Trial Location

Capenhurst, Chester and Topsham, Exeter


The electrification of transport is resulting in an increased number of electric vehicles (EVs) on UK roads. This growth is expected to continue. EVs are being developed with larger batteries, that charge at faster rates and require longer to charge.

What is the challenge?

The growth of EVs presents a challenge to the UK’s electricity distribution network operators. Findings from the Electric Nation project show that the annual electricity consumption of an EV is similar to adding a new house to the network. In many cases this extra load is not an issue, however if the EV is charging at a time when the particular network is already heavily loaded, such as during the evening peak on domestic feeders, and if the clustering has resulted in multiple EVs charging on the same feeder at the same time, then the LV network may experience issues.

What is the proposed solution and how is OpenLV enabling it?

For this project IBM is developing an application that will interact with a Jaguar I-PACE electric car charged through the charging station located at EA Technology’s office at Capenhurst near Chester. The OpenLV platform, where the app will be deployed, will be installed at Parkfield Road Topsham substation in Exeter. Real-time data from this substation will be used to determine the charging conditions of the vehicle as if this car would have been plugged in at one of Topsham’s feeders. Once the application is installed on the OpenLV platform it will send signals to Lucy’s cloud server when thresholds are exceeded. IBM will subscribe and listen to the platform, requesting data from the Lucy cloud server via an API call. IBM’s cloud back end will then manage the charging of the EV as and when signals are received.

This app proves that it is possible to manage an EV that is charging based on a signal from LV CAP™ if the local network is heavily loaded and requires intervention.

Download the case study PDF