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Sortimo Innovationspark Zusmarshausen GmbH
Green mobility, Success stories
Ormazabal designs Europe's largest charging park’s connection to the grid
Since August 2021, e-car drivers at the Sortimo Innovation Park in Zusmarshausen, Germany have been able to recharge at 72 charging points while they sip a coffee on the sun terrace or their children romp around the playground. In order for the currently around 1,000 vehicles to be able to reliably charge with green electricity every day, an energy distribution system is required that converts the electricity fed into the grid into direct current and distributes it to the charging points. When designing the system, it was important to take into account that the Sortimo Innovation Park is to be further expanded in the future. In coordination with the general planner, Ormazabal contributed its expertise in medium-voltage technology and equipped five transfer stations with switchgears.
Sortimo is one of the world’s leading suppliers of interior equipment for vehicles. Not far from the company’s headquarters in Zusmarshausen, Bavaria, construction began in 2018 on what is now the largest charging park in Europe. This is designed as a campus-like area that houses catering and retail outlets as well as training facilities. The Swabian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK Schwaben) uses these for trainings on the topics of e-mobility, energy efficiency and digitalisation. An expansion of the park by 84 additional charging points is already in the planning stage; potentially up to 4,000 vehicles will then be able to be served per day. This corresponds to an output of around 88 million kWh per year.
Of the 72 charging points currently available, 24 are fast chargers with outputs of 420 kW each, including 12 Tesla V3 Superchargers. The charging times are only 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the power level (between 35 and 280 kW). While green electricity is currently still obtained from renewable sources, in the long term it will be generated by the company itself. A photovoltaic system on the roof of the nearby Sortimo factory with an output of 3000 kWp will provide this. In addition, the waste heat from the charging stations and from the cooling of transformer stations will also be used thanks to a heat pump.
The Sortimo Innovation Park is connected to the public supply network of LEW Lechwerke, into which the park feeds and from which it can draw additional energy if required. For the implementation of the grid connection, the general planner Steinbacher Consult called on Ormazabal’s expertise in medium-voltage distribution. Maximilian Mayer from the energy department at Steinbacher Consult explains: “We turned to Ormazabal because of the team’s good advice and were convinced by the technology. We brought external expertise on board so that the exact nature of the installations and the interior design of the stations, including the necessary sizes, could be finalised during the planning stage.”
“The support of Ormazabal was excellent during all service phases. From joint planning to commissioning and also now during the service period, we always had short communication channels and solution-oriented teamwork. In this constellation, I look forward to the next projects.” Maximilian Mayer, Energy Department at Steinbacher Consult.
Ormazabal was awarded the contract to equip the connecting stations. Five concrete stations, arranged in a semicircle around the charging park, have so far been delivered completely assembled in several stages by a partner company. Ormazabal coordinated the process from planning to commissioning and contributed the medium-voltage switchgear and the 1250 kVA transformers. The latter took into account that the charging points for Tesla models require an increased voltage of 480 V on the low-voltage side.
In the connecting stations, the AC voltage is also converted into DC voltage. This direct current is then distributed to the charging points. The transfer circuit breakers are also equipped with protective devices so that, for example, in the event of a short circuit, only a single section is disconnected from the grid. In this way, e-car drivers can rely on trouble-free charging.
The expandability and modular design of the charging infrastructure, both in terms of the number of charging points and their performance, presented a challenge with regard to energy supply. This was solved by arranging the switch panels in loops instead of the usual star shape. In this way, additional connecting stations can be integrated later without any problems. This special type of construction and the resulting possible power distribution via a DC bus is unique and was realised by the technology of the company eLoaded. In the connecting stations, the AC voltage is also converted into DC voltage. This direct current is then distributed to the charging points. The transfer circuit breakers are equipped with protective devices so that, for example, in the event of a short circuit, only a single section is disconnected from the grid. In this way, e-car drivers can rely on trouble-free charging.
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