Dec 2020
Electricity Distribution
Dynamic Charging of Vehicles
Dec 2020
Feb 2022
Western Power Distribution
Ricky Duke
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Network Innovation Allowance
ED - Transition to low carbon future and ED - New technologies and commercial evolution
Carbon Emission Reduction Technologies and Electric Vehicles
There are sectors of the transport system, such as buses and heavy goods vehicles, which have proven challenging to electrify due to their high energy demands. Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer (DWPT) is a technology which has the potential to help these use cases decarbonise by extending the range of battery electric vehicles by powering the vehicle or charging the battery while it is in motion. This proposal aligns with one of the three focus areas from our Innovation Forward Plan: Electrification of Freight. This project will investigate wireless dynamic charging infrastructure and its impact on our distribution network. The project will produce models that will accurately assess the impact of a roll out of this type of technology across our license areas.

This project will assess the feasibility of deploying DWPT technology on UK roads and the electrical impact on our distribution network. This technology is a small continuous charging strip that is laid beneath the tarmac on major trunk roads. The electrical impact of this technology is not yet understood, as it would require many connection points across the length of charger, and there would be several challenges to understand such as earthing arrangements.

As part of this project, a scalable and transferrable model to evaluate the impact of DWPT on the energy network will be created. The project will also produce a set of electrical values which will be incorporated into the new WPD planner’s tool. This is a key deliverable and will be shared with all RIIO licensed UK DNOs for their own use. The project can be broken down into the following work packages:

WP1 – Project Management – Set up of project and the maintenance of all the project management documentation.

WP2 – Technology Review – Review of current continuous charging systems & wireless systems worldwide, led by Cenex.

WP3 – Power Modelling – Coventry University will model the proposed technology on our case study network in Coventry, and asses electrical impact.

WP4 – Demonstrator Evaluation – Building on WP3, Cenex will include traffic data to provide accurate usage profiles for the technology and look at the viability of the technology including validation.

WP5 – Dissemination and Reporting – Final evaluation reports and dissemination to industry. This includes the transfer of deliverables into BaU.

Coventry City Council will lead the project with support from WPD and a consortium of partners: Cenex; Coventry University; Hubject; Midlands Connect; National Express; Toyota Tsusho UK and Transport for West Midlands.
  • Assess the electrical impact of DWPT technology on the distribution network
  • Examine issues such as earthing and having multiple connection points
  • Model DWPT on a selected case study within Coventry
  • Review current DWPT technologies already available worldwide
  • Deliver a set of Electrical values which can be adopted into WPD modeling as business as usual
  • Report on the feasibility of DWPT in the UK
  • Forecast DWPT uptake within the UK
  • Evaluate the business case and feasibility for DWPT in the UK
The project will benefit all energy network licensees who will be able to better understand the impact of DWPT technology on the energy system, and by incorporating the findings of this feasibility report into BaU planning tools, as well as having a forecast of the use and demand of this system across the WPD area.

By having this feasibility study completed, it will ensure the efficient connection of wireless chargers to the network, with complex and technical issues already resolved. This will support the on-going commitment of achieving net zero by 2050.