Siemens, Aral roll out 350kW fast chargers across Germany

Siemens, Aral roll out 350kW fast chargers across Germany

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Siemens to provide intelligent grid connection for over 100 350kW fast chargers across Germany being installed by Aral.

Aral, a subsidiary of the bp group, is working with Siemens Smart Infrastructure with expanding the grid connection at 30 selected gas stations. The installation of intelligent substations allows Aral to upgrade its sites with fast charging technology for electric vehicles using entirely renewable power. The installation is expected to be completed by the end of February.

Aral confirms that Siemens is not supply the 350kW fast chargers. Aral has deal for the systems to pay for the charging with Vattenfall, which also has a partnership in Scandiavia with fast charger supplier ABB. Aral’s owner bp also owns the Chargemaster charging network in the UK and US, which makes its own fast chargers.  

The increased power demand of fast chargers means the grid connection needs to be upgraded through the intelligent substations and the joint project with Siemens  is a key contribution to creating public fast-charging stations.

“By equipping our gas stations with charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, we are taking a major step forward in creating the gas station of the future,” said Patrick Wendeler, member of the Managing Board of Aral. “To make charging as fast as putting fuel in your car, we have opted for ultra-fast charging stations with a power of up to 350 kW. But chargers alone are not enough: The retrofit also requires a powerful and reliable grid connection. That is why we are glad to have Siemens with its expertise in electrical infrastructure at our side.”

The installation of intelligent substations allows Aral to upgrade 30 selected gas stations with ultra-fast-charging technology for electric vehicles from low voltage connections. To meet the increased power demand of fast chargers, the grid connection needs to be upgraded to a medium-voltage connection with much higher power. This is achieved through the substations which connect the gas stations’ charging infrastructure to the public power grid. Each substation consists of a hermetically capsulated transformer, a gas-insulated medium-voltage switchgear, type 8DJH, and a Sivacon S8 low-voltage switchboard.

By using communicating hardware and Internet of Things (IoT) technology, Aral can obtain information about the status of the substations at any time. This will enable the blue-and-white labeled service station brand to guarantee their customers the full functionality of its ultra-fast charging stations even better than today. The utilization of sensors helps to generate data, thereby ensuring continuous monitoring of the health status and a safe operation of the equipment. These values are then transmitted over communication interfaces to a higher-level, cloud-based IoT system. The data is evaluated and visualized via a web application in a useful addition to those of the fast charging stations. 

“This intelligent substation not only allows Aral to introduce ultra-fast charging technology, but also ensures highest reliability and better grid utilization within the existing infrastructure,” said Stephan May, CEO of Distribution Systems at Siemens Smart Infrastructure. “Real time data monitoring enables optimal usage of the assets. For this reason, digitalization is an important prerequisite for efficient load management and to optimize the use of power resources.”

The roll-out of high-power chargers at Aral gas stations in Germany is part of bp’s strategy to increase the number of charge points. Globally operated charging points will be increased from 7,000 in 2020 to 70,000 in 2030.

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