Introducing the new OVO Smart Charger

  • 18 April 2018
  • 4 replies

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Updated on 08/06/20: please see this topic for the latest info on smart charger installations



Our new Smart Charger is exactly what it says it is - smart. Discover a whole new side to your EV.

Our advanced Smart Charger arrives this Autumn - click here to be the first to hear when its available.

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Userlevel 7
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I had a brief look at the Twitter Feed from this morning's Product Launch. As far as I can tell there are at least two distinctive Smart features for this charger:

1. It can be configured to charge a vehicle when electricity is cheapest. Unlike Economy-7, which is restricted to preset times of the night, this Smart Charger can use other periods when there is spare Grid capacity and over-generation. So if there's lots of wind-turbine output or solar-PV generation, this can be used to charge the vehicle more cheaply (and using a higher %age of renewables!)

2. OVO's Dr Kotub Uddin has announced that the smart technology better handles the charge/discharge cycle of EV batteries in order to mitigate against cell-degradation. I'm waiting to hear more on this because I'm not yet sure whether this feature applies to both of the Chargers announced today or just one of them.

Was anyone at the Product Launch?
Can you clarify this point please?
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Hi @Transparent

A good summary of the product is all on the product page here. I've also included some additional info the team provided me with which hopefully helps.

1) Yes you're right to draw similarities to eco7 charging. The Smart Charger takes into account that EV owners may need to charge at peak times. Plugging in your EV to charge rapidly at that time could be bad for your battery, bad for the grid (as it''ll need to use fossil fuels to to make electricity quicker for you) and ultimately bad for the environment. Syncing a smart charger to a smart meter means you can see when and how your EV is charging up on the app so you can make use of renewable charging options, but if you did need to nip out somewhere quickly, the app gives you the power to override the more sustainable charge - and get charged up so you can do what you need to do.

2) Yes it applies to both chargers. When charging up your EV both the Smart Charger and the V2G charger fill up your battery in the most efficient way by default. Before now, people haven't really thought about the nuances of charging an EV. Our chargers have been designed with this in mind because we want EVs to go BIG. But even though EVs means less petrol/diesel and cleaner air, we need to make sure the UK's charging habits are as efficient as they can be - as the more people with EVs means more electricity needed from the grid. But if we've got Smart Chargers and V2G chargers, EVs can only be a positive thing for the #futureofenergy
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Ah... well you seem to have added a lot of flesh to the bare bones on the Smart Charger Product Page.

1. I note the words Smart Meter. I think the sync to an SM is extremely important. This means that the commands to the Charger would be sent via the same encrypted pathway already used by DCC to read Smart Meters. So that provides me with a high level of confidence.

At least I know I won't be held to ransom by hackers somewhere in Asia demanding I pay them in bitcoin before I can re-establish charging for my EV!

2. OK. So I understand that Smart Charging of an EV can be undertaken in a manner favourable to Grid-balancing and at minimal CO2 emissions. But Dr Kotub Uddin apparently spoke about battery degradation... a topic often overlooked. I'd like to know more about that.

I wonder how the Smart Charger is able to select the optimal charge patterns. Is it generic? Or is there some sort of software handshake between the EV and the Charger which advises on battery state as charging progresses?

Do we know if a transcript of Dr Uddin's talk is to be published?
Any chance that one of the Moderators could put forward a request in the right direction?
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My home charger, a zappi, is currently on order and seems to have similar properties to the new OVO charger; it can be configured in three ways, 1 as a straight 7kWh charger, 2. taking 1.4kWh from the grid topped up by whatever surplus solar is available or 3. to charge the EV only from surplus solar power when surplus is 1.4kWh or more (this is the mode I'm most interested in)

(1.4kWh is the minimum rate an EV battery can be charged at accoring to the specification for EV charging)