While the automotive industry, battery manufacturers and developers of charging devices work to answer that question, the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (EVI) laboratory provides the independent, third-party testing and standardization necessary to ensure accuracy and consistency among products. The EVI lab, an integral part of the Advanced Transportation Systems division of the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), also works closely with other INL teams to enable successful integration of EV charging devices with future smart grid and microgrid technologies.
The EVI lab testing capabilities cover conductive and wireless charging devices for sub-system component level testing as well as full system vehicle level testing:
Level 1 (120 VAC), Level 2 (208/240VAC), DC Fast Charging
Production PHEV and BEV with up to 6.6 kW charging
Vehicle Emulator with AC and DC load bank and the necessary communication devices required for charging functionality
Laboratory grade Power Meters and Oscilloscope
LabVIEW data acquisition system and coordinated test host control
Grid Emulator for Steady State and Dynamic Power Quality characterization of vehicle charging systems
Wireless Charging specific test capabilities (harmonized with draft SAE J2954 TIR)
As new charging technologies develop, EVI's capabilities will continue to evolve, catering to future testing needs as they arise.
The EVI team evaluates each charging device to benchmark the state of the technology, identify technology gaps as well as support industry standards development. Typical testing and evaluation includes the following:
Power Transfer Efficiency as impacted by charge rate, input voltage, coil gap and misalignment for wireless charging
Energy consumption by ancillary loads
Power quality of the charging system
Electric and magnetic (EM) field for wireless charging systems as impacted by coil gap and misalignment, charge rate, measurement proximity from charging system and vehicle profile
Foreign object proximity evaluation for temperature rise and charging system response for wireless charging systems
Cyber security vulnerabilities are detected and analyzed
The EVI research group works with the U.S. Department of Energy, the Society of Automotive Engineers, EPA Energy Star, automotive OEMs, industry partners, utilities, and regulators to develop and validate standards for safe, efficient charging stations. EVI testing ensures that:
Test setup requirements
Validation of draft procedures through evaluation of available hardware
Research at the EVI lab occurs in close collaboration with teams across INL in an effort to safely and robustly integrate EV charging systems into the grid and micro-grid environment utilizing smart grid communication. Areas of research include:
Evaluating communication capabilities between utility companies and EVs to establish a charging system that responds to blackouts and brownouts, peak energy loads, and fluctuations of renewable resources on a microgrid.
Evaluating cyber security risks associated with smart grids to minimize vulnerabilities.
Evaluations linked with RTDS via hardware in the loop over a wide range of input conditions
Advanced Vehicles Research/Publications
Research Contact: John Smart - Phone: (208) 526-5922 - John.Smart@inl.gov