promoted by the Federal Ministry for Economy and Energy (BMWi), accompanied by the PtJ, expect from the innovative pilot line extensive findings and und impulses for the application of regenerative energy and thus also for the organization of the mobility transition.
OptiCharge consisted basically in its first expansion stage of a photovoltaics line as regenerative energy source, a Vanadium-Redox-Flow-Battery (VRFB) as energy storage and four charging points for electric vehicles. The whole charging management supported by storages for regeneratively operated current parking has already been an absolute novelty, because it could be operated as research platform completely autonomously, i.e. without any network supply. All components have been and are linked via a model predictive, thus quasi prescient energy management system and equipped with comprehensive measuring technology. The target of OptiCharge has been to charge vehicles optimally according to their need with the largest possible share of renewable energy.
Within the scope of the project expansion, OptiCharge PLUS, this platform will be extended by a direct current off-grid system with charge column and in addition digitally linked.
Solutions with direct current gain more and more importance by increasing dispersion of the renewable energy sources because they represent for short transmission paths and due to less conversion losses a more favorable and more efficient alternative to alternating voltage networks.The efficiency of the OptiCharge line as well as its user-friendliness shall be considerably increased by these and further detailed measures. One of the declared targets of the research project OptiCharge PLUS is to gain knowledge for the further expansion of the charging infrastructure. A planning tool will be made by means of the results from the operation of the pilot line in order to be able to simulate and to realize in the medium term the use of the basic concept of the OptiCharge PLUS line also at further sites.
Three research partners and two industrial enterprises work closely together in the project.The whole project management will be undertaken by IZES gGmbH. Their further duties are the development of the OptiCharge planning tool, the alteration, the operation as well as the scientific supervision of the whole line. The university of the Saarland (transfer center environmentally sustainable electrochemistry, Prof. Rolf Hempelmann) engages in the improvement of the VRFB on electrochemical level, especially by means of the development of electrolyte admixtures. Schmid Energy Systems GmbH supervise the battery storage on system level. Besides the optimization of the several operating conditions the storage and thus the whole line shall become off-grid. The Trumpf Hüttinger GmbH + Co. KG deliver the suitable power electronics and integrate them into the „Internet of Things“. The task of the technical university Kaiserslautern (faculty electro- and information technology/faculty electromobility apl. Prof. Daniel Görges) consists in the further development of the energy management system as cloud-based solution, the development of a local charging management system as well as the network management system for the direct current line. Furthermore they support accountably the realization of the concept of OptiCharge PLUS at a large-scale plant. An experts‘ board consisting of energy suppliers, industrial companies and deputies from municipalities advise on the project. Thus the results of the projects will be presented to a wide circle of interested people.
OptiCharge PLUS has the potential to increase the use of regenerative energy in the traffic circulation and to relieve at the same time the network by use of a battery storage and the charging- and energy management system. The project is promoted in the scope of the 7th Energy Research Program of the Federal Ministry for Economy and Energy (BMWi) on the basis of a resolution of the German Parliament under the support code 03ETE021A-E. The project executing organisation Jülich (PtJ) is in charge of the project.