Reducing CO2 emissions and conserving resources are very important to Kontron. Charging EVs with the surplus power from one’s own rooftop is a promising technology. We are proud that our smallest module has made an important contribution to this technology.
dezony GmbH is an up-and-coming startup from Middle Franconia in Germany. Kontron Electronics GmbH is part of the technology company Kontron AG and a full-service provider in the fields of electronics, development and manufacturing services. The Kontron editorial team is pleased that Mr. Di Bella, co-founder and managing director of dezony GmbH, and Mr. Arndt, development manager of Kontron Electronics GmbH, have taken the time for an interview.
dezony has developed a charging station to offer electric vehicle owners the possibility to charge with the surplus power from their own rooftop. To detect if a power surplus is available, the charging station must connect directly to the power inverters. Taking care of connectivity is precisely where the system-on-module (SoM) makes its contribution. Today, Mr. Di Bella and Mr. are going to tell us more about this exciting subject.
The dezony IQ Charging Station - what advantages do the users have with this system?
Di Bella: “Electricity from renewable energy such as charging EVs with power from one’s own roof helps reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and CO2 emissions. This is not only convenient, but also conserves resources. The photovoltaic system produces electricity, the surplus power is then, in turn, used to supply one’s EV. We have focused our charging solutions on single-family and two-family homes. Our charging station is not only a sound investment, it is also smart.”
The dezony IQ Charging Station - how does smart charging work in detail?
Di Bella: “An app visualizes the charging statistics, the energy flows of the photovoltaic system and the home battery storage. Software updates are provided over-the-air (OTA). There are options for different charging modes. For example, 100% PV surplus charging, a PV mix, i.e., surplus charging with grid power, charging with a fixed charging capacity or a charging block “do not charge” are possible. When one wants to charge an e-bike, there is an easy-to-use 230 V socket on the charging station. We are currently about to roll out a new hardware variant with a RFID reader for authentication and a 230 V grounded socket that can be controlled via the dezony app.
How did the cooperation between your two companies come about?
Di Bella: “We were looking for a system that could handle specific control operations that would help simplify our decony-specific, complex board architecture. During our research, we came across Kontron Electronics. They won us over with their development experience in system-on-modules and their modular development approach.”
Arndt: “We first came into contact during the Corona pandemic, which meant we were unable to meet, and all conversations were done online via Teams meetings. In the end, this was not a problem, we had established a "good rapport" with each other from the very beginning. Mr. Di Bella and his team were competent counterparts with sound expertise and precise ideas about what services they needed.”
How did the collaboration between dezony and Kontron Electronics work?
Di Bella: “We knew about the special challenges of the project and provided the baseboard as a powerful platform. Thus, at the beginning of our partnership, we were able to jointly define the project requirements as well as the tasks and goals.”
Arndt: “Right from the start, it was clear that a system-on-module offered the ideal prerequisites for these challenges. It is a complete computer with a pre-installed embedded Linux operating system and all drivers for communication and LCD/touch interfaces. The fully developed CPU core is already EMC tested, validated and ready to control the hardware. The SoM's compact printed circuit board combines all components, such as the processor and graphics unit, the RAM and program memory, and a variety of communication interfaces. Based on the requirements, we decided that the system-on-module SL STM32 MP157 was the perfect solution module for this project.”
Di Bella: “In the next step, we defined a clearly structured product development process to bring the solution to the market quickly. The focus here was on both the needs and the expectations of smart charging station user target group. We wanted to provide additional features such as an interface to various backend systems for easy company car billing or electricity billing in homeowners' associations. In addition, the use in private underground garages should offer functional added value such as motion detectors, light module and WLAN with personal internet hotspot. As for the components, not only long-term availability was important to us, we also paid particular attention to having the supply chain within Europe.”
What features predestined the SoM for the tasks within the charging station?
Arndt: “The Dual Arm® Cortex® A7 computing core of the SoM's SL STM32 MP157 includes a Linux operating system with the appropriate drivers. The processor can handle the CPU-intensive tasks and internet communications applications. However, its main task in this project is to implement "connectivity". The integrated Arm® Cortex® M4 micro-controller ensures that control processes, such as the charging electronics, run in a structured manner in real time. Thus, using the SoM module helps to simplify the complex board architecture. Three processor cores in one chip are a big advantage. They reduce the number of components, resulting in more space within the overall dezony system.”
Di Bella: “With the increasing number of EVs on the roads, a growing number of charging stations will also be needed. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly important to distribute energy intelligently, especially on sunny days when it is plentiful. The PV system on one's own roof in combination with a dezony IQ charging station offers the perfect smart solution to conserve resources and reduce emissions.”
We thank you for these interesting insights.
To learn more about the dezony IQ, please check out the website: https://dezony.com/
For more details about our system-on-modules, please go here: https://www.kontron-electronics.com/products/som/