Smart Hubs are localised hubs integrating solar car parks (a parking facility made from solar carports), electric vehicle (EV) charging, battery energy storage, Vehicle to Grid (V2G) energy management alongside local power generation and usage, managed by a sensible energy management system which enables the simplest use of power at the local level.
Electric cars and buses are getting to be the principal transport mode in only a couple of years. However, we all know that the present electricity grid system will only be ready to cope if smart charging and grid management are adopted across the network. “The investment in infrastructure to support increasing numbers of electrical vehicles indirectly benefits all energy consumers through lower prices and lower carbon generation intensity, as smart charging of EVs can support increased renewable generation.”
Car parks and transport hubs that incorporate solar car parks (solar panels installed on structures to reap clean green power from the empty space above cars parked in car parks), energy storage systems and smart energy management enable more EV charging with less strain on the grid. this may mean that costly and disruptive grid reinforcement is often avoided, saving potentially significant sums of cash for the infrastructure developers and benefiting society as an entire.
Clean energy hubs based around solar car parks also represent very visible green innovations for local authorities, retail centres, public parking lot owners, airports and train operators, while presenting a replacement source of revenue to the location owner, a greater level of service to the parking lot user also as significant contributions to grid management and stability. “Flexible and fast charging is important for facilitating the transition to EVs within the most cost-effective way, by enabling all consumers (including those that don’t own an EV) to profit from a more optimised energy system and avoiding reinforcement costs.”
Smart Hubs is becoming the generic term for intelligent EV charging and localised power management, working towards zero emissions (3). Smart Hubs integrate local renewable energy generation, solar car parks, battery storage and energy management, and may potentially include other energy technologies like hydrogen generation, storage and delivery into hydrogen-powered vehicles. The electrification of road transport will have significant impacts on the energy system, potentially increasing today’s electricity consumption by about 30% by 2045. This represents a big and potentially costly challenge for the facility sector, and therefore the costs are often greatly reduced through the adoption of latest business models for smart charging and native energy management and providing accessible choices for people for a way they prefer to charge their vehicles.
However, if Smart Hubs are getting to achieve success in achieving sufficient adoption of solar car parks and native energy management to deliver a big impact on the grid and EV charging, it’s important to think about the incentives for all parties involved within the Smart Hubs ownership and use.