Montreal — DCBEL has recently achieved UL certification for its r16 Home Energy Station, becoming the first residential bidirectional direct current (DC) electric vehicle (EV) charger in the US to receive this recognition.
The certification process, lasting over two years, involved a thorough assessment of standards and collaboration with Intertek, a member of the Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) program, to ensure the product’s safety under various conditions. The Home Energy Station is designed to provide a universally compatible solution for customers, enabling them to power their homes during blackouts and significantly reduce energy costs.
This certification of DCBEL’s patented DC technology has the potential to revolutionize the residential EV charging market. It challenges the cost of Level 2 AC chargers and encourages automakers to reconsider existing EV charging architecture.
The absence of DC home charging solutions currently necessitates the inclusion of expensive and heavy onboard AC power converters in all EVs. This creates an inconvenience similar to carrying a gas pump inside the car. The California Energy Commission has highlighted the challenge faced by utilities and regulators in guaranteeing the safety and stability of the grid if an unknown vehicle connects to a portal and attempts to export power using the onboard AC power conversion equipment.
To address this issue, DCBEL’s offboard power conversion solution fills the gap by delivering stable DC energy directly to the EV battery. This approach improves charging speeds compared to typical Level 2 chargers and avoids the detrimental effects of high-intensity Level 3 DC fast chargers. Moreover, the product’s power electronics enable the r16 Home Energy Station to replace multiple home inverters with a single power converter, enhancing round-trip efficiency by over 20% while minimizing wall clutter.
Marc-André Forget, CEO of DCBEL, expressed pride in receiving this certification and emphasized the company’s commitment to deploying groundbreaking and affordable products. The Home Energy Station’s universal compatibility ensures that drivers can choose any EV for their journey while accessing cleaner energy and offsetting their electricity bills.
DCBEL plans to commence shipping the first batch of Home Energy Stations in California and New York State. The company also aims to have its manufacturing facilities certified through Intertek to ensure the highest product quality. Mass production of the r16 Home Energy Station will take place in Richardson, Texas.
The residential energy landscape is undergoing rapid transformation, with a growing number of US homeowners installing solar panels and an increasing adoption of EVs. Legislative reforms in California incentivize the installation of home battery storage systems, and a proposed state Senate bill calls for all EVs to support bidirectional charging. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order No. 2222 also supports the integration of distributed energy resources (DERs) in regional wholesale markets. Bidirectional EVs leveraged as DERs can enhance grid reliability, defer infrastructure upgrades, and provide power during blackouts.
The multifunctional capabilities of the r16 Home Energy Station required specialized evaluation across three US laboratories. In addition to bidirectional EV charging, the product incorporates solar energy conversion and integrates seamlessly with home battery storage, replacing the need for costly equipment. The Home Energy Stations run on an all-in-one operating system called Orchestrate OS, which ensures secure and efficient power conversion across all energy assets while anticipating future energy requirements.
The r16 Home Energy Station is the first of several products that DCBEL intends to release, with the goal of helping homeowners reduce everyday costs.