Turbo Power Systems (TPS) has joined forces in a national consortium which includes our North-East-based neighbours – University of Newcastle, aiming to deliver an exciting new project called Smart Hubs. The term “Smart Hubs” refers to a car park installation comprising Solar Photovoltaic Canopies, Electric Vehicle Charge Points and Energy Storage. These are all inter-connected with the electric grid using Smart Power Electronic Devices to intelligently manage energy demand and supply.
There are multiple factors that will drive the need for smarter electricity management in the distribution network of tomorrow. A few examples of such factors are: the increasing penetration of Renewable Energy generators, such as Solar Photovoltaics, and the anticipated move to Electric Vehicles (EV), as we strive to achieve the challenging goals of the UK to reduce greenhouse gases emissions.
The Smart Hub has been conceived as one such method to facilitate the integration of Low Carbon Technologies into the Distribution Network of tomorrow. The project will focus on developing a Smart Hub to support practical installation of Electric Vehicle charge point (7-300kW/unit) clusters. It will be designed for infrastructure companies that are servicing the public, but also for the private sector.
The global market for Electric Vehicle infrastructure is expected to see an annual growth rate of over 27% during 2016-2026. Additionally, integration of EV with the distribution network is projected to contribute to electricity network supply capacity, whilst helping replace the network inertia lost with the switch from centralised generation to decentralised generation from renewables. This principle is called Vehicle-to-Grid and will see the vehicle generate electricity back into the grid at times of need. Moreover, Smart Hubs will facilitate power trading for electric vehicle owners to provide two-way fiscal benefits.
The project seeks to combine three technology streams that are currently hindered by cost barriers: Solar Power, EV charging and Battery based Energy Storage. Through integration into a Smart Hub, the infrastructure costs are shared and reduced due to the creation of an interconnected DC distribution network. Smart Hubs provide an intelligent and secure power supply for EV transport by utilising distributed renewable generation at source for charging of Electric Vehicles.
This project supports the government’s targets for decarbonizing energy supply and transportation systems by enabling cost-efficient deployment of Low Carbon Technologies through smart integration and energy management technologies.
Dr. Nigel Jakeman, TPS Engineering & Business Development Director, commented:
“We’re delighted to be a part of this project in which Smart Hubs will demonstrate the integration of Low Carbon Technologies into the distribution network in an intelligent and efficient manner. We look forward to working with our collaborators, including our local partner, Newcastle University, to deliver this enabling technology. The benefits of this project will be three-fold to reduce and secure energy costs, enable practical integration of Electric Vehicles and to help strengthen the resilience of our electricity distribution network for the future security of our supply.”
Dr. Neal Wade, Lecturer in Power Systems at Newcastle University, mentioned:
“In the Smart Hubs project we are using the world class power system modelling and laboratory facilities at Newcastle University to demonstrate and generalise this DC microgrid concept. Building on our expertise in Energy Storage, Renewable Energy Integration and Electric Vehicle Charging we will work with the project partners to show the potential for this novel solution. We are delighted to be working on this nationally important project with our local partner Turbo Power Systems as part of our portfolio of Energy Systems research.”
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Nigel Jakeman, Engineering & Business Development Director
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