Geli Commences Operation of First Grid-Tied, Solar EV Fast Charger with Energy Storage

First of its kind grid-tied electric vehicle fast charger with storage is developed.
Published: Tue 24 Jun 2014

Growing Energy Labs Inc. (Geli) has announced the commercial operation of the first grid-tied, solar-integrated electric vehicle fast-charging station, optimized by energy storage.

First-of-a-kind system

The station is located at City Hall in the City of Benicia and the system was designed by San Francisco-based Geli and funded with a US$79,200 California Energy Commission grant administered jointly by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and EV Communities Alliance.

The installation also received support from California's Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). The project was implemented by a consortium of project partners including Growing Energy Labs Inc. (Geli), CODA Energy, Bass Electric, BTC Power, Energy Vault, McCalmont Engineering, and Ideal Power.

Geli co-founder Ryan Wartena says, "Geli is proud to present the very first fast EV charger powered by a solar array and a battery energy storage system, all interconnected to the power grid. We have worked with many wonderful companies to deploy this first of a kind system, enabling the City of Benicia to manage its energy like computers manage data. This is the beginning of what we call the Internet of Energy."

Renewable generation is enhanced

By combining Geli's EOS with CODA Energy storage, the value of renewable generation is enhanced. Whether it's renewable generation for "plug-in" vehicles or as it's applied to other dynamic loads, this combined system provides critical balance and creates the real-world foundation of a sustainable grid and a zero-carbon transportation system.

Controlled by the Geli EOS (Energy Operating System), the charger intelligently determines when to use solar energy generated from City Hall's rooftop photovoltaic panels and when to draw stored solar energy from the CODA Core™ ESS (energy storage system) based on the price of power and energy. The entire system is made up of the Geli EOS, a 20kW/40kWh CODA Core ESS with an Ideal Power battery converter, three electric vehicle chargers including a BTC Power Level 3 electric vehicle Fast Charger, and a 175kW solar PV array. In addition to intelligent electric vehicle charging, the system also performs peak shaving services. This saves the City of Benicia money on their time-of-use electricity tariff.

An average electric vehicle charging session takes 20-30 minutes, depending on a vehicle's state of charge and battery capacity. The BTC Level 3 Faster Charger is equipped with the two standard connectors now in the marketplace, the CHADeMO connector used by most electric vehicles today, and the new SAE "Combo" connector used by some American and German brands.

Available immediately for public use, charging is limited to one-hour per charging session (most cars can get a full charge in 20-30 minutes) and the cost is based on how much energy is used and at what time of day it is used.