- ElaadNL built a proof of concept wherein the smart grid could autonomously balance itself through sharing data via IOTA
- They also shared some tips on how other innovators could improve on the concept
In 2017, an electric vehicle charger was developed by ElaadNL. However, it only used IOTA as a payment communication solution. Now they have created a new smart charging station which is just one part of the entire vision they have in mind.
Early days and high power consumption
While this model is intended to be used on a massive scale in the future, the charging station is the first device in their smart grid and consumes a lot of energy. ElaadNL has been trying to find ways to use less energy. However, they expect the station to remain relatively power hungry.
This is where the IOTA Charge Station steps in. IOTA Charge Station can be used for machine to machine communication with the car. This means that it could also communicate with the grid. The grid will be connecting devices to a specific part of the grid as well as the transformer which supplies the energy to that part of the grid.
The IOTA Charge Station’s transformer can monitor all outgoing cables as well as the load on those cables. The moment one of these cables reaches its limits, the transformer could request to lower their energy demand of the connected devices.
To avoid any possible technical problems, ElaadNL uses smart charging solutions to make sure that they can charge all-electric cars in the future. They also make sure that they don’t overload the grid when it is used at peak times.
IOTA solves several of the issues ElaadNL had been struggling with
The ideal grid is too big to materialize so ElaadNL took a smaller part that is easy to extend. They made a demonstration model with a few actors that can manage the usage on a small scale. They used IOTA in an embedded environment and were able to overcome some of their earlier technical issues. They also applied multi-threading techniques, allowing them to use IOTA and creating a snappy demonstrator. As a result, they managed to have a demonstrator that is portable and easy to use. While the technology still needs to improve a bit further in order to scale it up, the concept of having an autonomous system was proven to work.
ElaadNL even has recommendations to those who wish to build on the project. They advise the next innovators to extend the charging station’s behavior. This is because, currently, the charging station will only do what the transformer requests for it to do. They also suggest for them to add other actors into the grid as they only have virtual charging stations. Lastly, they recommend updating the IOTA library as it is expanded and improved upon.