On Demand Webinar - Rethink Electrification 4 Critical Steps for Better EVSE Performance

On Demand Webinar - Rethink Electrification 4 Critical Steps for Better EVSE Performance

Show Video

Hello everyone, thank you for joining our webinar.  Today, Daniel Wyatt VP of Sales for Eastern US and   Canada along with Stéphane Desroches, solutions  architect, will help rethink electrification   with 4 critical steps for better EVSE performance.  Before we begin, I would like to inform everyone   that you will be automatically muted, but we will  be answering questions near the end. And now,  

let’s begin! Hey everyone, I’m Dan, and I started  with Averna back in 2015. Today I’m responsible   for the Canadian and Eastern American sales teams  and I’m really excited to speak with you all   today. I’m joined by Stéphane, who has designed  countless EVSE test systems at this point.   Stéphane, can you quickly introduce yourself?  Of course, hi everybody, I’m Stéphane,   and I’ve been with Averna for more than 15 years  now and 15 previously in the flight simulation   industry. Back in the day I started as a hardware  system designer covering high power, DC to RF and   software developer and moved into the role I have  now as a Solutions Architect. I’m really looking   forward to sharing some of the things we’ve  learned in the field and answering your questions!   Ya, definitely. So today we’re just going  to touch on why we’re here and look at  

the growth of EVSE and why. We’ll quickly  review the challenges in developing better   equipment and then review the 4 biggest  considerations when developing a system.   That’s right, the main topics we will address will  be: regenerative equipment, microgrid management,   reliable asset communication and effective  protocol simulation. So, let’s get started   here. In my role at Averna, I have the opportunity  to talk to customers all across North America,   and over the past 2 years or so, the effects  of all the EV government mandates are really   coming to light. Once the Paris agreement was  signed, countries and car manufacturers all   over the world committed to minimizing the  presence of the internal combustion engine.  

It’s obvious that electric cars were just  the beginning of this initiative. Without   a reliable charging infrastructure to support  them, that wasn’t going to work in big numbers.   Definitely not. I only recently bought my first  EV a few months ago and I’m very happy with it,   but I didn’t feel comfortable making the  change 5 years ago. I do a lot of road trips,  

I go see my kids’ competitions out of town and  things like that. I wasn’t willing to either risk   running out of battery or going out of my way to  make the drive. You know, reach my destination.   So anyhow, not only has the infrastructure here  in Canada (where I am) drastically improved, but   I also have been working with many manufacturers  on their product development and production,   so I know what’s coming. Using the apps  to find charge points that are working  

and available has made owning an EV much  easier than it would have been in 2020.   Absolutely. And so now with that exposure  to the industry, Stéphane and I also really   understand the challenges of dealing with such  high-current, high-voltage and high-power,   and we thought this would make the perfect topic  for our next webinar. The products are coming out   fast, and they can be very hard to test. Up to  now we have been developing testers for 600kW  

chargers, but we expect that number to grow  over time and we are preparing accordingly.   So like I was saying, one of the challenges  is that if you have an electric vehicle,   you might have a charger in your garage,  right? You come home, you plug it in,   and that will charge overnight. But if you're  driving along and you have low battery and you   don't want to stop overnight there is now a  big push towards these DC fast chargers which   devices that transfer a ton of electricity in 15  minutes, not like a trickle overnight. I mean,  

the heat is so intense that the charging cable  has cooling in it because it gets so hot. To put   it into perspective, it's around the same amount  of electricity that your home uses in a month. The   average American household uses 30 KW in 24 hours.  Compare that to a charger that can produce 100   kilowatts in just 15 minutes…it’s huge! Now when  you think about testing that, we are not looking   at 15 minutes anymore. We are talking about hours  of this incredible energy running in your factory.   It’s not sustainable. Yeah, it's an amount of  electricity that way beyond what the average  

person is thinking about. Imagine it's a massive  fire hose, you can’t just say let's go test it.   You can’t blast a bunch of water off to the yard.  If you just had city water at your building,   your water bill is going to go through the  roof. So you can't test EVSE by just turning  

on the electricity. It's so enormous that it's  certain your building can’t accommodate that.   So there's a lot of thought that goes into  safely testing electricity at that level.   Absolutely. Safety is a challenge. And  I'm just laughing thinking about do they  

test water hoses by blasting them into a yard?  Safety is a challenge and heat is a challenge.   You're losing that electricity through inherent  inefficiencies in heat. In some of the larger   stations, the heat that comes off the cable  is the equivalent to an oven and its 4 burners   running. And this is an example of why energy  management is so important and so challenging.   And to paint the full picture, once this thing  is out the door, it’s out the door. This charger  

is out in the field, distributing huge amounts of  energy into cars, something is eventually going to   go wrong. As with any product, after repeated use  the quality will not be the same as it was when   it left the factory. That’s why it is important  to implement as many safety measures as possible,   ensure there is reliable monitoring of the station  and have a preventive maintenance plan in place.   Yeah, you nailed it Stéphane, something will  eventually go wrong, and so a lot of manufacturers   are going, how do we manage this electricity? How  do we monitor the chargers in another state? How   do we make sure that none of the power supplies  burst into flames or fail catastrophically? So,   they need to figure out how to test them properly  while in their facility and also figure out how   to monitor the stations out in the field to make  sure they continue to work. Yes, so to do this   you've got to come up with a whole regenerative  microgrid system to test them on site. And there  

are many tests to think about. Power calibration,  PCB tests, mandatory quality tests of course like   leakage, ground fault, temperature, user interface  and operator safety which are of the utmost   importance. The 4 points we have chosen to look  at today don’t focus on these tests specifically,   but they are major contributors to successfully  deploy the test setup you need to achieve it all.   So let’s get into some details here. Over the  past 2 years, the demand for these test solutions  

has quadrupled. We have multiple teams around  the world dedicated to EVSE, and as a result,   we are seeing specific patterns. When we think  about major considerations in the test design   for chargers, 4 things come top to mind first:  microgrid management, regenerative equipment,   reliable asset communication, and effective  protocol simulation. That’s exactly right,   and these 4 things will make or break the success  of your project. Absolutely. Now, let’s look at   the microgrid. The Microgrid manages the flow of  electricity between different energy sources and   loads in a localized network. So here we are  talking about managing the power supply to the  

EVSE, as well as the energy storage devices and  renewable energy sources that may be connected.   A microgrid represents the AC power supply,  which mimics the grid to the charging station.   Yes, effective microgrid management assures that  EVSE testing is conducted safely and efficiently   with reliable results. This is how you prevent  overloading or under-voltage conditions that   could damage the equipment or create safety  hazards. When you think about the microgrid,  

there are a few things that come to  mind right away. In the case of EVSE,   as we already discussed, we are talking about a  massive amount of energy. Knowing this, the first   thought is of course regenerative equipment. It  goes without saying that this is a non-negotiable,   but we will get into that topic in a few minutes.  The next thing that comes to my mind is safety.  

Here we are dealing with high power and high  voltage. Any microgrid management system   used in EVSE testing must comply with relevant  safety standards. The cabinet must be designed   to meet the right power requirements of not only  your product today, but down the road as well.   This industry is too dynamic to not think  ahead, and that can include the cable size,   the contactors and the safety  system as well to some extent.   Make sure there are a lot of E-stops and of  course you must meet NFPA, UL or CE regulations,   like enough distance away from the machine for  the operator’s safety, as an example. Yeah, I  

mean this is very very high power. So, what you’re  saying is when you’re designing the microgrid,   you need to make sure you fully understand the  power requirements and the size of the connectors,   the contactors and the cabling, so that you aren't  generating unnecessary heat through resistance.   So, Stéphane, would you say heat is another of  your top considerations for the microgrid. Well,  

actually yes and no. At the end of the day, if the  system is well designed, it shouldn’t generate an   excessive amount of heat. This is exactly why you  need to know upfront what the requirements are to   buy the proper cable sizes, connectors and so on.  In fact, in some instances you are talking about  

busbars that carry 600 amps! This facilitates  not only the heat resistance and compactness,   but the assembly as well. Yeah, I see what you  mean. Before moving on to regenerative equipment,   one last thing I want to touch on quickly is that  you shouldn’t think about a microgrid as one per   tester. The microgrid concept can be expanded to  include more things than just 1 device under test.   Absolutely, it’s the same concept as sharing  instruments when we do test stations. The loads   can be shared as well. For example, we could test  2 units with the same load because they probably  

load the system for, say, 20 minutes each. But the  whole test can take around 2 hours because there   are a lot of other features to test like screens  and payment, software update and things like that.   So when Stéphane and I started talking about  this webinar and what we wanted to present,   he used a visual that I really liked to  describe regenerative equipment. He called   it an endless wave, like you would find on  a cruise ship. The water is coming fast,   hard and non-stop. It will knock you right  off your board, it’s that strong, but you  

never run out of water. The wave is constantly  barreling, but the water never needs to refill.   Yes, exactly, and that’s what regenerative  equipment is. In the case of the wave,   you have a ton of water flowing and so you have a  big reservoir and a huge pump. Water keeps pumping  

out from that reservoir, making that wave and  then it starts all over, using the same water.   With that said, sometimes they have to refill  the water a little bit from natural loss that   will happen. Sometimes the water will overflow  and not make it back to reservoir, or whatever   reason. To accommodate this loss, they only need  a very tiny pipe to refill that small amount,   but the heavy lifting comes from the reuse of  that same water. So, the pump and the water flow,   that's our microgrid leveraging regenerative  equipment. If you look at this diagram,   it’s the same thing. Here is the microgrid, and  these thick black lines represent all of that  

energy flowing through the system. But on the  left, you see a thin black line, and that is   the small amount of energy that’s needed from the  city to keep this whole system running smoothly.   Yes, regenerative equipment enables a massive  amount of energy to be recovered and reused   during the testing process. This improves the  overall efficiency of the process and reduces   the amount of energy that needs to be taken from  the grid. Regenerative equipment is like converts   kinetic energy into electrical energy, which can  either be stored or reused to power other devices.   Otherwise, this energy would not only be lost, but  also dangerous. Without a regenerative load, you  

are turning 500 kWs right into heat. It is a waste  of energy and basically impossible to achieve.   Most facilities are not equipped with the  capabilities to do this or have an HVAC   system to accommodate this much energy. With these  limitations, there would be no way to fully test   the station, making it unsafe to use. So if any  of you watching this are on the engineering team,   you probably know this already. Regenerative  equipment is not a massive secret here,   but it is expensive and needs to be chosen  wisely to make the most of it. That’s true,  

but I do want to say, while it’s expensive,  it’s nothing compared to what the electric   bill would cost if you didn’t have regenerative  equipment. Absolutely true Stéphane. So, in your   experience designing these systems, what advice  can you give to help select the right equipment?   Yeah, that’s a good question and a tough one.  I will say that when we design our systems,   we do not have any limitations to what equipment  we can use, so for different reasons we have used   a few different ones. For one project we selected  NHR because it’s modular. In another case,  

it was more appropriate to use Keysight because  the customer already had Keysight equipment.   Basically, we now have drivers for them all  and we can use whichever is most appropriate.   Often it simply comes down to how manufacturing  is already set up and it’s simply easier to   integrate one tool over another. Moving on to our  third topic, asset communication, we are talking   about the transfer of data between different  components of an EVSE system, including the cloud.  

Our customers have made it very clear  to us that their priority is uptime.   With charge points all over the world, reliable  asset communication is critical to monitor   stations out in the field. This ensures that  charging sessions are conducted efficiently,   safely, and properly and notifies the manufacturer  if a system is down or requires maintenance.  

It is important to discover this before a customer  does. Yes. At the factory, stations typically go   through a provisioning process which includes  the serial number, will be assigned with the   modem. These are linked together and registered  into their cloud service. The manufacturer should   make sure that it passes all of the information  up to their network and that they can see it on   the remote system before they send it out to the  field. And to double down on that, it needs to be   provisioned on the RIGHT network, since there are  multiple operators out there. That’s right and it  

needs to be the right flavor since operators have  different GUIs and other nuances. Communication   is really important because everyone needs  access to this information. Users are checking   availability and usability on their phone and the  manufacturer should see immediately when a charge   point is down so they can fix it ASAP. Right.  So, what we have been seeing for the most part   is that communication is being treated as more of  an afterthought than as part of the test process.   But what we are saying is that it is an efficient  production test practice to integrate the   provisioning at the end of a complete test  and then doing a final test. Don’t test it,   ship it and then provision it and just hope it all  works out. You can include the remote monitoring,  

provisioning, and verification as  part of the production test process.   Lastly, I just want to quickly mention  cybersecurity. EVSE systems can be   vulnerable to cyberattacks, which can compromise  the system. It is important to implement robust   firewalls and other measures to keep them safe  and reliable. Good point. Thanks Stéphane.   Now finally, let’s talk about protocol simulation.  It may seem like a car is just being plugged in   to a fast-charger and it is charged 15 minutes  later, but a lot is happening in those 15 minutes,   specifically, the communication  between the car and the EVSE.  

The EVSE is talking to the car to understand  how much power it needs, and the type. It should   check if it’s a cold charge. It also needs to know  how much money to charge the customer and accept   payment. Basically, the EVSE needs to know how  to respond to the requirements of the vehicle.  

Exactly. So, for this to go smoothly, you need  testing and validation procedures that meet the   system requirements. Assets leverage standardized  communication protocols like Open Charge Point   Protocol (OCPP), ISO 15118, CHAdeMO and Combined  Charging System (CCS). By keeping to these   standards, different components of the system  will communicate effectively with one another.   The tests must generate these protocols, simulate  the right environments, and leverage real-world   data. There are dozens of EV manufacturers  using hundreds of battery types and you need   to know that your charger is going to work for  all of them in variable conditions like weather,   temperature or high traffic to cover all bases.  The problem is that you can’t have all these cars  

with all these different batteries with varying  current, voltage, and power on your manufacturing   floor…or at least you shouldn’t. Even if you  could, you still need to consider factors   like charge rate, power delivery, as well as any  environmental factors that may impact performance.   If it’s snowing and -20 degrees in the lab, you’ve  got bigger problems than protocol simulation.  

You sure do. So, protocol simulation creates an  environment that mimics EV behavior out in the   real world while charging. By simulating the  behavior of different devices in a controlled   environment, you can identify any issues or  compatibility problems that could arise in   the field. It’s a game-changing tool that is  easy to integrate into any EVSE test system.  

We have a short video here to show you how  simple it is to use, regardless of parameters.   So here is the Averna EV simulator that can be  used for testing EVSE systems in production   or R&D labs, and basically it simulates the  vehicle to grid protocol, or the V2G protocols   which use power line communication, PLC,  for communicating between the   EV and EVSE and use PWM modulation to send and  receive the V2G messages. So what we have here   is that we have a dashboard that we can  repeatedly plug and unplug the charger.   We can start or stop the charging process, which  is different than plugging/unplugging this system.  We can control the EV battery parameters, which  we can translate to control the charging profile   and also we can monitor the V2G status from  control public connect to the end of the session.   So we can see that for instance, the EV starts  the control pilot, it does the slack matching   up indication, send and receive the parameters for  the charging profile and then starts the session   and also we can look real time and monitor  the session prompters. We do have graph here  

and configuration that we can take a look at it  later. So let me start for instance. So as you see   right now it's disconnected and we have a gauge.  There's no voltage, no current as of right now,   the start of the charge for the battery  is 20%. And when we plug, we'll see here that   the system starts the pilot right away. It detects the signal from the   EVSE, set up its duty cycle and then  do the slack matching and the rest.  And as you can see here we  can monitor the control pilot status and if we go   to the the graphs you see that the charging  process started here and as you remember I   actually I didn't reset the battery for this test  at the start. Fast charging was at 60%, so at 60%  

start fast charging with higher voltage, higher  current, and then at 80% drop to slow charging   and we so we have the state of the charge of the  battery, the current and the voltage, and also we   do have a cursor so user can use the cursor to  monitor the voltage and car that's specific in time.   So if you're back here, and if I don't  unplug and change this one, for instance, to,   it was 30 that I didn't reset. So if I reset  it, drop back to 20%, it was 100% before, and if I   plugged this one we what we expect, we expect that  we start from 20% after 30% jump to 300 Volt 100   amp instead of 250/75. Again, the same  thing started slag authentication stages B changed   to C means that the charging started and you see  that we have 20/30% jump to a 300 Volt,   100 amp and then up to 80% is gonna continue  because the end of fast charging is 80%. And so  

you can monitor the whole page current  and see that it behaves as expected.   You can control the charging profile  by controlling the battery parameters   and monitor the the V2G status  and the session projectors.  The last a tab that we have is a configuration  tab, so it's more for   like debugging or for if you want  to manipulate the system the way that   it usually works. For instance, we can  you have an option to skip the slack process.  You have the option to skip the CP manual  mode, so it means that it jumps to the   authentication right away. Currently we  use the PLC power line communication. 

There is an option that you connect the  EV to EVSE using at the internet and it means   that you bypass everything just the higher  level protocols communicate to each other.  Talk to each other and we can change the  the standards DIN, ISO or DIN and ISO.  There's an option you can reset the software   and the reset the hardware. If there's any  problem with the hardware. And so that's it. 

That's a quick overview and demo of the  Averna EV simulator. That was Farshad,   who is responsible for this product development.   So you should know there are variations  on the market, but the software you just   saw is the solution we built in-house and  was designed for engineering, validation and production.   So that’s about it for our prepared portions, and  we’re looking forward to answering your questions,   but if there’s one thing you should take away  from this presentation, it’s that when you are   dealing with such high power and voltage, it is  crucial to educate yourself on the test equipment   you will select, or work with a test partner  that understands this industry. That’s right,   this technology can be very dangerous, and  it’s expanding quickly. Don’t rush the test  

design because it will be a lot more costly  after the fact, but by doing the research and   investigating test options, getting your product  into manufacturing can go faster than you think.   Thank you. Thank you Dan, Stéphane! We do have a  few questions here from the people listening. If   anyone else has any questions, please go ahead  and ask and we will try to answer everything.  

So right off the bat, “What kind of cable or  and cable size can carry this kind of current?”   Stéphane, that's probably a good question  for you. On the DC yeah that we it can be   about 500 mms like there are big cables or  about almost an inch and a half or like three   centimeter size inside or obviously dedicated  busbars thick busbars that will plug in with   with breakers but yeah they're a good size if  they're not cooled they can be a bit smaller   thhan when they're cooled but inside  stations you usually don't use the cold ones.   Perfect. “Regarding provisioning, are Averna  stations compatible with a specific MES?”  

Maybe I can answer this one, and  Stéphane you can add to it of course.   At Averna we don't necessarily have a catalog  of existing testers. We're generally using   some building blocks to build a very specific  system for a particular customer's manufacturing   environment, so we're leveraging our expertise  in the industry. But generally depending on   the product and the manufacturing environment a  very specific system would need to be built. So,  

we tend to work with customers and understand,  like I said, their manufacturing environment   and come up with something right for that  scenario. So, these stations that we do deliver   certainly do more often than not integrate into  customers’ MES systems and pass data back and   forth. And interesting side note, some of Averna's  roots are actually in MES or data aggregation and   so we actually have quite a bit of capability in  integrating with MES systems that we might not   have had in the past and understanding how to get  data in and out of things…so long answer in short,   most of our delivered stations generally  are passing data to and from customer base.   Yeah, exactly. Then they can either be  standalone or communicate out to the   outside world getting results and pushing down  the results as well. Yeah. Great, thank you.   “What types of loads do you use?” I'll take  that one. We mentioned in the presentation we  

use NHR and Keysight, but there's other ones  on the market. There's Heinzinger and yes the   different ones that are dependent on the  use. And look, maybe even location of the   station, like Europe or North America,  might have used different loads but these   are the ones that we've used and they're the  most popular ones in North America anyway.   Perfect, and we have one last question here.  

“How much efficiency are we getting  from the microgrid, as a percentage?”   I can take that one. The region load themselves  they're depending on their power, but at their   best they're about 90-95% efficient; they're quite  efficient. It's amazing how much energy they can   push back to the grid. Obviously, there's other  loss overall in this system and the EVSE itself,   because there's loss and power supplies, and as  we mentioned the cable alone is heating as well,   but overall the whole system may have like 20-25%  loss. But the part of the cables and region is   about 90-95% which is quite good compared to a 100% loss if it was just pure electric.  

Whether it's wasted inside or pushed outside  through the HVAC, it's a lot more efficient and   over time there's a lot of  savings. Yeah, good answer.   Dan, Stéphane, thank you again and thank you  to everyone in attendance. We hope you enjoy the rest of your day.

2023-06-12 22:41

Show Video

Other news