Research project on electromobility successfully completed

Finalisation of a successful research project: On 4th of July, the results of the MENDEL project, including numerous speeches, software presentations and a live demonstration were presented at a final event in Braunschweig, Germany. MENDEL- Minimal load on electrical networks due to charging processes of electric buses, had set itself the goal of reducing the investment and operating costs of electric mobility since its start in January 2016. Several partners from science and industry cooperated: AVT-STOYE, Fraunhofer IML, GEVAS software, ifak, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and INIT as consortium leader. The results are impressive

In the Smart Grid subproject, the project partners developed software solutions for intelligent planning and controlling of bus power supplies. Optimization modules were developed to determine the optimal charging infrastructure for Opportunity Charging (“charging on the way”) in a bus network. The infrastructure data of the electricity network operator and the timetable data serve as the calculation basis. In this approach, newly developed software components can optimise vehicle circulation and the distribution of charging processes over time. The charging time can be adapted to the situation: If a critical charge state is registered in the ITCS, the charging process at the stop is extended; if the charge state is high, the stay can be shortened in favour of a lower network load.

The ITS subproject focused on reducing variable operating costs. A significant savings’ potential results from the reduction of energy-intensive start-up processes. GEVAS software developed a new kind of central public transport prioritisation for this purpose. Simultaneously, the driver was provided with information about the switching times of the light signal system so that he could adapt his driving strategy to avoid stops.

On the one hand, the centralised prioritisation of public transport allows new criteria to be taken into account when registering a bus, such as the charging status or the expected charging time at a stop during Opportunity Charging. On the other hand, the public transport registration is no longer based on the classic registration via R09 telegrams, but on the GPS positions of the vehicles. A supply of reporting points is therefore no longer necessary. This reduces the introduction hurdles and costs for public transport acceleration, because the infrastructure no longer has to be equipped with radio receivers and transmitters and also the time-consuming planning of reporting points is no longer necessary.

The GPS positions were provided in MENDEL via three different paths. Via ITS-G5 Road Side Units, which were connected to OCIT-O V3 / OCIT-C V2 through a traffic computer from AVT STOYE. Secondly via a smartphone app developed by GEVAS software, which the bus carries and which is intended, for example, for buses from the region which are not connected to an ITCS. Thirdly via a direct connection to the public transport centre, i.e. the ITCS (Intermodal Transport Control System). The direct connection of the ITCS offers the most extensive possibilities for a perfect coordination between the public transport company and the urban traffic management.
All developed variants were tested with an OCIT traffic computer from AVT STOYE at a traffic light in the DLR area. In DLR’s AIM test field, the transferability of the approach to an existing system within the city of Braunschweig was successfully demonstrated. At the closing event, visitors were able to experience a live demonstration on the DLR area. In interaction with the exhibited software prototypes, the successful networking of Smart Grid and ITS components in a complete system was quite remarkable.