The Project

Time-of-Use-Optimization with coneva Flex in cooperation with Voltego GmbH

The Hilden charging park near Düsseldorf at the Hilden freeway junction features 52 DC charging stations and 20 AC charging stations and, when completed, a total of 144 charging points. This makes it the largest charging park in Europe and has become a popular meeting place for EV drivers. The pavilion of Seed & Greet invites travelers to meet and stay with its offering of sustainable organic products. A PV system with 430 kWp – and 1,000 kWp in the final stage of future development – contributes to the local power supply. In addition, the site includes a 2 MW battery storage. In the context of rising energy prices it is increasingly interesting to use innovative concepts in the field of energy procurement and to use existing flexibility in the form of batteries or other flexible consumption units to lower electricity costs. The goal of the project therefore was to implement a technical as well as economical optimization of the various local assets in the EV charging park, leading to a continuous, dynamic and flexible procurement of electricity.

The Challenge

The existing PV system is to be used in the best possible way: the locally generated solar power flows directly to the existing consumption units (charging points and bakery) or is stored downstream by an existing battery storage system for later use. This way, the share of on-site PV self-consumption is maximized. In addition to receiving and delivering the solar energy generated on site, the battery storage is also intended to act as a power buffer for peak demand from the DC charging points. This reduces the grid charges, and the energy price costs, respectively. While these two measures are traditional components of local site-based energy management, the third, and thus new, energy management component involves optimizing residual power consumption from the public power grid. For this purpose, the flexibility of the battery storage system is used to shift the time of purchase from the grid, and thus the charging process of the battery, to periods when the electricity price on energy spot markets is particularly low. This is the case when a lot of electricity from wind and PV is fed into the power grids. By acting as a buffer storage system, local electricity consumption can be decoupled from grid purchases over time. For the smooth interaction of the three energy management measures, a hardware and software solution is required that combines the various influencing variables and flexibility parameters of the site and calculates an optimized storage schedule for the battery.

The Solution

Technical implementation of battery storage optimization

The optimization of energy purchase costs with coneva Flex happens in two steps. By installing the coneva SmartBox as a local gateway, which measures and transmits the local energy flows, the site is connected to the coneva core technology platform. The data transfers include the current power generation of the PV system, the power consumption of the charging stations, the overall power flow at the metering point, and the status of the battery storage. The coneva SmartBox has several communication interfaces and can use them to send charge and discharge commands to the battery.

In the next step, the flexibility potential of the site is evaluated under the given device and site restrictions, such as size, power and efficiency of the battery storage and maximum grid supply. Consumption and generation forecasts are used as the basis for calculating the charging schedule for the battery. Via our partner Voltego GmbH, which is responsible for the technical operation and power supply of the site, we receive the daily updated electricity prices (individual price per hour) according to the day-ahead prices of EPEXSPOT. Using the forecast data, the technical restrictions and the electricity price information, coneva Flex creates a continuously algorithmically updated schedule for price-optimized electricity consumption. Voltego GmbH reads this consumption schedule via an automated interface and procures the required price-optimized electricity quantities. In the end, coneva Flex executes the optimized consumption schedules fully automatically, so that no additional effort is required on the customer side. The prerequisite for this concept is an electricity supply contract from our partner Voltego, which enables billing based on short-term electricity prices.

Preisoptimierter Betrieb eines stationären Stromspeichers

The Result

Avoiding peak loads, optimizing procurement costs and increasing self-consumption

Thanks to the approach of optimizing energy procurement with the help of buffer storage, we can achieve electricity cost savings as well as halve the required balancing energy. The savings potential can be increased even further. For example, by using quarter-hourly prices on the intraday market, the market where short-term flexibility has a very high value. Or by optimizing and prioritizing the three energy management components. For example, it might be economically useful to increase the limited peak power (thus accepting a higher power price) in order to have more buffer storage capacity available for procurement optimization.

„With our project at Hilden charging park, we show that it is economically and ecologically useful to purchase energy when there is a lot of wind and sun in the system. By using a storage buffer, the costs for purchasing energy are reduced, the overall profitability of the site increases, and we help to further integrate renewables in the electricity markets.”

Gregor Hinz (Managing Director Voltego GmbH)

„By optimizing electricity procurement with our SaaS-solution coneva Flex we create real added value for our partners and customers. Not only from a financial perspective but also by making the energy transition work from an energy market perspective.”

Jochen Schneider (Managing Director coneva GmbH)

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