Glossary

AC Charging

The current stored in a typical EV battery is the direct current (DC), whereas the current that comes from the grid is the alternating current (AC). Therefore, a conversion must occur inside or outside the EV to reconcile these two distinct currents. When the conversion occurs in the EV, the process is called AC charging.

In AC charging, AC flows from the AC charger into the EV and is converted by the onboarding charger to DC, which then charges the EV battery.

Active Load Management (ALM)

When an EV is connected to charging infrastructure, it does not compete with any other vehicle and, as such, gets maximum charging. However, with multiple EVs comes the need to satisfy all the EVs being charged. Sometimes this creates, at best, an imbalance and, at worst, a shutdown of electrical facilities connected to the infrastructure.

ALM is used to prevent these cases. With ALM, buildings can easily communicate with EV charging stations to evenly distribute the available load to the EVs without straining the grid or the building.

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)

AMI is the substrate upon which a smart grid functions. It is a unified network of smart meters, data management setups, and communications systems that enables a bidirectional interaction between utilities and energy consumers.

The network offers several essential functions, such as automatic and remote measurement of electricity consumption, remote connection and disconnection of service, fault detection, outage identification and isolation, and voltage monitoring.

When AMI is synergized with in-home technology, such as the Internet of Things, it can authorize utilities to provide time-based rates and incentives that make consumers manage peak demand and significantly reduce energy consumption.

Automatic Meter Reading (AMR)

AMR is the technology responsible for coordinating data collection about electricity consumption, diagnosis, and condition.

With AMR, data is not only collected but also transferred to a principal database for the issuance of bills, troubleshooting grid faults, and analyses of collected data for future purposes.

AMR assists utilities in getting immediate alerts in events of energy meter tampering, reducing human labour and expenses and eliminating losses that may arise from manual error.

Average Demand

The average demand is the electricity demand from a given geographical area over a certain period. It is calculated by dividing the amount of electricity consumed, in kilowatt-hours (kWh), in 24 hours by 24.

The average demand figures are a necessary tool deployed by utilities to estimate how much electricity will be supplied to specific geographical regions during peak demands.

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)

BEVs are the only class of EVs that run solely on battery-stored electricity. Their batteries, predominantly Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, which power the vehicle and release net-zero carbon emissions, are easily rechargeable at charge points.

Charge Point

A charge point, also referred to as electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), is one of the components that make up the entire EV charging facility.

A charge point transmits electricity to an EV via one or more connectors—only one of which can be active at a time. Using a gas station as an analogy, a charge point can be likened to a fueling hose that receives power directly from the gas pump and delivers it into the vehicle through the nozzle— equivalent to a charging outlet or connector in the case of EVs.

Charge Point Operator (CPO)

A CPO is equivalent to the manager of a gas station. They are responsible for installing and maintaining a charging pool—the facility that houses and operates multiple charging stations. Their work description includes purchase and installation of hardware such as charging stations, maintenance of network connection, price fixing for facility use, and management of the connection to eMobility service providers (eMSP).

Charging Station

Where a charge point functions similarly to a fueling hose, a charging station can be likened to a gas pump with a user interface that connects the gas reservoir to the vehicle. A charging station serves as the intermediary between the grid and the EV, regulating the amount of electricity, displaying the price for the EV owners and CPOs to see, and serving as a vital tool in active load management.

A charging station, just like the gas pump, can have multiple hoses and more than one charge point attached to it, each of which can serve only one EV at a time.

Charging Station Management System (CSMS)

CSMS is a collection of tools that work together to assist charge point operators and enable them to manage EV charging pools better. These systems include technology such as EV smart charging software that makes smart charging a possibility and a simplified process.

Combined Charging System (CCS)

The CCS is a rapid charging method that has grown in popularity in Europe and North America over the past few years. It was developed in response to the slow Type 2 Connector (See below).

EVs are multiplying rapidly, and the need for faster-charging options is rising correspondingly. The CCS connector combines the Type 2 Connector with two other DC power lines running at significantly higher voltages than the Type 2 Connector. This combination boosts EV charging beyond the normal experience.

Connector

Like smartphone charging, every EV charging process requires two end connectors: one plug into the charge point and the other into the EV socket.

The charge speed that an EV gets is mostly reliant on the types of connectors used.

Visit here to learn more about the different types of connectors and their suitability for your EV.

DC Charging

DC charging is simply the opposite of AC charging. The difference between them is in the host of current conversion. In AC charging, the AC is converted to DC in the onboard charger installed inside the EV. DC charging, on the other hand, employs the service of a charge point that can convert AC to DC before transmitting the current into the EV.

Demand

Demand is the quantity of electricity delivered to consumers at a given time. It differs from average demand in that average demand is an estimated representation of the amount of electricity that a given geographical area typically consumes in a given amount of time, whereas demand is simply a measure of the total amount of electricity consumed in real time.

Demand Response

When electricity consumers are offered the opportunity to contribute to the grid to sustain grid management and balance demand and supply, the program is called a demand response program.

With a demand response program in place, consumers play significant roles in smart grid management by adjusting their electricity consumption during peak hours in response to time-based pricing. This adjustment, in turn, lowers both wholesale and retail utility costs.

Demand response can be achieved through time-of-use pricing, real-time pricing, variable peak pricing, critical peak rebates, and remote management of home appliances by utilities.

Distribution Network Operator (DNO)

The DNO is the mediator between the grid and a utility, providing electricity to EV charging pools. Therefore, the CPO cannot implement necessary installations without contacting the DNO—responsible for the amount and speed of electricity distributions.

Dynamic Pricing

Dynamic pricing was introduced to combat the inequity established by flat pricing. Flat or fixed electricity billing is static irrespective of whether the consumer consumed electricity. Dynamic pricing also disintegrates the fault of billing consumers higher during peak demand hours, whether they use electricity or not.

There are three common plans associated with it:

Real-time pricing - which offers pricing at short, typically hourly, intervals so consumers can shift high energy-demanding tasks to when rates are cheaper.

Critical peak rebate - pays consumers for electricity returned to the grid during peak hours.

Time-of-use pricing - segments the day into longer intervals with fixed prices over a long period.

Distributed Automation (DA)

DA is used for managing, monitoring, and controlling electricity distribution from smart grids through real-time operational alerts concerning multiple parts of the grid, such as fault detectors, switches, voltage regulators, etc.

Distributed Generation (DG)

DG is the central idea for decentralized grid systems. It refers to a diversity of technologies, such as solar PV panels, combined power and heat (CPH), and wind turbines, that generate electricity close to where it is being consumed.

DG can be deployed for wide-ranging applications irrespective of size. For instance, it can be used for a singular purpose, such as a building or bigger structures, such as an industrial establishment. DG can also be integrated into microgrids connected to the main grid.

Distribution System (DS)

A DS is a part of a power system responsible for distributing electricity to consumers for final use. Electricity consumers generally do not have energy stations installed in their places of consumption. Instead, the distribution system transports electricity from transmission systems and substations to the consumer.

A typical distribution system comprises a distribution substation, feeders, distribution transformers, a distributor, and service mains.

Electric Vehicles (EVs)

Unlike internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs), EVs run on batteries that do not require fossil fuels to operate and contribute less to zero carbon emissions.

The three main types of EVs are:

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs)— use purely electric current and are rechargeable at EV charging points, and

Fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs)— use the reaction of hydrogen to run but release only water vapour as their by-product.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs)— which operate on the duality of rechargeable batteries as in BEVs and on gasoline as in internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs)

EVs contribute to the grid through V2G charging and smart charging.

Electric Vehicle Charge Point Grant

The EV charge point grant is a scheme by the UK government to fund up to 75% of the total costs of installing EV smart charge points in domestic infrastructures across the UK.

Electric Vehicle Service Provider (ESVP)

EVSPs provide point-to-point EV charging by handling both charging station performances and driver experience.

They are bodies that manage multiple affairs of EV charging, such as public charging, residential charging, fleet depots, workplace charging, etc., to give the best experience to both CPOs and EV owners.

Electric Utility

The electric power company that generates and distributes electricity for sale to final consumers.

eMobility Service Providers (eMSPs)

eMSPs can be said to be the other side of CPOs. Where CPOs cater to the well-being of EV charging pools, eMSPs are more driver-oriented. Their services include:

Energy Community

An energy community includes prosumers who share and consume locally produced renewable energy. It is essentially a unit among many units that are interconnected across various networks and collectively connected to the grid.

Energy communities make grid sustainability easier because work done by the grid is now split by multiple microgrids that assume their responsibilities. An energy community can be effectively managed by distribution service operators and energy service companies using energy community management software.

EV Charger

Contrary to popular misconception, an EV charger is not any of the charging stations or charge points but rather a device built inside the EV. In AC charging, for instance, the EV charger, also called the onboarding charger, is what receives the AC and converts it to DC before finally topping up the vehicle’s battery level.

EV Driver

An EV driver drives an EV and engages in residential, public, and workplace charging.

Feed-In Tariff (FIT)

A FIT is one of the policy tools created to aid the promotion of renewable energy sources and the investment therein. This usually revolves around distributed generation, where individuals or a small group of people generate their renewable energy by themselves.

FITs typically involve support for these groups of consumers who generate their renewable electricity and demand long-term contracts, usually between 15 and 20 years.

Home Charging

Home charging, just as the name implies, is the process of charging an EV using facilities installed at home. However, home charging has different levels to it, namely: Level 1 and Level 2.

Level 1 DV charging is slower, delivering a standard household exit current at 110 or 120 volts. Level 2, however, doubles Level 1’s outlet current at 220 or 240 volts or higher.

Home Energy Management System (HEMS)

Home charging requires that EV charging facilities share energy with other household appliances. When not managed well, this might disturb the home’s energy usage. The effective incorporation of harmony between household appliances and DV charging features concerning the grid is HEMS.

HEMS has two kinds of load management: static and dynamic. Static load management prioritises energy required by EV charging facilities, compromising other appliances. Dynamic load management is similar to ALM in that it considers every item that needs to be charged and then spreads the load evenly.

ISO 15118

ISO 15118 is an international standard established to keep straight the digital communication agreements that EVs and charging stations must follow when recharging.

Visit here to learn more about the protocols.

Levels 1, 2, and 3 Charging

In EV charging, like in the case of smartphone charging, there are levels that dictate the speed and quality of charging.

Level 1 charging, the slowest of them all, on a full charge, offers three to five miles an hour. This type of charging is done by plugging your EV into your regular wall charge point.

With Level 2 charging, the EV, on the maximum charge, is guaranteed approximately 75 miles of range.

Level 3 charging gives an EV a maximum range of 298 miles.

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) Batteries

Li-ion is the predominant type of battery used in EVs because of its high energy per unit mass and power-to-weight ratio.

Kilowatt-Hour (kWh)

A kilowatt-hour is a standard measurement unit that records how much energy is being demanded or consumed. It is simply the amount of energy dissipated if you kept a 1-kW appliance running for one hour.

It differs from a kilowatt in that a kilowatt is simply 1,000 watts, a measure of power.

Load

Load is the amount of energy a transmission station supplies to meet these energy demands.

Load Factor

The load factor measures the efficiency of electrical energy usage or the usage rate. It tells us how much of the energy supplied is indeed utilized. To get the load factor of a given community within a specified period, the first thing to do is to get the average electricity supply to the said community and divide it by the peak demand within the same period.

Load Management

Load management is a superset of demand response. It is the process in which utilities try to adjust their daily, monthly, or annual load curves by manipulating the demand to achieve the most beneficial economic operation.

When utilities manipulate demand, they lower peak demand through demand response and rebates.

Miles Per Kilowatt-Hour (Miles per kWh)

The miles per kWh of an EV are equivalent to miles per gallon used for internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs). The efficiency ratio tells an EV driver how many miles their vehicle can go on one kWh of electricity.

If an EV’s battery has a capacity of 60kWh and an efficiency rating of 3 miles per kWh, it can go 180 miles on a full charge.

Motor

The electric motor, alongside the battery, makes an EV what it is. Motors are powered by current from the battery, after which they propel the EV.

A good automotive motor must have a high starting torque, a high power density, and high efficiency. The most prominent motors in EVs include DC series motors, brushless DC motors, permanent magnet synchronous motors, switched reluctance motors, and three-phase AC induction motors.

Municipal Electric Utility

Sometimes electricity is inaccessible to people in rural or local communities because of their remoteness. Municipal electric utilities exist to solve this challenge. They are utilities owned, operated, and managed by the local government.

Offsite Meter Reading (OMR)

Also known as remote meter reading, OMR is a method that employs the use of radio-equipped handheld terminals to take readings off module-furnished electric or smart meters remotely. With OMR, meter data can be retrieved by moving within a radius of the meter from which information needs to be obtained.

Off-Peak Charging

Off-peak hours are periods when demand from the grid drops significantly, usually at night. It is called off-peak charging when EV owners charge their EVs around this period.

By leveraging off-peak charging, EV owners not only save charging costs but also relieve the grid of additional load that it would have otherwise borne during peak-demand hours.

Open Charge Alliance (OCA)

OCA is a global chain of public and private EV infrastructure owners with a common goal of promoting open standards through two distinct protocols:

Peak Demand

Peak demand is the highest amount of electricity consumed in a 15-minute or 30-minute period in a month. Smart grids are interconnected with the smart meters that they feed, so this makes it easy for transmission monitoring and data collection.

Suppose, in the past, you have demanded little to no electricity from the grid, which holds the same for every other home served by the same utility. If one day you decide to use every appliance in your home, thereby shooting demand up to a record-high for that month. This sudden spike (the peak demand) tends to shock the grid. The utility will work with this peak demand in its electricity supply to prevent further spikes.

Plug and Charge (P&C)

P&C is a technological idea initiated by ISO 15118 (See above). The initiative aims to make EV charging more user-friendly for EV drivers.

It is an automation process that collects driver data as soon as they plug in their vehicle. With P&C, drivers need no longer repeatedly make payments, scan barcodes, manually submit their EV identity information, etc.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

PHEVs are a kind of EVs that combine both a battery and an internal combustion engine to run. The vehicle starts by running on the battery and then automatically switches to the ICE.

PHEVs’ batteries can be charged in three ways:

Public Charging

Public charging, as opposed to home and workplace charging, is not exclusive. Because of their easy accessibility, public charging stations reduce the need for EVs, such as PHEVs, to switch to ICE during driving.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

RFID is the unique identity possessed by EVs and EV drivers and is used for identification and payment for charging. EV drivers usually hold RFID cards to facilitate payment for charging sessions.

However, this method tends to get tedious and sometimes overwhelming due to the driver’s forgetfulness, card loss, or other forms of a mishap. This redundancy is one of the challenges the Plug and Charge initiative (See above) aims to solve.

Radio Frequency Signals (RF Signals)

RF signals or RF emissions are the energy affiliated with electromagnetic waves. They are emitted by various everyday devices such as phones, computers, microwave ovens, and smart meters.

Smart meters use a low-power 900MHz radio to communicate, and they typically have a 2.4GHz radio which is never used for network communications.

Range

An EV’s range is the miles it can travel on a full charge. The factors that affect the range of an EV vary from physical to behavioural: tyres, weather, driver’s style, etc.

Range Anxiety

Range anxiety is the feeling that EV drivers get when they perceive a low battery and they can’t find alternatives in sight. Range anxiety is one of the major factors behind people’s refusal to switch to EVs.

Range Per Hour (RPH)

RPH is how EV chargers are rated. With the knowledge of their EV’s RPH, drivers can project how far it can go.

RPH is mostly determined by the capacity of the charging station, the EV’s efficiency, and the EV’s state of charge.

Relays

A grid protection relay or mains protection relay is a device used for power quality control. It serves as the gateway between the energy source and the grid, filtering only the quality and quantity of electricity suitable for the grid.

An important component of relays is anti-islanding. Anti-islanding is a type of protection for renewable energy sources such as solar PV panels and wind turbines connected to the grid. It protects both personnel and equipment by disconnecting supply from these sources to the grid in events of blackout.

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy, also known as clean energy or green energy, is simply energy generated from natural sources that can easily be replenished with little to zero carbon emissions.

Renewable energy sources, also called renewables, are the elements from which this energy is generated, and they include:

Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (REPS)

REPS is a regulatory obligation imposed upon states to invigorate the promotion of renewable energy. This includes the mandate given to electricity supply companies to generate certain fractions of their electricity from renewables.

Roaming Network Operator (RNO)

RNOs provide essential services to both CPOs and EV drivers. Roaming enables EV drivers to use any charging facility they can access without uniquely identifying as a customer of said facility or station. It brings about fluidity in driver-station engagement.

Rolling Blackouts

There exist cases where utilities find it difficult or impossible to maintain a healthy balance between supply and demand. In such cases, demand outweighs supply, putting the grid and every other piece of equipment at risk of failure.

To forestall this event, utilities shed electricity in a process called rolling blackouts. This process involves slowly cutting electricity supply from certain regions until the balance is restored on the grid. Besides preventing grid collapse, this method also helps preserve supply to sensitive destinations such as hospitals.

Smart Meter

A smart meter is an electrical measuring device that records the necessary electricity consumption data and sends this data to the utility through remote communication. Typically, a smart meter interacts with its corresponding utility every 15 minutes or one hour.

The smart meter can also automatically dispatch information regarding power outages, blackouts, and faults to the utility for quick response.

State of Charge (SoC)

An EV’s SoC measures the amount of electricity currently available in its battery. The SoC is similar to the fuel gauge in an ICEV, preparing the EV driver for the next line of action.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT broadly refers to devices with sensors embedded in them that can process information for fluid interaction with other similar devices over a mutual communication network.

A microwave oven in the kitchen communicating with a mobile device in the bedroom of the same building to alert the occupant of burning food is a good example of IoT in action.

These devices can communicate with a smart grid as effectively as smart meters, relay relevant information, and receive information back.

Top-Up Charging

This is what happens when drivers leverage the time their EVs are parked to keep them charged as opposed to leaving the battery to be emptied of its power before recharging.

Type 1 and Type 2 Plugs

Type 1 plugs or connectors provide fast charging at an output of between 3.7kW and 7.5kW AC, yielding an RPH of 12.5 to 25 miles per hour.

The Type 2 plugs, on the other hand, offer faster charging between 22kW and 43kW, yielding an RPH of between 30 and 90 miles per hour.

Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Charging

V2G is smart charging technology that enables EV batteries to return inactive electricity to the grid for better grid management.

Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN)

A WLAN is a wireless means of distribution between multiple devices. With WLAN, users don’t have to be static but can shift position while still keeping a steady network connection.

Devices that connect to a WLAN are categorized into two:

  1. Access Points (APs)—which typically function as routers and can transmit and receive radio frequency signals to other similar devices.
  2. Clients—which include devices such as mobile phones.

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