NEWS & INSIGHTS

Wireless Charging Vehicle Integration Update 2

Over the last few months, James our Chief Engineer and his team have been developing infrastructure and integration plans to ensure that everything goes smoothly when the wireless chargers start arriving in April. This has involved work in several areas:

  • Site Development
  • Communications Protocols
  • Vehicle Mechanical Integration
  • Back Office

Site Development

Working closely with our colleagues from Heriot Watt University and City of Edinburgh Council, we have had multiple visits to potential sites for the demonstration in Edinburgh working around restrictions imposed by the pandemic. A site has now been selected on Heriot Watt’s campus. Trial vehicles will visit for opportunity charging during their shifts making use of the wireless charger.

At Heriot Watt we are deploying 2x wired FPS smart enables chargers, a 45kW wireless charging transmitter and a battery for connection capacity management and energy cost reduction at this site. The system will be controlled through a specialised control system developed by FPS.

Communications Protocols

Working with hardware supplied by Gridwiz and a bespoke communications module we have developed a Chademo-CCS interface that allows the wireless charging assembly supplied by Momentum Dynamics to talk to the battery management system of the Vauxhall Vivaro-e as if it was a standard CCS charger. The system also doubles as a data logger interfacing with the vehicle CAN bus. The interface has been tested with a battery pack simulator and the vehicle. A key benefit of this approach is that it can be accomplished without making changes to the vehicles battery management system and thus preserving the warranty.

FPS Interface Module

Vehicle Mechanical Integration

The trial vehicles have now been received by our dealer, we also benefitted from 3D CAD models and a loan vehicle from Vauxhall that allowed us to confirm our mechanical integration strategy. Following communications with Vauxhall we have developed an approach that utilises existing thermal and electrical connections in a way that ensures the vehicle can be insured and that physical aspects of the warranty are preserved.

Load Vehicle Undergoing Inspection

Back Office

We have set up our own OCPP compliant back office that we will use for scheduling and monitoring the wireless and wired chargers deployed in the project. The back office has been commissioned and is communicating with a wireless charger in the US and wired chargers in the UK. Over the next couple of months, the back office will be integrated with our smart charging and scheduling algorithms in preparation for the trial.

Next Steps

Following a first vehicle assembly in February the remainder of the wireless chargers will be delivered in April. The charge control algorithms will be integrated into the back office and tested in the workshop before release to the trial in parallel with this activity. As part of ensuring that what we have done is replicable we will be preparing a technical file to review with Vauxhall and submitting the vehicles for IVA. Our expectation is that trial operations will commence from late April or early May.

If you would like to know more about this project or FPS’ activities please get in touch via info@flexpowerltd.com.