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Supercharging Infrastructure Interaction with Power Grid

Discussion in 'Technical' started by JackMao, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. JackMao

    JackMao New Member

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    Supercharging stations essentially behave as a huge electric load in the power delivery system. In peak time (all charging ports are occupied) it can reach ~1 MW (135kW * 8) power demand in the system. From the electric utilities' operation and planning point of view, I'm wondering if Tesla supercharging stations are installed along the power transmission system or within distribution system? This configuration selection depends on both load nature and power system design. Furthermore, will supercharging station require dedicated lines/substations or just reside in the existing distribution systems?
     
  2. RandyS

    RandyS Fan of Elon

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    A typical site can certainly reach a peak of 1 MW (depending on the number of charging stations). They are definitely installed on a distribution circuit here in our area (not transmission), and usually have their own 12kV / 480v step down transformer installed with a new electric service...

    While the service request is larger than some, these types of new loads are brought onto the system all the time and accommodated. That's what we do as a utility...
     
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  3. sammyfan711

    sammyfan711 Member

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    Elon just tweeted out a plan to have all superchargers "off-grid" and solar powered - seems like they would have to keep a bunch of batteries on hand to handle these peak loads.

    Especially the new superchargers that look like they will cover 25-50 cars from the renderings
     
  4. JackMao

    JackMao New Member

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    Hi Randy, thanks for your prompt reply. I see your point there. It's also consistent with my understanding. One follow-up question, as the ultra-fast charging station configuration and infrastructure are in development, the total power demand for a single station can reach 10 MW (heard from an automaker), which is analogous to an industrial customer demand level. Under this circumstance, as utility, do you see a necessity for moving these loads to direct connection with transmission system? Or installing a dedicated substation, meaning constructing a dedicated distribution circuit for them? Thanks and look forward to your reply.
     
  5. KarenRei

    KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei

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    "Elon just tweeted out a plan to have all superchargers "off-grid" and solar powered - seems like they would have to keep a bunch of batteries on hand to handle these peak loads."

    Too bad Elon doesn't happen to have a battery manufacturer lying around, including an entire product line focused on battery backup systems... ;)

    Have a sufficient battery with a powerful DC-DC converter, and you could run a supercharger on a 15A 120V socket, so long as it's not visited too often. ;) It all comes down to how cheap they can make the chargers, packs and converters. We can at least get a good sense of the packs - multiply a Tesla pack by 1-3x for kWh, divide by some constant for not having to make it designed for mobile operation, and that should give a pretty good sense.
     
  6. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    There was some discussion in the Kettleman City Supercharger thread about this. As one of the first 40 stall sites to enter permitting, some details have emerged. Tesla plans to install 5 Powerpack batteries which have a total energy capacity of over 1,000kWh. Assuming that it is designed for peak shaving and not time shifting, then perhaps it could be paired with 1,000 kW of inverters. The load from the 20 Supercharger cabinets is 150kVA * 20 = 3,000 kVA. While I understand that there are 3,000kVA 480V pad mounted transformers available, could they shave the transformer capacity by the power capacity of the Powerpack system? For example, could they install a 2,000 kVA transformer and still have a enough leftover power to light and condition the existing building? I suppose it depends on the overload ratings on the transformer and whether they can guarantee that the site load shaping can stay within the transformer capacity even if there are failures in the Powerpack system.
     
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  7. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Active Member

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    I assume the building already has power, and that it will be separate from the Superchargers. So that part shouldn't be a problem.
     
  8. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    Actually, it's about half that. Most Supercharger sites I have seen have a 500 kW transformer.
    Since the charging stations are paired and max charge rate is 120 kW, you need at most 4 x 120 = 480 kW power
     
  9. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    Now that is interesting news

    Will this allow even higher charge rates if the car battery can accommodate it ?
     
  10. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    I don't think so.
     
  11. Fiver

    Fiver Member

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    Actually the max is 120 per car, but really 135kW split between the shared stalls. So 8 stalls (if maxed out) is really just 4 x 135kW. Or 540kW. Plus or minus some overhead probably.

    /edit so 40 stalls would really be 20 X 135kW, or about 2.7 MW... Big, but not unheard of big in industrial settings.
     
  12. emir-t

    emir-t Member

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    An important question to people with Supercharger knowledge;

    An electric company in Turkey claims they are building the superchargers for Turkey. They say that the chargers in Supercharger banks (shared by two stalls) have certain specs. When Tesla approves your build, if you are willing, able and successful as per their specs you build the Superchargers. Is this correct? I thought they were all Tesla's own chargers used in vehicles.

    Info on how the superchargers open up, how deals are made to build in every country etc. would be amazing. We should get our first Superchargers anytime now.
     
  13. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    My understanding is that Tesla negotiates with site hosts for the installation space and customer access to the property. Then they contract with construction contractors to do the installation and make arrangements with the local utility for the power. I don't see if a good reason for them to deviate from that in any country where they have an official presence. Obviously, places like Russia and Jordan were special cases because Tesla did not have an official presence there.

    In any case, the Supercharger cabinet has its own electrical input specifications. The details of what is inside (Tesla charger modules) doesn't matter from an electrical provisioning standpoint.
     

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