Argonne’s Smart Energy Plaza, home to the laboratory’s Interoperability Center, is a fully renovated and repurposed gas station designed to conduct research on the integration and management of EV charging, renewables, building systems, and energy storage. The facility can accommodate a range of equipment, with grid-connected power up to 2 MW and 80 kW of solar power available via various voltage busways in the building (commercial 480VAC and 208VAC, residential 240/120VAC, and DC distribution).
Inside, two vehicle bays have direct access to the busways. The electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) located outside the building includes twelve L2 AC, one 50 kW DC, one 200 kW DC and two 350 kW DC. The 350 kW DC EVSE are linked to a 1 MW, 30-minute battery to support high power grid integration studies.
The Interoperability Center was established in 2013 to facilitate cooperative research in support of transatlantic harmonization of EV-charger-network compatibility, in the interest of multinational trade. The international focus has evolved over time, but Argonne’s research has supported development of interoperability standards and test procedures as well as enabling technologies such as energy management systems, smart charging devices, metering, and diagnostics.