U.S. Army gets electric vehicle chargers

A team of Burns & McDonnell engineers, alongside subcontractor Coritech Services, has commissioned five bidirectional chargers and aggregating control systems at Fort Carson in Colorado, as part of the U.S. Army's smart power infrastructure demonstration for energy reliability and security (SPIDERS) microgrid project.

Designed for Fort Carson's plug-in electric vehicles fleet, the bidirectional, fast-charging stations are capable of supplying power back to the base microgrid when required, to help address installation demand or enhance overall power quality.

Carried out using both Boulder Electric Vehicle and Smith Electric trucks, the commissioning marks a milestone of the Fort Carson SPIDERS project, which is moving closer to completion.

Besides offering plug-in electric vehicles up to 300 kW of power, the chargers are also capable of discharging a like amount of stored energy from the vehicle batteries to the grid or microgrid through the society of automotive engineers (SAE) standard J1772-compliant bidirectional charging cables.

Having tested to charge and discharge at full capacity of 60 kW, every charger has also imported and exported a combined 394 kVAR to local grid even when the vehicles are not connected, which increases power factor of the loads at the base, apart from reducing cost for transmission of power from the local utility.

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