Meet our testbed: Prague

In the Prague Demo the FLOW team validates how the V2X technologies create local benefits and optimization, using an Energy Management System (EMS), which enables the communication and power flow interface between the building energy system and the public distribution grid. Its main focus is to improve energy efficiency and reduce the operational costs, as well as creating a positive user experience and increased comfort.

Sergio Orlando, from EATON in Czech Headquarter, explains the operations taking place here as well as the latest insights.


What are the main objectives of the Testbed in Prague?

Our participation in the FLOW project is helping to pioneer new solutions to accelerate the commercialization and mass deployment of EV charging infrastructure. Here at EATON our primary goal in FLOW is to integrate EV charging and V2X technologies within smart buildings. By doing so, we aim to enable local management of power flows—incorporating renewable energy generation and storage. Our efforts will minimise the impact of EV charging on grid demand, enhance energy efficiency, reduce operational costs, and ultimately improve the user experience. 

Who are you targeting? What are the main users/stakeholders involved? 

Located at the Eaton European Innovation Center (EEIC) in Prague, our testbed focuses on the use-case of commercial or office buildings. As part of Eaton’s worldwide Corporate Research and Technology group, this state-of-the-art R&D centre unites more than 150 specialists from 20 countries. The electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) primarily serves employees and visitors to the EEIC, although the general public can also participate with prior permission. 

How do you engage with stakeholders to ensure ongoing support and collaboration? 

We first engaged employees at the EEIC with an internal survey aimed at EV users within the building. The survey uncovered insights into their needs and expectations regarding the opportunity to charge their personal vehicle at work each day. We also assessed their willingness to change behaviour in response to different EV charging infrastructure (EVCI) requirements. We’ve seen very positive engagement so far and expect strong interest and participation in the testbed. 

Why is this testbed important for FLOW, how does it contribute to it, and how does it contribute to E-Mobility uptake and the Grid in general?

With the Prague Testbed, we are addressing key aspects of the global energy transition, including electrical grids, microgrids, e-mobility, and energy management—all of which are central to the FLOW project.

Our Energy Management System (EMS) and AC/DC microgrid controller integrate all energy assets behind-the-meter—including EV chargers, renewables, storage, and building loads. This optimises energy use and minimises the impact of EV charging on the grid.  We will leverage the results of the Prague Testbed to address typical scenarios that arise in the intelligent management of EV chargers, driving benefits for building owners and supporting the energy transition in buildings.   

Can you share some key milestones achieved since the launch of the activities? 

We have successfully identified and purchased EV chargers that meet our testbed requirements, and the majority are already in our office. The same applies to our AC/DC microgrid assets—including the energy meter, EMS gateway, and loads. We have conducted multiple tests of these devices to ensure system integration and connectivity. Now, we are waiting to complete installation in parking spaces before we can test our system in real-world scenarios. 

What challenges have you encountered during the implementation phase, and how have you addressed them? 

Beyond the need to manage different systems and ensure device compatibility in terms of communication protocols and technical specifications, the most difficult challenge has been planning the extension of the electrical grid for the EVCI installation. This involves aligning with suppliers, reviewing materials and specifications, obtaining quotations, and applying for safety approvals. These tasks are all crucial and require careful planning and execution. We have managed to meet these challenges and progress on schedule, conducting detailed inspections along the way. 

What lessons have you learned from the e-mobility project so far, and how do you plan to apply them moving forward?  

We’ve seen the importance of careful scheduling that accounts for every detail. In addition, we’ve learned how crucial it is to consider system compatibility, especially when relying on different suppliers, project partners, and so on. The e-mobility field is evolving rapidly, and it will take a considerable effort to standardise all the communication protocols, hardware and software. Moving forward, our mission will focus on finding the best way to enable complete system integration and operation.

FLOW needs you!
Complete our EV Users Survey

The potential of smart charging can only be fully exploited if many EV drivers choose to participate. That is why it is important to involve users in the development of new charging concepts right from the start. And this works best when (future) EV users are asked about their preferences. To this end, the TUC (Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany) has set up a questionnaire to evaluate your acceptance with the next generation of charging solutions. 

Take part in our short survey (10’)!

Who can participate?

Any individual driving an EV occasionally or regularly is welcome. 

What is the scope of the questionnaire?

The survey aims to assess mobility and charging behavior, as well as attitudes towards smart charging. 

What is the benefit of participation?

Sharing your views on smart charging can help to improve the next generation of charging concepts before their implementation. You can also become a test user at one of the demo sites in Menorca, Rome, Copenhagen, or Dublin. There you will have the opportunity to familiarise yourself with and test innovative charging concepts! If you are interested in our research, we will be happy to keep you informed about the survey and project results.