Smart energy management is a growing field with increasing importance. Rising energy demand and bills have led electric power providers, consumers, and businesses to better manage energy distribution and consumption. The increasing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) globally makes it even more crucial to ensure optimal energy management.
Smart energy systems are a fantastic solution in this regard. They provide many benefits to users, especially when it comes to optimizing energy utilization for EV charging.
In this article, we delve into what smart energy is, its importance, the application of smart energy management to electric vehicles (EVs), and more. This will help you understand how to harness it better.
What Is Smart Energy?
Smart energy is the optimal and efficient use of energy by deploying innovative technologies. Artificial intelligence, data analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT), and machine learning can be leveraged to create and run a smart energy management system.
These technologies help us monitor and gather information on energy management systems and identify waste, load, and other vital metrics for peak optimization.
Smart energy also harnesses and integrates renewable energy to build sustainable and eco-friendly systems.
When talking about EVs, smart energy optimizes utilization by factoring in the following elements:
- Energy pricing
- Grid limitations
- The availability of renewable energy
- Locally stored energy
- Preconfigured preferences of EV owners
- Driver needs
Smart energy improves EV charging systems by efficiently providing energy and managing charging loads across energy sources for enhanced safety in the delivery of power.
Why Is Smart Energy Important?
Conventional energy systems typically do not provide insights into energy distribution, usage, or waste. This leads to vast inefficiencies in energy management and a negative impact on the environment.
The introduction of smart energy to conventional systems can help minimize waste, reduce environmental impact, and optimize energy usage and costs.
Here is how smart energy achieves these goals:
Energy and Cost Savings
Smart energy allows users to efficiently track and optimize their energy consumption patterns to reduce bills. It is a great way to maximize energy sources, especially renewable energy, when charging EVs.
Renewable Energy Integration
Smart energy systems can integrate renewable energy sources, which are sometimes irregular. Combining these systems with EV batteries enables the storage of surplus energy and ensures a balance between energy supply and demand for EV charging.
This allows for an easier transition to renewable energy sources for households and electric transportation businesses.
Lower Carbon Footprint
In the United States, the greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector are nearly 30%. The deployment of EVs, energy storage solutions, and smart energy systems can significantly lower this immense carbon footprint.
Energy monitoring using smart energy systems can help individuals and businesses keep tabs on their energy savings and other metrics, especially regarding EV charging. It allows users to take timely measures to reduce their environmental impact and remain sustainable.
What Is Onsite Renewable Generation?
Onsite renewable generation means generating power through renewable energy sources—sun, wind, biomass—right on the project site. In this case, the energy generation systems like wind turbines and solar panels are set up in one location. This reduces dependence on the traditional grid and offers an alternative energy source.
The onsite company or a third party may own and operate these energy generation systems. They may get energy bill credits for the excess output sent to the grid. This is typically done via utility net metering programs.
Onsite renewable generation systems may also have battery storage systems to store excess output for later use. Battery storage solutions allow the energy generation system to source and store energy from the grid during off-peak hours, when rates are significantly cheaper.
Users can pair onsite renewable energy generation with EV charging to harness the benefits of this generation system. To do this, they can co-locate EVs with onsite renewable energy generation systems and EV batteries.
How to Integrate Renewable Energy Into the Grid Using EVs
EV fleet operators and owners can boost renewable energy integration into the grid using EVs for smart energy management. They can feed renewable energy back into the grid using vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.
Although V2G implementation is still nascent, it relies on smart energy management and smart EV charging systems to respond to grid signals and record the energy flow for billing and payment.
Weather fluctuations make it difficult for renewable energy sources like solar and wind to constantly generate electricity. EV users can supplement these supply gaps with V2G-transmitted energy. EV batteries can be charged with renewable energy during non-peak hours, and the extra power can be sent to the grid in the evening peak hours.
What Can Electric Power Providers Do for Smart EV Charging?
Utility companies can upgrade energy distribution networks to promote smart EV charging. They can also invest capital in fast-charging stations to support smart energy management in EV charging.
Moreover, they can reduce the impact on the grid by using charging software installed in EVs and charging stations. This software enables utility providers to remotely monitor and control EV chargers and shift EV loads to maintain balance in the grid.
How to Apply Smart Energy Management to EVs
Smart energy management is valuable not only for homes and offices but also for transportation, particularly EVs. Onsite batteries at EV charging stations can store electricity from renewable energy sources for later use. This ensures easy access to power, which is especially crucial during peak hours.
EV smart energy management systems optimize energy use and eliminate the need for expensive charging infrastructure upgrades. It also allows for real-time load balancing for operators to track energy consumption. This ensures optimal response for charging demand in the area.
The Future of Smart Energy
The increasing deployment of smart energy systems means that in the coming years, smart meters and advanced integration software will see a spike in demand. This will allow utility companies to receive real-time readings and enhance data accuracy.
There will also be an uptick in connections between energy metering devices and the internet. This will create fresh opportunities for service providers in the energy management sector.
Also, the growing popularity of EVs calls for more sustainable and efficient ways of fueling them. We may see DC power being directly supplied from local energy storage containers, which minimizes energy conversion losses.
Smart energy offers exciting opportunities for electric power providers, consumers, and businesses to manage energy generation, distribution, and use. EVs can especially benefit from the assurance of constant access to power and timely charging.
Ampcontrol offers a cloud-based smart charging software solution that uses real-time data to assess EV charging performance, ensure time charging, and reduce energy costs. Book a live demo or contact the company to learn more about its services.