Designed with an open architecture to ensure interoperability with the thousands of individual utilities nationwide, the grid-connected system charges electric and plug-in electric hybrid cars by turning drivers’ homes into convenient, smart refueling hubs.
AeroVironment designed its Smart Charging Dock and supporting software to integrate easily with a utility’s IT network over various communication methods, including GPRS (cellular), Ethernet, WiFi and ZigBee. The charging system enables communication with the utility to allow for easy monitoring of energy use, troubleshooting and data analysis to help optimize the grid. Utilities can then assess charging patterns and proactively manage the needs of electric vehicles on the utility’s generation and distribution systems. Utilities will ultimately be able to aggregate collected data for a global view of EV energy usage and user habits.
The company recently announced that it would be providing and installing the charging systems and data network for the nation’s first privately-funded EV charging “ecosystem” in Houston for New Jersey-based NRG Energy. AeroVironment is working closely with NRG Energy to ensure that its charging hardware and software work seamlessly with the company’s management system, allowing for grid optimization, CO2 footprint data, and energy consumption reports.
AeroVironment’s Smart Charging Dock can charge an electric or plug-in hybrid car automatically or be pre-programmed by a utility or driver for optimal power draw so that the car charges when energy costs are lowest. EVSE-RS+ is designed to be compatible with all SAE J1772-compliant electric car models from major automakers.