Thursday, April 18, 2024

Electric Super Hub for EV charging opens in the UK

A British company GRIDSERVE has partnered with Cornwall Services to install a new Electric Super Hub at a busy rest stop on a major road running from London to Land’s End.

High Power EV charging traditionally requires new grid connections, and these can be challenging, expensive, and in some cases, take a lot of time to deliver. GRIDSERVE met the challenge head-on by delivering this innovative solution that uses the latest innovations in batteries and solar energy to supplement the existing grid connection to deliver ten times the charging power.

The Super Hub is home to six high-power, 350kW-capable EV chargers and six low-power, 22kW-capable AC chargers that will please guests staying at the onsite Holiday Inn.

Using a combination of the existing 100kW grid connection, a lithium-ion battery, solar energy, and the latest software developed by GRIDSERVE Technologies, the two legacy 50kW chargers that were previously installed at the site have been replaced with 12 state-of-the-art new chargers, to provide much needed additional charging power on the busy route.

The Super Hub is topped by a solar canopy, which provides some much-needed shelter and generates energy that goes directly to EV chargers. Next, there is a 1MW battery storage system nestled into a corner of the site. The batteries draw from the grid during moments of low demand before being able to discharge energy from the batteries at the high output required by the chargers. This means the existing grid connection doesn’t require upgrading because it’s unaffected by those local surges in demand.

The software considers available grid connection power, the state of charge of the battery, the time of day, the solar output, and the power requested by all the vehicles charging to maximize charging speeds and throughput while minimizing time spent at the chargers.

This flagship Electric Super Hub has been feasibility tested in recent months, topping up more than 100 EVs per day at peak times. Whilst the site is now operational with chargers that can provide up to 350kW of power, chargers will be limited from providing full power whilst a testing and optimization phase is worked through, which is expected to take several months.

“We are delighted to deliver a UK-first innovation to Cornwall Services and its customers,” said Toddington Harper, GRIDSERVE CEO. “We hope the innovative technology we have deployed at this location can also become a blueprint for others, where larger grid connections will be too slow to deliver to keep up with the demand that the rapid transition to electric vehicles presents. We have also submitted plans to further increase energy capacity at the site in the future with an adjacent solar farm, which will allow us to deliver up to 4 million zero carbon miles of energy directly into electric vehicles every year.”