Craig Slater, UK Sales Manager at CTEK E-mobility, explains more about the concept of load balancing and why its importance is only set to increase in the world of EV charging.
As the number of vehicles that require ‘charging up’ increases, focus will inevitably turn to the impact this could have on the National Grid, and how we can start to spread the load away from peak periods. As a result, load balancing is therefore becoming much more of a consideration in domestic, commercial and public EV charging networks.
CTEK recently undertook research amongst EV drivers that reveals the majority of people plug in when they get home from work, which of course coincides with the peak time for domestic energy use, as people prepare meals and turn on the TV. By installing load-balancing into a domestic installation, you never have to worry about the main fuse tripping.
If you take the CTEK NANOGRID Home as an example, an additional energy meter is mounted at the incoming mains, which then communicates to the EV charger(s), ensuring that the house always has priority. You could also consider specifying an EV charger with scheduling, which allows drivers to plug in and set their vehicles to charge during off-peak periods when energy demand in the house is low.
For larger installations with multiple EV chargers, load balancing becomes even more important. It will help to optimise the EV charging network and distribute available power equally across all operational charge points, ensuring that EVs are charged as quickly as possible.
There are different ways to do this, and at CTEK we have two:
NANOGRID Local: Load balancing is managed directly by an EV charger, configured as a ‘master device’ on the EV charger network.
NANOGRID CGC: This is a dedicated, standalone dynamic load-balancing solution that load balances and manages EV charging points, taking into account other demands on the local power grid to protect against system overload.
When working with a customer to plan an EV charging network, you should look ahead to the future, especially with larger public/commercial installations. With EV adoption only set to increase, so will the number of EV chargers required for commercial and public parking spaces. Make sure that any load-balancing solution can handle additional EV charging units to meet current, as well as future needs. The CTEK NANOGRID CGC, for example, can load-balance up to 500 charge points.
With new requirements for charging infrastructure, there also comes a need for increased training and education. The joint government/industry campaign Go Ultra Low is leading the way in this respect, providing a well presented, central source of information on electric vehicles and charging requirements, for consumers and installers alike.
With more electric cars hitting the roads, the need to keep up-to-date with the latest charging technology will inevitably also increase. The future of sustainable transport lies with rechargeable vehicles, and we expect charging infrastructure to be at the forefront of development to support the government’s drive to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles.
Electricians and installers have a huge part to play in this exciting next step!
Get more details about CTEK’s range of charging solutions by clicking here