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Driving Innovation with SMART Solar Charge Station for EVs

Innovation Norway team visiting Renel© Innovation Norway
Innovation Norway visiting Renel
We are excited to share the achievements made by Renel Energy and Power Engineering through their project SMART Solar Charge Station for Electric Vehicles (EVs). This project, funded by the EEA and Norway Grants under the Programme Business Innovation Greece, goes beyond setting up charging stations. It focuses on integrating renewable energy sources, particularly solar power, into the charging process.

The SMART project emerged as a response to Greece`s ambitious plans for the adaptation of EV`s, combined with the lack of infrastructure to go through with the plan. The SMART Solar Charge Station integrates photovoltaics (PVs), battery energy storage, a forecasting model, carport infrastructure, and an advanced IoT system. The innovative system dynamically optimizes electric vehicle charging, storage, and generation, providing a sustainable and efficient charging experience. It intelligently decides when to charge or store energy from renewable sources (PVs) or from the integrated batteries, or when to draw or feed energy from/to the grid based on dynamic energy prices and weather conditions.

The project aligns with both EU and national objectives, driving the adoption of EV`s and accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources for transport. In line with legislative mandates such as Greece`s commitment to selling only EV`s by 20230 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, SMART is a contributor to these ambitious targets.

Visit from Innovation Norway

A recent visit from Innovation Norway showcased the pilot project located at Mediterranean Cosmos, the largest shopping mall in Northern Greece. Representatives from Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Embassy in Athens witnessed firsthand the innovative charging station andthe accompanying forecasting and decision-support software. The Smart Electrical Measurement Network provides real-time data into the forecasting and decision-support software, incorporating a variety of data such as meteorological information and energy market prices.

Renel has undertaken two projects withInnovation Norway and the Business Innovation Greece program: SMART and ALTITUDE. The ALTITUDEprojectaims to develop an automated aerial power network inspection tool using drones and machine learning. This cutting-edge technology enablesaccurate and efficient inspection of power networks. In our meeting with Renel, Research and Innovation Manager,Vicky Kotoula discussed thecompany’s future goals:

“Our experience with the Business Innovation Greece program has been incredibly rewarding. Through the program, we have enhanced our competitiveness and expanded our product portfolio with two impactful solutions.” “Our goal is to leverage the success of SMART and ALTITUDE to expand our reach across Europe, attract new clients and promote these solutions on a larger scale.”

Further she also comments on Renels experience with collaborating with Innovation Norway, highlighting a seamless application process and close cooperation with the Athens-Team of Innovation Norway:

“The support and guidance from the program team have been exceptional, helping us navigate through the whole process. Thanks to the program, we've successfully developed two innovative products that are ready to be commercialized, aligning perfectly with our business vision. These projects have not only propelled our business forward but also fostered growth and development within our team.We're grateful for the support and partnership of Innovation Norway and look forward to future collaboration opportunities.”
SMART Solar Charge Station for Electric Vehicle© Innovation Norway
SMART Solar Charge Station for Electric Vehicle

In conclusion, the SMART Solar Charge Station project underscores Renel`s dedication to fostering innovation and sustainability, serving as a model for other industries and advancing progress towards EU and national objectives.

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