The Government has recently withdrawn the Electric Vehicle (EV) Homecharge Scheme for homeowners, replacing it with grants for rental properties, and has extended the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) to provide £350 per-socket grants (up to £14,000 total for a network of 40 chargers) to charities, landlords of commercially-let buildings and small accommodation businesses like B&Bs and holiday lets, SMEs can now apply for grants of £850 per parking bay, up to a total £15,000 per building, with no limit on the number of chargers.
With the extension of the WCS, demand for electric vehicle charging from commercial clients is likely to increase, and more installers may be looking to expand into this sector. Vehicle charging specialist CTEK explains the key things to consider when specifying and installing a commercial EV charging solution.
”With commercial installations, we’d always advocate a solution-based approach,” explains CTEK’s UK Energy & Facilities Sales Manager, Ian Beattie. ”As well as the chargers themselves, there are additional aspects to consider such as load balancing, software integration, management and reporting, futureproofing and options for monetising the chargers.
”Happily, the increasing range of software available from the likes of Monta and Fuuse makes it really simple to provide customers with add-on services like invoicing, billing and management reporting – so long as the chargers you’re installing are OCPP (open charge point protocol) compliant. OCPP compatibility is imperative for these software integrations and will also ensure that the EV installation is futureproofed, allowing the customer to add more chargers to their network when the need arises, as well as being able to mix and match equipment from different manufacturers.
“Another key thing to consider is load balancing. Most commercial properties have a three-phase power supply, which gives installers the opportunity to install a three-phase charger. This will ensure all three phases of the power supply are used equally, which helps to balance load on the system. You can install a single-phase charger on a three-phase supply, but this is not best practice as you essentially make one of the phases busier than the rest, which puts strain on the cables and isn’t good for power companies, or for the national grid in general.
“For multi-charger installations, additional load balancing will often be required to prevent overload on the system. A dynamic load balancing solution like CTEK Nanogrid balances the power going to the EV chargers against the power being used by everything else on the local power network, ensuring essential systems like lifts, elevators, heating and air conditioning continue to receive the power they need to operate efficiently, while ensuring the EVs are charged as quickly as possible.
“In our increasingly time-strapped world, the ability to maintain the chargers, fix problems and manage software updates remotely will also appeal to business customers. An online management tool like CTEK’s Charge Portal will allow them to do this, as well as producing sophisticated reports to calculate emission savings, and for use in accounting, management and sustainability reporting.
CTEK’s 12-strong UK team is committed to working with installers to develop end-to-end, future-proofed EV solutions. CTEK’s offering is centred around their OCPP compliant single or three-phase CTEK Chargestorm Connected 2 chargers, available with dual or single outlets and fully scalable from 1 to 500 units.
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