Toronto-based ARDA Power plans to construct an EV Charging DC Microgrid at an Etratech manufacturing facility in Burlington, Ontario. The grid-connected microgrid will DC-couple 50 kW of solar generation, 10 kW of natural gas generation, 100 kWh of battery storage, LED lights and a 50 kW DC fast charging station that will use DC power input directly from the microgrid’s DC bus.
The microgrid will keep its existing import-only 15 kW interface to the utility grid in the form of a unidirectional AC-DC power converter. From the utility’s perspective, the microgrid will appear as a traditional 15 kW load, since all of the microgrid’s DC coupled distributed energy resources and loads will be electrically “hidden” from the utility grid behind the 15 kW converter.
The system is designed to operate seamlessly during power outages, and to allow the host site to avoid the additional demand charges that would normally be incurred by the use of DC fast charging stations.
“This system, by using ARDA’s modular DC-connected architecture, solves a major problem for EV fast charging – namely how to provide fast charging using renewable and distributed generation at an affordable cost without stressing an already stretched grid,” said Aleksey Toporkov, President of ARDA Power. “Initial customer conversations confirm that our EV Charging DC Microgrid will be extremely attractive to commercial/industrial customers driven by a desire to provide fast EV charging, while at the same time providing backup power for host properties, and reducing their ever-increasing demand charges. We look forward to completing this project in mid-2019, and welcome collaboration from industry partners during the implementation.”
“A typical station with multiple DC fast chargers requires a whopping 500-600 kW grid connect with significant capital costs,” said Tristan Jackson of consulting firm Advisian, which is assisting ARDA Power with planning for the project. “Once operational, it is subject to high energy costs due to demand charges. In some cases, it may also require the utility to upgrade grid equipment to support the increased load, adding to the interconnection costs. Distributed energy resources anchored by a battery energy storage system can lower the energy cost, but if they are AC-coupled, the capital cost and risk associated with obtaining utility grid interconnection permits is daunting. ARDA’s approach allows owners to get the best of both worlds, reducing the utility interconnect to a fraction of the 500-600 kW capacity required by an AC system, while lowering energy costs thanks to [distributed energy resources, or DERs].”
He continued, “In comparison with AC-coupled EV fast chargers and DERs, ARDA’s DC-coupled system offers superior efficiency by avoiding unnecessary conversion losses that result from going through multiple AC-DC and DC-AC converters and transformers.”
Source: ARDA Power