here is EDF’s solution to avoid power outages this winter

In the event of a nationwide peak consumption, the EcoWatt signal will reduce the maximum power delivered by Izivia (EDF) EV charging stations by 50%. What relieves the electrical network and avoids blackouts.

As you are probably aware if you follow the news diligently, the government has asked individuals and companies reduce their energy consumption to spend a winter more or less quietly. This “effort” will involve small daily movements, such as reducing the temperature by one or two degrees, or even thinking about turning off devices on standby, but also recharging your smartphone outside of certain peak times.

The electric car also concerned

With the advent of the electric car, players in the sector also have a role to play in this collective effort, and although the share of electric cars in France remains quite marginal compared to thermal models (although the trend has reversed), solutions are put in place for to avoid the risk of cuts this winter.

Izivia, a subsidiary of the EDF group that develops charging stations for electric cars, has been offering a management solution for its charging stations for three years. This technology allows to reduce consumption peaks due to voltage on the electrical system. This is enough to indirectly respond to RTE’s request, which wanted certain charging points to be disconnected during peak periods.

OptiCharge: The EDF solution

How is this characterized in practice? This is a box called “OptiCharge” that gives customers access to a control solution that automatically limits the power demand associated with charging stations in electric vehicles. This makes it possible, for example, to limit the terminal’s power if another energy-demanding device starts up.

This box is reserved for companies. These will be able to control the power allocated to the terminals according to their mobility needs and their electrical installation. This box also saves money, especially when installing terminals, by avoiding costly electrical armature work, as the solution allows the terminal power to be varied according to the current available on the installation in real time.

Technically, the system is concentrated around a box located in the electrical cabinet, which supplies the terminals. Izivia specifies that 6,500 charging points are now managed in France by an OptiCharge system, representing a total output of 40 MW.

How to avoid power cuts

This solution is updated today with the government measures recently taken. Thereby, Izivia has integrated RTE’s EcoWatt signal so that companies that request this automatically lower the maximum power delivered by the charging station by 50% in case of an orange or red EcoWatt signaland this until the green EcoWatt signal is restored.

As a reminder, RTE can send orange or red EcoWatt signals to indicate voltage on the electrical network. Users are thus invited to reduce their electricity consumption. Enough to avoid more restrictive measures, such as voltage drops or rotating load shedding, which can cut mobile phone networks.

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