The Technology

Please click on the link to download a copy of this webpage in Irish - An Teicneolaíocht.pdf (size 205.9 KB)

Smart Charging Units

The Smart Charging Unit has been specially developed for SEAI by Klockner Moeller. The Units allow 15min electricity consumption data to be obtained remotely via a GSM phone connection for during the 24 hr period for 365 days of the year. This will be used to gauge vehicle fuel efficiency and charging behaviour of the participants. The energy consumption data will then be compared with available wind and imported electricity to determine the % renewable energy consumed and consequent CO2 footprint associated with each vehicle.

Each home owner must agree to have one of these units installed at a cost of 400 euro.

The units are supplied with an over-ride switch which allows the user to obtain a 3 hr charge at any time. This provides full control to the Trial User ensuring that adequate energy is always available to meet their travel requirements.

The units contain a relay switch which is programmed to simulate a typical Night Time Tariff scheme thereby activating the charging sequence each night. The units can be remotely accessed to modify the charging sequence of each individual vehicle.

Smart Charging Unit image

In year 2 and 3 of the scheme, the preparation and issuing of these charging sequences will be automated to match the forecasted maximum wind and cheapest available imported electricity to deliver a higher % renewable energy uptake for the electric vehicle while fully meeting the customers energy requirements.

An image of the Smart Charging Unit is shown here on the right.

The Cars

The vehicle selected for the trials is the Mega E-City. This vehicle is ideal for urban mobility and suits the harsh marine environment of the Aran Islands. The chassis is made from lightweight aluminium and the body panels are made from tough ABS acrylics providing long term protection against the elements. The vehicle uses regenerative breaks which recover energy from the kinetic energy of the vehicle decelerating or travelling downhill. This is expected to result in reduced break wear. In addition the vehicle has no spark plugs, filters or engine oil as are associated with piston engines which should reduce annual maintenance costs and provide high reliability for operation on the islands where access to vehicle repairs is not always straightforward.

Mega E-city electric car image

This vehicle uses gel sealed lead acid batteries which have an expected life of 3 to 5 years depending on use. The approximate cost of replacing the batteries is 2,000euro. This provides a range of approximately 60km based on a single overnight charge. The longest route on Inis Mór is expected to be 15km which should provide adequate range for most daily journeys. The average annual mileage on this island is expected to be 8,400km.

The annual electricity costs for a driver operating the Mega ECity on Inis Mór is estimated to be 90 to 180 Euro for where a Night Rate or 24hr Rate are assumed respectively.

Key Vehicle Statistics:

  • 130Wh/km or 220mpg or 1.3Litres/100km assuming diesel energy equivalent
  • Annual Elect = 90 to 180 Euro
  • Up to 80% fuel cost saving with respect to 1Litre petrol equivalent size vehicle
  • Current indicative vehicle price = 16,000euro
  • Range = 60km (max length of Inis Mór = 15km, speed limit 50kph)
  • Max speed = 60kph
  • Aluminium Chassis and ABS Panels – low corrosion
  • Regenerative Brakes – reduced brake wear, high efficiency
  • Minimum parts count providing low maintenance costs and high availability
  • Charging at home - not dependent on boat supplies
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