Wi-Fi-Enabled Cloud-Based Residential EV Charging

April 21, 2015 by Jeff Shepard

Siemens introduces VersiCharge Smartgrid (SG), the first Wi-Fi enabled electric vehicle (EV) charging station that allows residential owners to monitor and control usage remotely through a mobile or web app. With this new technology an EV owner can automatically turn charging on or off, schedule charging when rates are lowest, and view past power consumption data including usage and cost for the first time in a graphical form. The cloud-based charging station also interacts with utilities, receiving demand response and pricing signals so consumer can better shape and shift their charging experience.

Utilities can offer programs that help manage the time and level of EV charging across the grid to increase grid reliability and efficiency while minimizing peak demand. This level of interaction will enable utilities to better understand the impact EVs have on power consumption market and will result in lower charging costs for the consumer.

“The VersiCharge SG solves two of the longest-lasting challenges associated with EV ownership—the uncertainty around the actual power being consumed and the ability to easily control energy consumption,” said Barry Powell, head of Siemens Low Voltage & Products. “Consumers can now have flexible charging options that can target either the cheapest energy rates or instant convenience and utility partners can better understand the growing network of EVs and their impact on the power grid.”

By accessing the Siemens cloud, utilities can offer rate programs to EV owners to allow the consumer to charge at highly attractive rates while simultaneously allowing the utility to manage the loads on the grid. By shifting each EV charging event slightly in time or rate at which kilowatt hours are supplied to the EV, utilities can potentially reduce the peak demand on the grid, which in turn helps to reduce the total amount of generation needed. When the demand response functionality is enabled in the VersiCharge SG unit via the mobile or web-based app, utilities and energy aggregators have new opportunities to use EV technology as a valuable part of a distributed energy management strategy.

The VersiCharge SG can be installed for indoor or outdoor use via a plug-in option or hardwire installation. Siemens also offers an accessory pedestal that allows users to install units in locations where a wall mount is not possible.

The VersiCharge SG is part of Siemens VersiCharge electric vehicle charging portfolio and offers the functionality that has been incorporated into the VersiCharge line of level 2 electric vehicle chargers since 2012: 30 Amps of charge at up to 7.2 kW charging rate with the standard J1772 connector interoperable with most EVs, the highest degree of safety with UL certification, best in class outdoor rating (NEMA 4), and best-in-class 5mA CCID ground fault protection. The VersiCharge SG will be available for purchase later this year.