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The CEA centre in Cadarache, near Aix-en-Provence, has one of the largest electric vehicle charging infrastructures in the PACA region, with around 400 vehicles recharging every day at 100 charging points. Thanks to this infrastructure, the French transmission network operator RTE and the CEA have been conducting a large-scale experiment since the autumn of 2021 with a system for supervising and managing the recharging of the electric vehicles of the centre's employees. This management is done in real time and must combine user satisfaction, respect for their choices and synchronisation of the power consumed with the production of a solar photovoltaic plant. The results obtained over several months show that it is possible to increase the share of solar energy in the energy used by the charging stations from 34% to 90%, thanks to the control of vehicle charging.
The program for intelligent management and control of electric vehicle charging has been developed since 2010 by CEA teams at the National Solar Energy Institute (INES) in Chambéry. It controls the electricity consumption of a group of vehicles according to an external set point without affecting the comfort of the user or the life of the batteries. The information system used for this experiment, also developed at the CEA, makes it possible to :
- Collect data.
- Communicate with the charging stations and monitor their status.
- Provide statistics.
- Control the charge and allocate charging power according to the user's preferences and, in particular, the desired departure time at which the vehicle must be fully charged.
The experiment, which ran from autumn 2021 to summer 2022, consisted of supplying the consumption of 24 charging stations at the CEA centre in Cadarache with a fraction of the Mégasol photovoltaic solar power plant, located in the immediate vicinity of the centre. The study, which compares the rate of self-production 1 with and without supervision over 8 months, shows :
In a context of increasing use of electric vehicles, this study confirms that the coupling of solar production and intelligent charging management is a real opportunity. RTE plans to extend the scope of the experiments by including other types of flexible electrical consumption (such as heating, air conditioning, water heaters, storage systems, etc.). The results of the experiments will also be used to estimate the consumption of electric vehicles on a larger scale (region then country) and to analyse the impact of this consumption on the network.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.