Antennas, EV infrastructure and the vital role of great product design

The worldwide initiative to electrify vehicles has resulted in an EV population that has surpassed 12 million. This is a significant step towards a sustainable future of road transportation, but it has resulted in new challenges related to the stress faced by the power grid.

The fluctuation and extreme demand of energy by both passenger and commercial EVs has significantly increased power demand. As a solution, vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology is being implemented to provide bidirectional charging and communication capabilities to (and from) EVs that relieve stress on the grid. Wireless connectivity is a vital component of V2G technology, which also brings additional efficiency and optimisation opportunities to the charging process.

In this article, we explain the importance of V2G technology, the role wireless connectivity plays in EV infrastructure, and why product design is vital to ensure compliance and performance.

What is the importance of vehicle-to-grid technology?

V2G is a bidirectional charging technology that provides EVs with the capability to send energy back to the grid, control power flow and schedule specific charging times. In light of the increasing stress placed on the power-grid by EVs, V2G technology plays an important role in optimising how vehicles are charged on a large scale:

  • Charging outside of peak power demand - The UK has published consultations on the impact EV charging can have during peak electricity demands. V2G technology enables smart charging capabilities that shifts overnight charging to times of high power availability and prioritises sustainable sources. This both reduces stress on the national grid and enhances green energy usage.
  • Regulation of energy usage - In situations where EVs are charged overnight or are at stations for longer than their maximum charge time, V2G enables the regulation of energy between vehicles and the grid. Not only does this allow vehicles to supply energy back to the grid and alleviate stress, but it can minimise unnecessary power loss.
  • Optimised charging process - In addition to alleviating stress on the power-grid, V2G technology provides optimisation opportunities throughout the charging process. This includes communicating with charging stations to detect availability, as well as preparing vehicles for charging to reduce the time of the process. The result is less vehicles queued at a charging station and a more efficient use of energy.

What role does wireless connectivity play in V2G technology?

A critical component that defines the capability of V2G technology is wireless connectivity. EVs and charging infrastructure need to be able to communicate to provide V2G’s range of beneficial features. For example, EVs that utilise cellular-V2X and wireless local-area networks enable drivers to identify available charging stations and reserve their position to minimise idle time. Moreover, EVs and charging stations need to be able to communicate in order to regulate the bidirectional charging process, identify the level of power consumption/output and avoid damage caused by overcharging.

For V2G infrastructure in particular, wireless connectivity is of vital importance. Charging infrastructure needs to be able to receive regular firmware updates in order to maintain compatibility with the growing number of EV models and designs. Wireless communications enable the delivery of these updates in an efficient and cost effective manner; benefiting all parties involved. The fact is, V2G simply cannot meet its full potential without wireless capability.

Why is wireless product design vital for EV infrastructure?

The international EV charging standards ISO 15118-2:2014 and ISO 15118-20:2022 define the communication protocol for efficient electric vehicle charging and communications. The standards outline the various requirements for V2G and V2X infrastructure to exhibit a convenient and secure charging process that has been named “Plug & Charge.” This process represents the automated identification, authorisation and initiation of charging via wireless V2G capabilities; all the driver has to do is plug in a cable.

Wireless product design and antenna integration in both infrastructure and EVs themselves is vital to not only ensure compliance with ISO standards, but provide connectivity that surpasses the requirements. Whether the chosen technology is Wi-Fi or cellular, reliable connectivity at a range of frequency bands and form factors for different infrastructure is vital. Without this connectivity and reliability, the entire charging process can be compromised and result in a simple loss of efficiency to potential battery damage.

Integrate high-performance antennas for optimised wireless design

It is clear that the future of EVs is one that harnesses the potential of wireless connectivity. Not only does it enhance the functionality of vehicles and optimise their charging capabilities, but limits its impact on the national grid to lay the foundation for future infrastructure. To realise these benefits and future-proof your EV designs, you need antenna solutions that ensure wireless performance without compromising on other vital features; which is where Antenova comes in.

Antenova’s range of wireless solutions provide the necessary features to suit a range of EV designs. They are compact, exhibit exceptional performance and are available in a range of types and form factors to conform to any design. Every one of our products is designed with integration in mind, shortening the design cycle to get you to manufacture as fast as possible.

To find out more about our high-performance antenna solutions and how they can future-proof your EV design, contact a member of our team today.

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