Rhombus Energy Systems Releases White Paper on the Impact of Utility Grid Capacity on Electric Vehicle Fleets

Study explores approaches to ensuring adequate power availability for growing electric vehicle fleets given limitations in increasing the power from utility grids in the near term

Today, Rhombus Energy Solutions is announcing the availability of its "Minimizing the Impact of the Utility Grid on EV Fleets" white paper. The white paper describes the challenges increasing the available power for electric vehicle (EV) fleet operators charging infrastructure, and the viability of different options to mitigate these challenges. Specifically, the white paper examines the impact that utilizing energy storage systems can have to reduce the impact of grid power delivery limitations on growing EV fleets, as well as reducing energy operating costs for fleet EV operators.


Today, the percentage of electric vehicles at most fleet operators, whether autos, delivery vans, or larger vehicles such as buses, short-haul trucks, and similar vehicles, typically are in the mid- to high-single digit percentages. As such, getting adequate power from the utility grid doesn't pose a large problem today for most metropolitan fleet EV operators. However, as the percentage of EVs in vehicle fleets continue to grow, grid power limitations are likely to become issues for more and more of these fleet operators. Given the difficulties adding a new megawatt power feed in metropolitan areas, it can take several years to increase the grid power available for a fleet EV charging infrastructure.

"Grid power availability will become a significant problem for fleets as they increase the number of electric vehicles they operate," said Rick Sander, CEO of Rhombus Energy Solutions. "Integrating energy storage with vehicle-to-grid capable chargers and smart EMS solutions is a quick and effective mitigation strategy for this issue. Moreover, it can significantly reduce fleet energy operating costs."

Building "top-down" solutions (more power plants, more distribution lines, bigger substations, bigger transformers, etc.) is very expensive, has huge (5-10 year) lead times, and doesn't easily adapt to changing needs over time. Using energy storage at the point of power consumption (the EV charging infrastructure) provides a fast, modular way to mitigate the demands of EV fleets on the grid, and can reduce the energy costs of EV fleets. Furthermore, energy storage resources at the point of consumption also enable the use of renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic (PV) solar power to further reduce energy costs.

"Solving grid power availability for fleet EV charging requires more than just connecting a bunch of batteries to a charger infrastructure," said Joseph Gottlieb, CTO of Rhombus Energy Solutions. "Solving the grid power availability issue requires a smart infrastructure that was built from the ground up to support energy storage, and allow for the integration of renewable energy resources as well. Rhombus' unmatched expertise with microgrids, fleet EV chargers, vehicle to grid, and energy management systems allows us to create complete solutions that solve the grid power availability issue effectively."

Rhombus has fielded hundreds of high-power, bi-directional, high-reliability fleet EV charging systems and inverters for energy storage and PV solar-based microgrid, for customers in a variety of demanding operational environments. Combining the best of these capabilities into an integrated solution for EV fleet charging solution represents an effective way to mitigate utility grid power limitations in the short- to medium-term, while also reducing energy operating costs for EV fleet operators. Our white paper describes a reference architecture for such a solution, and provides guidelines for sizing such a solution; you can read it at http://www.rhombusenergy.com.

About Rhombus Energy Solutions
Rhombus develops and manufactures next-generation bi-directional electric vehicle charging infrastructure, high-efficiency power conversion systems, and energy management system (EMS) software for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capable electric vehicle fleet charging, energy storage, and microgrid applications. The high reliability of our solutions is the result of decades of experience developing high-power systems for a variety of applications and deployment scenarios, including UL-1741SA system-to-grid solutions. For more information, please visit http://www.rhombusenergysolutions.com.

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