Friday 28 October 2011

World’s largest experiment with rechargeable hybrid vehicles

EDF (Electricité de France), Toyota and the Strasbourg  (F) area council have selected PcVue SCADA software, developed by ARC Informatique, for a joint three-year project titled Kléber. This is a full-scale experiment with a fleet of 70 rechargeable hybrid vehicles (RHV) and 145 charging stations throughout the Strasbourg urban area. Value for money, short lead times and industrial know-how all played a crucial role in the selection process.

They launched a joint project named Kléber for full-scale demonstration of rechargeable hybrid vehicles (RHV). This three-year programme has three main aims: to study user expectations of RHV technology and recharging infrastructure, to verify RHV performance in real situations and to develop methods for evaluating fuel consumption and CO2 emission. This experiment is vital as Toyota is now marketing a plug-in version of its well-known Prius range. The Kléber programme is part of a world-wide project rolled out by Toyota, with 600 Prius RHVs also being tested in Japan, the United States, England, Canada and Australia. For EDF it is an opportunity to test the charging facilities in practice. 

Experiments are essential for assessing technical solutions, usage and economic models, explains Igor Czerny, EDFs Electric Transport and Vehicles Director. The Kléber project is the largest experiment of its kind in the world with a fleet of 70 RHVs and 145 charging stations, almost all connected via 3G, to be tested by selected users. The 145 stations are installed in all the places one might expect: at the roadside (8 stations), in public car parks (18), at the vehicle ownershomes (44) and in the car parks of the businesses where they work (75).

One year into the experiment, the EDF and Toyota teams have analyzed the technical data by gathering the information output by the communicating charging stations, uploading the data recorded in the RHVs during visits to the dealer and analyzing user questionnaires and field surveys.

To manage the remotely metered portion of the charging data from the EDF stations, the sponsors of the Kléber project selected PcVue SCADA software developed by ARC Informatique.This is a proven and reliable industrial tool that is used to supervise numerous devices in many large-scale projects around the world. Our choice was influenced by its meeting our specified requirements for performance and value for money.states Thierry Meunier, project manager at EDF Electric Transport and Vehicles. Examples of recent major projects in which the PcVue solution has distinguished itself include that of Iberdrola the Spanish power utility which selected the software to monitor its wind farms that generate 3600 megawatts from 35 separate plants in the USA.

Responsive service by ARC Informatique and the service provider who installed PcVue was also an important factor for the Kléber project.The contractors responsiveness was of prime importance for setting up this programme. The project was only defined in autumn 2009 and kicked off at the start of 2010, which is a very short lead time for one of this size.stresses EDFs Thierry Meunier.

The function of the PcVue supervisor is to collect data for transfer to a computer system for analysis. The data are processed directly by PcVue for display in animated views (with mimic diagrams) using pre-defined object symbols that can be instantiated in the mimics. The acquired data are translated into standard PcVue objects and then archived into databases for processing via analytical software such as for spreadsheets.

In the Kléber project, the data acquired by the charging stations are transmitted over a 3G network and managed by PcVue. The database compiled by PcVue using the information collected from them is shared with an EDF central server via a web service. This means that the data can be consulted over the Internet or an intranet via secure access.

The PcVue software keeps a central database for recording the behavior of the charging stationsusers throughout the Strasbourg urban area and for logging the usage of the stations. It also provides real-time management of any charging station that malfunctions, for improving maintenance of the overall system.
The Kléber project is a full-scale experiment based on a fleet of 70 rechargeable hybrid vehicles (Toyota Prius RHV) and 145 charging stations installed by EDF throughout the Strasbourg urban area.

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