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Getting the Gold Out Successfully – Implementing a Data Acquisition Strategy

(Rick Sander, CEO, Tuesday, February 18, 2020)

If you have read my last few blogs, you probably agree with me that the data about power usage from your charging infrastructure is valuable – it is “gold”. Now how do you get the gold ”out of the hills”, and separate it from the “fool’s gold” (the useless information)? The easy answer –  grab all of the data you can, and just run it through some artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm, right? When you have tons of storage, this might be a possibility. However, “on the edge”, the amount of storage you have is likely limited, and the need to analyze the data quickly may very well be critical. The right answer is to develop a data acquisition strategy that defines business objectives, and then looks for data to support achieving those objectives.

For the operation of fleet charging infrastructure, the relevant business objective is to minimize energy expenses, and maximize vehicle availability, which means ensuring all vehicles are charged to the level required for that day’s operations. What we need to collect is data that is relevant to these objectives – this data will help us not only track factors affecting these objectives, but also can be used to forecast how these factors will affect these parameters in the future. Assuming that you are using bi-directional chargers that support Vehicle to Grid (V2G) charging, candidate data sets include the following:

  • Amount of charge in each vehicle at the start and end of work cycle;
  • Charging start times and charging duration for each vehicle;
  • Amount of energy in the energy storage system (if one is utilized);
  • Energy costs by time of day (especially when time-of-day metering is utilized by your local utility);
  • Vehicle health data (especially from the battery management system).

This data should be considered a starting point, and data acquisition strategies should be updated at least annually to take account of changing circumstances and business conditions.

As a leader in the development and manufacturing of bi-directional, high-power energy systems and EMS software, Rhombus is dedicated to helping our customer capture and make sense of their energy data. Our VectorStat® product allows customers to gather data from all of the nodes of your infrastructure, regardless of connectivity or network issues. VectorStat’s applet-based open architecture also enables the easy integration of new features and functionality, whether to support new hardware or to provide cutting-edge data analytics capabilities. Find out how we can help you by contacting us at sales@rhombusenergy.com.

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