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Dubai develops smart universal charger for electric vehicles

reporters@khaleejtimes.com Filed on November 20, 2020
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority's R&D Centre

The research team of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has registered a patent for the innovation.

Charging electric vehicles (EVs) in Dubai will soon get even more convenient, with the new universal charger developed by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa). Drivers no longer need to bring their own cables because the smart system can charge all kinds of EVs with a single cable and plug.

A number of EVs require different charging methods, with some using AC or DC, but this won’t be an issue at Dewa’s upcoming charging station. Powered by artificial intelligence, this system automatically adapts the plug and charger to the vehicle’s requirements.

Hamad Mohamed Albeshr, a researcher in smart grids integration at the R&D Centre, explained the benefits of the auto-adaptive system. “The new system includes an optical identification system, a camera, a microprocessor unit, and an AI programme that can recognise the vehicle plate number and identify the appropriate type of plug for the vehicle through the stored database and give the order to the system to activate the required charging system.”

This entire process takes place without any external interference, Albeshr said. All users have to do is pull the cable and connect it to the vehicle.

“First, Electric Vehicle Green Charger subscribers scan a special card issued by Dewa, connect the cable to the charger, and then to the vehicle to start charging,” he explained.

Dr Edwin Rodriguez-Ubinas, senior researcher at DEWA R&D Centre and co-inventor, said the universal electric vehicle charger idea centred on a research project on human-centric electric vehicle charging stations.

“The project aims to find innovative solutions to challenges faced by customers during the traditional charging process in stations with standard, fast and non-straightforward services,” said Dr Rodriguez-Ubinas.

In a nutshell, Dewa’s researchers integrated all EV charging methords, created a single cable and plug compatible with all systems, and then automated the process, said Dr Endika Bilbao Muruaga, also senior researcher at the centre and a co-inventor.

Four more patents under way

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of Dewa, expressed his pride in the scientific achievement. “Dewa works to achieve the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to accelerate the shift towards a green economy and make Dubai the city with the lowest carbon footprint in the world by 2050.

“The new patent registered by Dewa will provide a seamless and innovative experience that is consumer- and environment-friendly. This is the second patent registered by the centre, which Sheikh Mohammed launched last March. There are currently four more patents underway.”

Dr Saif Almheiri, Vice-President of Research and Development at Dewa, added: “The R&D Centre adopts an approach that focuses on improving Dewa’s services to customers by developing the latest sustainable technologies and solutions for energy and water as well as conducting researches to maintain Dewa’s global leadership.”

Dewa has installed more than 270 Green Charger stations across Dubai. Private electric vehicle owners, who are registered in the Green Charger services, can charge their vehicles for free until the end of December 31, 2021. This applies only to public charging stations and not domestic ones. Commercial vehicles for organisations, companies, governmental and semi-governmental organisations can charge their vehicles for 29 fils/kWh.

Staff Reporter





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