Smart energy tech start-up dcbel has announced plans to launch its all-in-one Home Energy Station in Europe, following its US launch in April 2021.
Its flagship product, the dcbel r16 is described as a ‘world-first’ solution that combines several breakthrough technologies into one device.
Allowing consumers to use their EV’s storage capacity to maximise revenues from photovoltaic (PV) consumption, the system directly connects with solar panels, then utilises an AI algorithm to calculate their expected solar generation based on micro-weather forecasts and the expected power demand from the EV and smart home.
Laurent Schmitt, head of utilities and European developments at dcbel explained that the ‘breakthrough’ technologies include the power electronics inverter architecture, which is multi-level, voltage source and grid-forming, allowing full controllability of bidirectional power flow to provide an industry-first ‘Vehicle to Grid’ EV charging concept.
“The patented multilevel architecture allows to significantly reduce the price point of power electronics components used, as well as improve the efficiency and power quality of the conversion from PV to EV milage — typically capturing ten per cent more from a local PV installation than what current V1G AC chargers do when connecting with standard PV inverters,” Schmitt said.
A second breakthrough, he explained, lies in the design of the embedded control and communication layers which utilise IoT edge architectures. This aims to provide seamless management of data streaming interactions across the energy value chain, from grid operators through to retailers and service providers.
“dcbel embeds a new breakthrough edge device optimisation middleware calculating forecasts of home consumption, local PV available as well as EV usage and battery state of health over various time horizons,” Schmitt told The Engineer. “Each of these forecasts are computed out of locally produced AI models incorporating real-time data feed from several key end user environments.”
Schmitt believes the bidirectional EV charging capability will ‘turn PV and V2H (Vehicle-To-Home) to ‘business as usual’ in future EV residential charging strategies, with the concept aiming to turn every person driving an EV into a ‘Prosumer’ — a producer and consumer.
Through automated and simplified real-time interactions with the grid and energy service providers, end users ‘can take advantage of the most economical electrons’ to charge and sell the energy stored or locally produced to support the grid during more expensive peak conditions, he added.
Further benefits given include simplified electrical wiring for integration of PV, EV and smart heating into home environments, and the ability to safeguard home energy systems during grid outages using the battery of the car through the bidirectional system.
“Ultimately dcbel is a new Home Energy Station self-assessing possible optimisation trajectories, whether to minimise charging costs through dynamic tariffs, minimise the charging carbon footprint against the real-time data streamed by grid operators or maximise the usage of home electrical connection capacity to fast charge,” Schmitt said.
“dcbel has been designed to make the most appropriate decisions on behalf of EV drivers and home owners while offering full transparency on how the optimum trajectory is computed and provide energy benchmarks.”