Unpredictability is one of the biggest challenges when building electric vehicle charging stations. That’s because it’s difficult to size infrastructure accurately without robust insights into consumer demand, now and in the future. Individual EV charging stations will see varying levels of traffic – in the course of a day, throughout the year and over their lifetime. In other words, fluctuating demand and the difficulty of sizing individual stations are problems that won’t go away any time soon.
Another major issue is limited grid access, which is a persistent problem for EV charging stations that are built into established residential areas and infrastructure. Access to the grid then becomes a physical bottleneck, making it difficult to fast-charge several electric cars in parallel. That, in turn, has a negative influence on the customer experience and eats into the revenues of EV charging station operators.
With this background, emobility is a highly dynamic and high-impact application for organic flow batteries from CMBlu. Our batteries can help deal with the reality of fluctuating demand by offering large-scale and above all scalable buffer storage. This helps relieve the strain on medium-voltage grids and reduces the need for their expansion – a real game changer for emobility and future cityscapes. In most EV charging infrastructures, buffer storage solutions will be the only way to ensure acceptable waiting periods for drivers at the electric “pump”.
Because organic flow batteries also enable flexible scaling, they are a long-lasting investment for operators, and one that can be resized to meet changing demands in the future. If more power is required or to store local photovoltaic generation capacity, additional flow stacks can be added. Or the tank size can be increased to add capacity – even after a station has been running for several years.
Ultimately, a decentralized infrastructure for EVs requires many different charging points. Our batteries are very affordable and where necessary mobile, so they can be moved to where they’re required most.
Taking decentralized power one step further, EV charging stations can be directly connected to local photovoltaic panels. What some have hailed as a “silver bullet” solution would not only remove a major burden from the electricity grid but also save grid fees, at least as long as a stationary electricity storage device like organic flow batteries is available to buffer the time gap between photovoltaic power production and the EV charging demand.
What’s more, these attractive behind-the-meter benefits of our organic flow batteries installed in EV charging stations are bolstered by lucrative front-of-meter opportunities: Free battery capacity can be temporarily sold to the electricity markets, so energy arbitrage in the day-ahead and real-time or intraday markets together with ancillary services will generate considerable additional revenues. Finally, CMBlu will provide an integrated AI-based software platform to tap into this full value chain, from optimized battery operation to full electricity market access.