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Charging more electric cars with a ‘safety net’ that protects the gridSmoothEMS with Gridshield project kicked off

21 April 2021

Thanks to smart management of charging electric cars and the addition of a ‘safety net’, more electric cars at a location can be charged without any problems. That is the idea behind the SmoothEMS with Gridshield project that recently kicked off. As part of the multi-year project, tests are conducted on the campus of the University of Twente, the car park of the headquarters of a.s.r. insurance company in Utrecht, and at the provincial government building in Zwolle. Professor Johann Hurink is involved in the project on behalf of the University of Twente.

Energy management

The SmoothEMS with Gridshield project aims to develop a validated Energy Management System (EMS) using which devices such as electric cars can be managed in a smart way. The special thing about the project is that the possibility of system failure because of overload or cyber-attacks is expressly taken into account. Basically, EMS manages the charging and all other flows (consumption and generation) at that location, the building and the power grid using complex consumption and generation forecasts. A regular EMS requires the use of a safety margin for absorbing any deviations from the forecast. This safety margin can be much smaller in the SmoothEMS with GridShield, as the GridShield registers the energy flows in real time. When these exceed the safety margins, charging speed is temporarily lowered or charging may be stopped altogether.

The two charging techniques developed at ElaadNL (with centralised or decentralised management) that were presented as Proof of Concept last year will be tested in practice in this test. A properly performing GridShield is expected to prevent power cuts and enable optimum use of charging stations. As part of the project, the technology will be tested in a large business park in combination with numerous other flexible consumption and production units (at a.s.r.) as well as at locations that are more similar to the power grid that can be found in every residential quarter (on the campus of the University of Twente and at the provincial government building).

Supply and demand

Under normal conditions, the SmoothEMS with GridShield flexibly coordinates the demand for power (e.g. for charging electric cars) and the supply of power (e.g. from solar panels on site). This ensures continued use for users of the power grid in the event of high network loads that are difficult to predict, and optimum use of the capacity available on the grid and the sustainable energy available.

The project contributes to a safe, affordable and reliable energy system, offering a lot of room for sustainable energy generation and charging of electric vehicles and facilitating room for growth in congestion areas.

In the project, parties from the entire chain work together, through participation by the University of Twente, Kropman installatietechniek, Amperapark, MENNEKES eMobility, a.s.r. verzekeringen, and ElaadNL. The project, that will continue until March 2024, receives a grant from the scheme for Mission-driven research, development and innovation (‘MOOI-regeling’) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.

More information


C.A. van der Kuil (Corjan)
C.A. van der Kuil (Corjan)
Press relations (available Mon-Thu)

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