Campus charging station a new testbed for EV research

Campus charging station a new testbed for EV research

Scott Moura, CITRIS PI and associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, heads up the SlrpEV Charging Station project (Smart LeaRning Pilot for Electric Vehicles). This summer, they’re launching the first electric charging station on the UC Berkeley campus to be managed by campus. Located in the parking lot of the Berkeley Recreational Sports Facility (RSF), the station will serve as a testbed for EV charging data and behavior for the team and for future researchers. A mockup prototype provides a look at the dashboard.

Moura relates more about the project below.

What is the SlrpEV Charging Station? 

The charging station will consist of eight new 7.2kW chargers in the Berkeley RSF lot on Ellsworth and Bancroft. The chargers are cloud-controlled via API, and we have a comprehensive database of users, charging sessions, and more. We can optimize the charging schedule and price to minimize carbon emissions and maximize charger utilization. This is actually our third site — the others are at the Sunpower Silicon Valley office in San José and on the UC San Diego campus.

What makes the project distinctive? 

It’s the first campus-managed EV-charging station at UC Berkeley, aside from one charger in Upper Hearst and one at the backside of Hesse Hall. Also, we are studying behavior around EV charging choices, which is unique, to determine pricing. Specifically, users have two charging service options: MAX – which provides maximum charging power; or FLEX – which optimally schedules charging to minimize emissions and manage energy demand. We aim to discover which users select which options, under what conditions. 

Why a CITRIS platform? 

This provides the CITRIS Sustainable Infrastructures research thrust with a physical experimental testbed, which would allow more faculty and students to leverage the investment. CITRIS could bring guests and collaborators to see SlrpEV, and promote it among the institute’s many capabilities. We aim to leverage the facility to expand opportunities to explore a range of research questions related to EV charging and consumer behavior.

Photo Credit: Courtesy SlrpEV

The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and the Banatao Institute drive interdisciplinary innovation for social good with faculty researchers and students from four University of California campuses – Berkeley, Davis, Merced, and Santa Cruz – along with public and private partners.

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