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Smart EV charging: how to make your EV chargers more energy efficient

How do you ensure that electric vehicles get the charge they need, every time? With a little over a quarter of a million EVs on the road, this may not be a problem that keeps you awake... yet.  

However, with an estimated thirty-six million electric vehicles on the road by 2040, the challenge of providing and managing energy for transport needs to be addressed now – and smart EV charging is the answer.  

Planning electric vehicle introduction and operation often uncovers one fundamental problem, a shortage of available power at the desired charging location.  

Add to this the problem of charging a vehicle where no off-street parking is available, and it is easy to see that energy management planning is key to successful electric vehicle use. 

Many buildings with off-street parking lack sufficient electrical infrastructure for charging multiple electric vehicles. In early adopter businesses, existing charging stations typically receive energy from the main distribution board, itself connected to the main electricity meter.  

This might work well for up to three chargers, but any additional charger is likely to increase the load to the extent that it will exceed the building’s fuse limit, resulting in potential problems. 

Some businesses, consequently, invest heavily in grid upgrades to bring additional power to their premises. However, smart businesses invest in smart EV charging infrastructure that integrates load balancing management software to make more efficient use of the available energy, saving potentially massive capital expenditure on grid upgrading. 

What’s the difference between load balancing and dynamic load management? 

Energy and vehicles are a precious, critical resource. As an organisation, it is essential that vehicles are charged when required, and using the energy available.  

There are several approaches that can be used to share energy across multiple charge points and vehicles: load balancing and load management. 

Load balancing or static load management is, as the name suggests, a fixed way of allocating the energy for charging. As the maximum capacity is set in stone, the charging speed of each EV is distributed evenly across chargers, adjusting speed as additional chargers begin or finish charging their vehicles. 

Dynamic load management is a smarter form of EV charging, as it enables multiple car charging stations to be used at the same time with the highest possible power, without jeopardising the electrical supply to buildings. It requires a Current Transformer (CT) clamp and load testing, which then allows a much higher level of user control. 

Controlled in the cloud, dynamic load management is an integral part of an efficient charging station operation. It collects data from other energy appliances and calculates the building’s current energy capacity in real-time.  

Based on the building’s overall energy capacity and current consumption, the system then dynamically provides an optimal load for charging vehicles. 

How does smart EV charging work in practice? 

The key benefit of dynamic load management is the ability to integrate bespoke charging strategies, where operators can set variable factors to manage energy delivery.  

For example, a business may choose to give priority charging to vehicles seen as high priority, such as field-based vehicles. In this instance the system can be configured so that whenever they plug in, a larger proportion of the available energy is provided to these vehicles, rather than those that might be stationary for the majority of the day.  

This ensures that those that can wait, do, and those that need to get back on the road as soon as possible, can. 

By using a dynamic cloud-based load management system, expensive power supply upgrades are avoided. Where supply is limited, the software allocates available capacity to chargers, ensuring vehicles are charged as quickly as possible - all with no additional strain placed upon the grid connection. 

With this system, little or no extra hardware is required. Faults can be resolved remotely, with no input from the drivers, ensuring a much more seamless and hassle-free user experience.  

Save on costs by charging smarter  

Whether you’re a business looking to introduce EV charger points to your company car park, a local authority working to deploy on-street chargers for residents or a developer investigating ways to meet Net Zero objectives, installing a smart EV charger is a guaranteed means of making EV charging infrastructure work more efficiently and cost less money for users.  

Behind the Connected Kerb hardware system is an advanced software platform that enables clients to create a network of fully controlled and remotely managed charge points, allowing drivers to reliably charge their vehicles and take advantage of attractive energy tariffs. 

The software optimises charging for drivers habitually charging their cars and in turn provides invaluable data for power management. This smart EV charger power management reduces energy costs for drivers/fleets and minimises stress on power connections.  

Data reporting, analysis and consolidated billing are available on-demand within a fully integrated back-end dashboard. Smart charging operations are automatically monitored 24/7 and issues can be resolved immediately and remotely.  

Our charging system helps you make the very best of your energy, to do business and deliver.  We are where the journey begins and ends. 

If you want to find out more about how load management can benefit you, contact us at info@connectedkerb.com.