Aral, a subsidiary of the bp group in Germany, has tasked Siemens Smart Infrastructure with expanding the grid connection at 30 selected petrol stations.

The installation of intelligent substations allows Aral to upgrade its stations with ultra-fast charging technology for electric vehicles.

"By equipping our gas stations with charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, we are taking a major step forward in creating the gas station of the future," said Aral board member, Patrick Wendeler.

"To make charging as fast as putting fuel in your car, we have opted for ultra-fast charging stations with a power of up to 350 kW. But chargers alone are not enough: The retrofit also requires a powerful and reliable grid connection. That is why we are glad to have Siemens with its expertise in electrical infrastructure at our side."

Most fuel stations currently only have a low-voltage connection. To meet the increased power demand of fast chargers, the grid connection needs to be upgraded to a medium-voltage connection with much higher power. This is achieved through the substations which connect the petrol stations' charging infrastructure to the public power grid.

Each substation consists of a hermetically capsulated transformer, a gas-insulated medium-voltage switchgear, type 8DJH and a Sivacon S8 low-voltage switchboard. By using communicating hardware and Internet of Things (IoT) technology, Aral can obtain information about the status of the substations at any time.

This will enable the blue-and-white labelled service station brand to guarantee their customers the full functionality of its ultra-fast charging stations. The use of sensors helps to generate data, thereby ensuring continuous monitoring of the health status and a safe operation of the equipment.

These values are then transmitted across communication interfaces to a higher-level, cloud-based IoT system. The data is evaluated and visualised via a web application in a useful addition to those of the fast charging stations.

"This intelligent substation not only allows Aral to introduce ultra-fast charging technology, but also ensures highest reliability and better grid utilisation within the existing infrastructure," said Distribution Systems CEO at Siemens Smart Infrastructure, Stephan May.

"Real time data monitoring enables optimal usage of the assets. For this reason, digitalisation is an important prerequisite for efficient load management and to optimise the use of power resources."

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