Enel powering Formula E New York ePrix in Brooklyn

Published on Friday, 14 July 2017

Enel is the Official Power Partner of the FIA Formula E (FE) championship for three seasons. The partnership was launched in May 2016 and aims to drive the technological advancement of the championship’s power infrastructure. Enel is working with FE to implement and optimise its innovative clean energy generation, distribution and management solutions, by providing a fully digitised micro-grid that uses the company’s smart metering and energy management technology, and integrates renewable energy sources coupled with storage and electric mobility infrastructure.

Enel will also help make the FE race in New York city the first-ever zero emission event in the championship’s history by fully offsetting the CO2 emissions of the ePrix through clean certificates linked to Enel’s existing renewables energy portfolio. The offsetting mechanism, which will be applied for the first time to the New York ePrix, will use the emission reduction certificates relating to the 74 MW Stipa Nayaa wind farm in Mexico. The wind turbines of this facility help prevent the production of over 133,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, which is the equivalent of taking 26,000 cars off the road.

At the New York ePrix and for the first time in the championship, Enel will use bifacial solar panels for the 5 kWp photovoltaic (PV) generation system which will power the Enel stand in the eVillage. The bifacial solar panels allow for a 40% increase in efficiency compared to the conventional panels used in previous races.

As another first for the FE championship, in New York Enel will also introduce a large-scale storage system with a nominal power of 250 kW for a storage capacity of 500 kWh, which adds to the 8 kWh storage system coupled with the PV facility already in use in previous FE events. The large-scale storage system will provide power to specific loads within the Paddock area, increasing overall grid and power supply stability, as well as reducing power peak demands through a process known as ‘peak shaving’.

The micro-grid that Enel is implementing for Formula E is comprised of four elements:

1.    Smart metering

Enel has designed and developed smart meters tailor-made for FE and used for the first time at the Buenos Aires ePrix. These meters are based on the technology behind Enel’s traditional digital meters but introduce new features to adapt to this challenging environment:

  • “Plug and play” flexible design: FE meters are designed to be installed and removed quickly and easily in order to make them more suited to the short timeframes of a big global event. They are also designed to handle the wide range of electrical currents used at the events and support the different types of plugs and sockets needed to carry them.
  • Solid construction: the FE meters’ design and the materials used in their construction make them more resistant to potential damage and general mishandling, crucial given that they have to be shipped and moved around the world with the rest of the FE kit. The FE meters are designed for use both outdoor and indoor and are IP66 certified against the intrusion of water and particles.
  • Monitoring and measurement of more electrical parameters: in addition to the energy (kWh), reactive power (kVAR) and instant power (kW) normally measured by Enel’s residential smart meters, the FE meter monitors and measures in real-time additional parameters like energy quality (harmonics), for both individual phases and the total three-phase supply. This enables improvements to system monitoring and a more detailed, clearer picture of performance.


2.    Energy Management System

The meters are managed via Enel’s Energy Management System (EMS), the software backbone of the micro-grid through which it is possible to monitor and manage all equipment connected to the grid. The EMS collects data from the meters and sends it to the control dashboard that Enel uses to monitor system performance. This data management capability has allowed Enel to create an exclusive webapp giving FE fans an interactive experience through which they can learn more about the race and discover its power aspects, including the ePrix’s energy supply and consumption.

3.    Generation from renewable sources and storage system

Since the Marrakesh ePrix, Enel has installed a solar PV system coupled with an energy storage system, both of which are monitored through the EMS. Together they supply 100% renewable power to specific areas of the race site, bringing FE races that much closer to their goal of being carbon-free. In New York, the PV system will feature bifacial solar panel technology and a large-scale energy storage system will add to the 8 kWh storage system which is coupled to the PV system.

4.    E-mobility

Enel, a world leader in creating e-mobility infrastructure that has installed more than 3,000 public and private charging stations in more than 10 countries, uses floor mounted charging points for electric vehicles at each race site. The charging points are monitored through EMS and each station has two connectors (22kW/3 phase and 3.7kW/single phase) enabling simultaneous charging of two vehicles. 

The full-scale micro-grid deployment will include the introduction of charging stations using vehicle-to-grid (“V2G”) technology, which enables energy to be stored in the vehicles and returned to the grid if needed. The integration and management of all these elements will be provided by the EMS.