Expert article
Edit 22 June 2020
by Javier Leiva

Cars with a battery, or batteries on wheels?

Diving into technical details of AIRQON solution
Diving into technical details of AIRQON solution

AIRQON provides a flexible and adaptable solution for any type of music show, sport event or festival. In short, it is ideal for any temporary event wherever it takes place. AIRQON is able to be integrated with versatility like other power sources of any kind. On the one hand, it can coexist with on-grid power systems when the electricity network is available and a lot of power is demanded. On the other hand, it complements existing options for off-grid systems in isolated environments, as conventionally diesel generators are used, but also, luckily, other greener solutions such as renewable solar photovoltaic generator, even often complemented by battery storage systems.

 

The latest technological innovations make cloud systems a reality today. We find it in shared information systems, data base applications, accessibility features for communication devices… Energy management is not exempt from this evolution, since every day it is possible to find out more modular, scalable solutions, adaptable to the needs of each situation, as it is the case of many battery storage solutions. This philosophy can lead us to cloud power source models, where AIRQON, due to its technical characteristics, can be integrated perfectly.

Cloud power source scheme by ZAP Concepts

AIRQON charger has been developed by SBPF and it is integrated with the control software developed by iHomer. All the operational information of AIRQON solution is gathered and handled by Faraday Keys to result in a data platform. This platform will display a dashboard with the Key Performance Indicators, and will group all the information of the scheduled events. This will enable interesting features such as planning energy needs of each event and coordinating them with the availability of interested participants and their electric cars.

Share

The standard AIRQON configuration is formed, first of all, by a SBPF charger with a nominal power of 4 kW. This charger is bidirectional, and has to be connected to the car by means of a CHAdeMO connector to have it charged or discharged. At the same time, the charger is equipped with two schuko sockets that let plug any consumption directly to be powered by AIRQON. Ready to be used!

Electric van connected (left photo) to AIRQON charger combined with batteries (right photo)

Electric van connected (left photo) to AIRQON charger combined with batteries (right photo)

But wait… is that all? Of course not! AIRQON has a lot more! Firstly, a portable control case has been jointly developed between SBPF and iHomer. It runs a control application based on OCPP, the acronym of Open Charge Point Protocol, a specific protocol for communication between electric vehicles charging stations and central management systems, in a similar way to cell phones and mobile networks. The equipment is designed so that the event organizers can control the use of AIRQON and the consumption to be powered. By using a contactless ID card, the sockets can be activated or deactivated by the event organizer, avoiding the possibility of uncontrolled manipulation and improving safety against electrical risks.

OCCP control portable case (left photo) and main batteries (right photo)

OCCP control portable case (left photo) and main batteries (right photo)

Secondly, a main storage system in batteries, resulting in a total nominal capacity of 20 kWh, has been developed and integrated in the AIRQON solution. In this way, the SBPF charger is complemented, so it is possible simultaneously to consume from the main battery and charge it with the contribution of the electric cars.

Therefore, with the help of the main battery it is possible to decouple energy demand of the event and energy provision from the electric cars connected. The nominal output power of the overall system is 15 kW, able to reach 30 kW for short periods of time. In practice, the decoupled operation can last as long as 8 hours. In other words, all that time the system can be working without a car connected. So far, the system works totally in off-grid mode, like an island.

Demonstrating the AIRQON solution before an event

In addition to this, AIRQON also uses a bidirectional 10 kW Nissan charger which operates connected to the electrical distribution network. It does not have any connected storage system, as AIRQON does, so it works only when an electric car is plugged. Then, for a typical event, a system of two AIRQON off-grid chargers and a NISSAN charger connected to the network may be implemented, all of them operating simultaneously.

Leendert van der Born is the Nissan dealer that takes part in AIRQON. Thanks to them, the AIRQON standard configuration is set up by 2 vans Nissan eNV200. One of them, equipped with a 24 kWh battery, has the charger system embarked as well as the main batteries of the AIRQON solution. The second van is a 40 kWh eNV200, but they also provide other vehicles such as a 62 kWh Nissan Leaf or a 40 kWh Nissan Leaf for test works in the project.

Quote

When a car able to be discharged is connected, and there is an energy demand from the consumption side, all the power needed flows through the system. This means that it comes out of the car battery, it passes through the main battery, keeps its voltage level stable, and finally reaches the consumption side. The AIRQON solution acts as a reliable voltage source despite of being off-grid.

Stephan, SBPF

AIRQON supports the organization of events, but also has promising synergies with other innovation projects. An interesting case is the Greenhopper project. The main objective is the design and implementation of a smart home demonstrator, equipped with solar photovoltaic generation, home automation systems for monitoring and controlling energy consumption and generation, and with a careful energy-efficient design. In this smart home demo, AIRQON is used as a vehicle to home (V2H) bidirectional charger indistinctly providing power supply and energy storage to complement the rooftop renewable generation.

Source: facebook.com/nieuweveste

 Greenhopper video:

What could we achieve with this? We would have a network of self-sufficient smart homes, that may be even interconnected among them to share a local energy network. Especially in the case of isolated areas, group members could coordinate themselves in order to charge the electric cars when renewable energy is available, or to help in balancing the network, etc. Furthermore, connected cars can behave as a massive, decentralized storage.

 Source: facebook.com/DeeldeZonSource: facebook.com/DeeldeZon

Another interesting initiative, where AIRQON collaborates, is DeeldeZon project, where 160 electric cars are used as on-grid battery storage systems to support the solar photovoltaic generation. It must be noted that a residential standard car usually spends around 16 hours parked on average every day. Besides, the total capacity of the batteries would be able to cope with daily mobility requirements plus the average energy demand of a neighborhood. This project aims to demonstrate that participating in energy trading under those conditions is technical and economically feasible, thanks to the participation of partners specialized in energy management.

Quote

The so-called vehicle to grid technology, V2G, is not yet fully consolidated on a commercial scale. We are putting these first experiences into practice with promising results. Obviously, it is likely to be scaled up and be widely extended in the coming years.

Bart Van der Born, Leendert Van der Born

Other news from this project

Attendees of Ploegendienst Festival (Source: Kairos Events)

AirQon, Breda: Win a sustainable EV taxi drive!

One of the best practices done in this way is the organization of a social media giveaway with the aim of attracting the attention of target groups to...

AirQon - Air Quality through EV Battery Connectivity

Air quality

Breda - The Netherlands

Air quality
(Source: facebook.com/airqon)

Building a community. A survey on EV drivers about AirQon

A crowd-powered energy solution like AIRQON is inextricably linked to the community. It does not matter how sophisticated it may be technically. If th...

AirQon - Air Quality through EV Battery Connectivity

Air quality

Breda - The Netherlands

Air quality
Plug it in! Powering much more than events with AirQon

Plug it in! Powering much more than events with AirQon

The AirQon solution is a versatile powering option for eventual energy demands, with a first class set of potential applications. This means that AirQ...

AirQon - Air Quality through EV Battery Connectivity

Air quality

Breda - The Netherlands

AirQon

AirQon Journal 2: Events and More

In this Journal, UIA Expert Javier Leiva reveals that “AIRQON is facing a short future conditioned by getting back to normality. Meanwhile, the activi...

AirQon - Air Quality through EV Battery Connectivity

Air quality

Breda - The Netherlands

Air quality
Source: airqon.eu

AirQon Zoom-in 1: Not only for mobility purposes– towards the car as a service

The purpose of my first visit to the city of Breda was to learn firsthand about the AIRQON project. Anyone may think that a technology-based project l...

AirQon - Air Quality through EV Battery Connectivity

Air quality

Breda - The Netherlands

How is a typical event with AIRQON in Breda?

Ready… Set… Go!

How is a typical event with AIRQON in Breda?...

AirQon - Air Quality through EV Battery Connectivity

Air quality

Breda - The Netherlands

Air quality
AIRQON Journal 1: First challenges

AIRQON Journal 1: First challenges

UIA Expert Javier Leiva reveals how the Breda project addresses the first implementation challenges: “One of the key aspects being addressed is the pa...

AirQon - Air Quality through EV Battery Connectivity

Air quality

Breda - The Netherlands

A new paradigm in improving local air quality

From well-to-wheel, to EV-to-event

AIRQON: A new paradigm in improving local air quality...

AirQon - Air Quality through EV Battery Connectivity

Air quality

Breda - The Netherlands

AIRQon electric vehicles

AirQon: charging the events of tomorrow - Breda’s project is up and running!

Think of random festivals with diesel generator emissions that are damaging to the environment, visitors and people living nearby. Now, imagine a fest...

AirQon - Air Quality through EV Battery Connectivity

Air quality

Breda - The Netherlands