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Accelerating EV charger infrastructure planning

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By Shamik Mehta


On Feb 11th, Intertrust hosted a webinar, The Key to Electric Cities – Accelerating EV Charger Infrastructure Planning. Acting as webinar co-hosts, Chris Kalima and I demonstrated Modulus Grid Data Operations tools that can significantly accelerate the time it takes to plan for a new load or source that needs to connect to the electrical grid. We showed how organizations can overcome data access and data rights management hurdles when it comes to planning for a new EV charger (or any DER) that needs to be grid-connected. Specifically, we demonstrated a customer use case from Europe’s largest utility, innogy SE (E.ON), which has over 3 million connections and 6.2 million customers.. This particular grid data orchestration solution is in production in Germany. 

More about Modulus

Using Modulus Grid Data Operations and solutions co-developed with our partner, DigiKoo, innogy SE has been able to aggregate, visualize, authenticate, and calculate data from over 800 different public, private, government, and utility-owned datasets. By leveraging this disparate information from different databases and with differing data formats, innogy has accelerated its plan for new DER asset connections to the grid. (For more information, check our DigiKoo white paper.) 

The Intertrust Modulus secure data exchange platform facilitates a governed execution environment in the form of a virtual analytics sandbox. This allows algorithm development and data queries in a secure, rights-based, protected environment without moving or copying source datasets. Modulus acts as the foundation for multiple DER applications that enable electric utilities and cities/municipalities, DER asset installers, and project owners to securely collaborate. 

During the webinar, we specifically focused on the infrastructure planning required for the addition of new EV charger locations. Modulus Grid Data Operations facilitates this process by ingesting layers of myriad datasets to analyze overall performance and cost. These datasets include public maps, parking garages, commercial properties, and existing EV chargers in a chosen location. Constituents including city officials, planners, and utility managers or installers can give immediate feedback on proposed EV charger locations. To boost community interaction and participation—and receive crowdsourced feedback—this information can even be shared with the general public. 

How it works

The solution calculates the impact of adding a new DER, like an EV charger, to the grid at a particular location, in real time. Within the production environment in Germany, this has helped lower the interconnection study time by up to 95%. If loading or other power conditioning rules are violated, alternative connection routes are suggested, along with the cost impact. 

The following screenshots are from the webinar, which used the City of San Francisco as an simulation example.

Figure 1: View of existing EV chargers, substations, parking locations, high and low voltage lines

Figure 1: View of existing EV chargers, substations, parking locations, high and low voltage lines

Figure 2: Plan grid connection of new DER asset

Figure 2: Plan grid connection of new DER asset

Figure 3: See cost and performance impacts in real time

Figure 3: See cost and performance impacts in real time

The simulation represents the ways in which the different layers of private and public information can be aggregated, viewed, and acted upon in the protected, shared environment enabled by Modulus. Modulus acts as a secure middleware application, allowing role-based access to sensitive information without the need to move datasets. This secure, governed workflow execution environment is essentially a leak-proof, hacker-proof, iron-clad virtual sandbox where the algorithms and virtual datasets from many different sources or formats can be processed. Modulus does this while honoring all data and IP ownership rights, ensuring compliance to all regulations, and maintaining a well-governed audit trail. 

Key takeaways

The data necessary for the EV charging installation process is both privately and publicly available. This data comes from city maps, various parking locations, easements, low and high voltage lines, substations, garages, commercial properties, and other infrastructure. With Modulus, this data can be blended, visualized, and analyzed, using customizable views based on strict roles and access rights. The results—a speedy calculation of the technical and business feasibility of adding a new DER connection to the grid.

During the webinar, we presented an overview of how our Modulus Grid Data Operations tools enable organizations to:

  • Analyze the impact of adding new EV chargers to the grid
  • Assess cost of upgrades and modifications
  • View and collaborate on grid and other related municipal data for EV charger location planning with multiple stakeholders, using rights-managed access policies.
  • Reduce planning time and costs
  • Simplify asset planning for other DERs: PV Solar, Battery Energy Storage Systems, and more.

If you missed it, you can watch the webinar on-demand! Feel free to reach out if you want to learn more about Modulus Grid Data Operations solutions.

Shamik Mehta

About Shamik Mehta

Shamik Mehta is the Director of Product Marketing for Intertrust's Data Platform. Shamik has almost 25 years of experience in semiconductors, renewable energy, Industrial IoT and data management/data analytics software. Since getting an MSEE from San Jose State University, he’s held roles in chip design, pre-sales engineering and product and strategic marketing for technology products, including software solutions and platforms. He spent 6 years at SunEdison, once the world's largest renewable energy super-major, after spending 17 years in the semiconductor industry. Shamik has experience managing global product marketing, GTM activities, thought leadership content creation and sales enablement for software applications for the Smart Energy, Electrified Transportation and Manufacturing verticals. Shamik is a Silicon Valley native, having lived, studied and worked there since the early 90’s.