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Charging EV's from micro grids


ZPN Energy developed the concept of supplying EVs with stored energy, not just battery to battery refuelling, but the concept of having a reservoir of energy that could be released through a sophisticated electronic power process at very high speeds - anywhere we needed to do it, including off-grid. We love the idea of harvesting solar and wind power to propel cars and vans; we know that the sun doesn’t shine, and the wind doesn’t blow every day, but feel that these relative technologies will improve, just as battery chemistries will do. And, of course, people’s attitudes to EVs.

ZPN Energy has created world-leading innovations in ‘Power Boosting’ energy to provide a more effective and faster delivery of electrons to EV's at home, work, retail parks and, indeed, any point of need. The UK government has supported our research and development with a contract to develop ‘First of its Kind’, world-leading EV Charging technology which can provide Ultra-fast Charging, completely off-grid and from renewable sources.

This technology was first showcased at Heathrow Airport, where ZPN Energy charged 20 EVs all at varying speeds and vehicle types from a supply which could only support one 50kW charge point in normal circumstances. The uptake at Heathrow is fantastic with drivers utilising the facility on a growing weekly basis and seeing the gradual change of the 3000 daily users to become EVs with zero tailpipe and zero emissions. All of which is helping clean the air reducing pollution levels and creating a better environment.

Designed to support facilities that require a high turnover of electrical vehicle charging events, the ZPN Store is a rapid, battery stored EV charging station, able to support facilitie seven in grid constrained locations.

With integrated battery storage, the ZPN Store works by ‘power-boosting’ limited grid capacity for high power applications, providing organisations with future proofed fleet operations as their visitors, customers and staff alike make the transactions from ICE to EV.

A ZPN Store is designed to harvest power from renewable energy or the grid at low consumption times but be utilised at peak consumption times, offering significant financial benefits. Able to simultaneously charge 12 EV at speeds of up to 90kW, the ZPN Store offers 14 charging connectors - 4 CCS (90kW, upgradable to 150kW), 8 CHAdeMO (50kW)

and 2 AC Type2 (43kW).

Requiring a 3-phase 100kVA grid feed, a ZPN Store can provide up to 500kW output, through an isolated AC micro-grid.

With its modular design, multiple ZPN Store are even able to work together to create a larger micro-grid, further supporting your fleet operations as demand for a faster turnover of charge increases. Equally, should your facilities priorities, the ZPN Store can be relocated within a matter of weeks, ensuring your charging facilities are where it’s required the most. Through our energy management software, business can also retain data on charging patterns, to develop a comprehensive, data-backed CSR and financially driven charging strategy.

Data for you

The analysis tools in use at ZPN Energy have allowed the company to develop invaluable intelligence on how best to deploy the available energy and power to charge up electric vehicles as quickly and conveniently as possible, whilst never risking ‘running out’ of energy. Charging session data can be taken live from the ZPN Store, to provide an array of operational statistics on usage for both study and internal product performance measurement purposes that ZPN Energy use to inform and improve future product iterations.

Data for us

With scalability at the heart of ZPN Energy approach to design, our software will integrate seamlessly with any large organisations financial system (SAP or Oracle), ensuring a smooth installation and commissioning process.

ZPN Energy advanced software management system integration allows for the acquisition of detailed data and usage patterns, ensuring performance measurement related requirements are met, as per an organisations corporate social responsibility.

Microgrid explained

The ZPN Store installation takes a 3-phase 100kVA grid feed and can provide up to 500kW output through an isolated AC micro-grid. This micro-grid is fed at high-power by stored battery energy, conditioned by bespoke inverters and managed by a cutting-edge control system. Whilst the ZPN Store connected to the grid, the ZPN Store micro-grid power is not connected to the grid in anyway.

If power from the grid is rectified to create a direct current. This direct current can be used to charge the ZPN Store battery or can be combined withthe ZPN Store battery to provide power to the micro-grid. The direct current is then inverted, to create a new, grid-forming AC output. This output forms the micro-grid.

If EV power demand from micro-grid is less than the power available from the grid, the micro-grid is powered purely from the grid - the battery can be recharged during this time.

If EV power demand from the micro-grid is greater than the power available from the grid, the micro-grid is powered jointly from both the grid and the battery.

If the power demand from the micro-grid remains high for a long period of time and the battery becomes depleted, the ZPN Store output load us reduced to a level that can be supported solely by the grid.

Micro grid and rapid charging

The ZPN Store in this application contains a 200kW Lithium Titanite battery array. Depending on the power demand from electric vehicles connected to the ZPN Store, the battery may be being recharged or depleted to provide sufficient power for both the micro-grid and connected EV chargers.

A sophisticated dynamic control system within ZPN Store (System Controller) monitors battery condition and dynamically manages EV charging power to keep internal battery charge status within prescribed operational limits, whilst still delivering the fastest EV charging performance possible.

Background solutions

ZPN Energy has been awarded £3.1m funding from Innovate UK’s First of a Kind Deployment in an Innovation competition. The trial will involve the provision of charging solutions at Heathrow airport for electric private hire vehicles. The scheme seeks to conquer the lack of charging infrastructure that is preventing the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. Having already secured GBP48,000 in Phase I, Innovate UK awarded ZPN Energy and its partners Heathrow Airport, Europcar E-Car Club and Warwick Manufacturing Group Phase II funding to develop,trial and commercialise ZPN Energy charging solution.

In 2016, Heathrow Airport committed to a high-profile sustainability strategy - Heathrow 2.0. Their key areas of focus included improving the workplace and residential well-being, whilst also cultivating a sustainable economy and air travel. With a commitment to eliminating emissions from terminals and fixed infrastructure by 2050, Heathrow’s Clean Vehicles Partnership (CVP) is dedicated to promoting best practice in sustainable fleet management. As part of this strategy, ZPN Energy won a UK government contract to develop and trial a ground-breaking, high-power multi-vehicle EV charging installation at Heathrow Airport’s Authorised Vehicle Area (AVA). This AVA is reserved for private hire vehicles as well as black taxis, helping to support the gradual switch of the 3,000 daily users to shift towards EVs with zero tailpipe.


ZPN Energy installed a first generation ZPN Store to support airport visitors and taxi alike with rapid charging solutions. With no extensive ground-works required, ZPN Energy worked alongside an installation partner to ensure the unit was sited within weeks. During the installation ZPN Energy also provided a ZPN Roam, a completely off-grid rapid charging solution, to ensure demand was satisfied


  • Rapid EV Charging from a limited grid supply

  • Ability to simultaneous charge up to 12 vehicles

  • Easily scalable to meet demand

  • Monitor green energy usage through energy

  • Support government goals and initiatives

Hailed as a revolutionary solution to the starved grid capacity at the airport, the project enable many more EVs to be brought into service sooner than expected, helping Heathrow to transform their 7,500 vehicle fleet to EVs by 2020 and effectively tackle major air pollution issues.

CVP Partnership Champion 2018

CVP Judging Panel determined that the ZPN Energy initiative was the most inspiringand saying it also has the greatest potential to reduce vehicle emissions at the airport.



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