Mastering EV Load Management in Strata Buildings.

When is load management required?

When installing multiple EV chargers into the same building or location, load management can be required to ensure that the circuit is not overloaded. When you think about the power supply to a building, there is only a set amount of power available. If too many appliances or amenities are drawing power at the same time and the total equals more than the power available then the circuit will be overloaded and the power will go off. Load management is a way of distributing the available power to EV charging stations to ensure this never happens.

For simple example sake, say your building has a total of 100aMPS of power available. If the current amenities and residents’ usage take up 80aMPS then you only have 20aMPS remaining. A Load Management system would allocate this 20aMPS to the EV chargers that are in use at any one time. If there is only 1 charger in use then it will get the full 20aMPS, if there are 2 chargers in use then they will get 10aMPS each, and so on. This means that all chargers plugged in will always get power to charge however the charging speed will vary depending on the available power at the time and the number of chargers in use. You can read our charging speeds explained article to understand more about charging speeds.

How do I know if I need Load Management?

Your need for Load Management depends on a few factors.

  • Your available power supply
  • How many EV chargers you are installing and charging at the same time 

Let’s break these down.

Your available power supply.

As mentioned before, your building’s available power supply plays a large role in whether or not you need load management. The best way to understand your current power supply is to conduct an EV Feasibility Study. During this study an energy monitoring device will be installed onto your main switchboard for two weeks to monitor the energy usage of the building and to see the available power for EV charging. You can read more about what is included in the EV Feasibility Study here.

How many EV chargers you are installing and charging at the same time.

Once you understand your available power supply for EV charging you then need to consider how many EV chargers you are installing and how many will be charging at the same time. If you have a large surplus of power supply and only a limited number of EV chargers then you may be able to have no load management system so long as they could all charge at full capacity at the same time and not use the available power supply. This is generally only applicable for smaller buildings and building’s with low EV uptake.

If you don’t have enough power supply to do this then you will need to get a load management system of some kind. As part of an EV Feasibility Study we provide you with load management recommendations for your building based on your available power. You will know what load management is required at different EV uptake in your building and have a phased plan as this increases.

What Load Management options are there?

There are a few different load management options available. They can be as simple as a timer that only allows charging in set windows or automated software that allocates the building’s available power to the EV chargers allowing charging at all times of the day. 

Timer – A timer is the simplest and most cost-effective load management option. You can set the timer to only allow EV charging in certain windows of the day. These windows will be times when you know your building has enough power capacity for all EV chargers to be in use (generally off-peak times). You would know the windows to set based on your EV Feasibility Study. 

AdvantagesDisadvantages
– Low cost
– Easy to implement
– Only allows charging in set times which can be inconvenient and doesn’t align with general charging habits. People generally want to plug their car in when they get home from work and charge overnight. If your timer doesn’t allow charging in peak times then in this scenario the EV won’t be able to charge the entire time and the car won’t have full charge by the time the owner leaves in the morning. 
– Only is applicable for a small number of EV chargers.

Static Load management software – This involves setting a static charging limit for the chargers based on your building’s available power. The chargers can never go over this limit.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
– Allows charging at all times of the day
– Automated process
– Provides charging analytics through the dashboard
– Depending on the limit, chargers may not be able to charge at their full capacity meaning charging will take longer.
– Can involve more upfront costs to install vs the timer (depends on the load management software provider)
– There are ongoing subscription costs for the EV owner. These generally range from $100-$150/year depending on the software provider.

Dynamic Load Management software – Load management software dynamically distributes the building’s available power supply to the EV chargers in use. It allows EV charging at all times of the day and is the best long term option. 

AdvantagesDisadvantages
– Allows charging at all times of the day
– As long as there is enough power the EV charging station can charge at full capacity
– Automated process
– Provides charging analytics through the dashboard
– Can involve more upfront costs to install vs the timer (depends on the load management software provider)
– There are ongoing subscription costs for the EV owner. These generally range from $100-$150/year depending on the software provider.

Summary

Load Management is not a one size fits all approach. It depends on your building’s power supply, the number of EV chargers installed, the number of chargers in use at any given time, and the charging habits of the owners. If your EV uptake is low and you have enough power supply you may be able to start with no load management, then transition to Load Management Software once EV uptake increases and you no longer have enough power to charge them simultaneously. 

You should never install EV chargers into an existing building or location without considering load management. You should first conduct an EV Feasibility Study to understand your available power supply and your suitable load management approaches now and into the future as EV uptake increases. 

Talk to the team at EV Installations by completing the form below. We can discuss your installation and load management options and answer any questions you have.

Share this article
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email
Get notified of the latest EV news.
evinstallations_logo_white

Your EV Installation specialists. Contact us to discuss your specific requirements.

Get in touch

Give us a call or complete the form below and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss your requirements. 

Download our commercial brochure

Complete the form and we will email you our commercial brochure.

Download your guide

Complete the form and we will email your complete guide for retrofitting existing buildings’ for EV.

Request a quote

An EV Feasibility Study is the first step in getting your building EV ready. Complete the form below and a member of our team will be in touch to confirm your requirements and provide a quote.

evinstallations_logo_white

Nullam quis risus eget urna mollis ornare vel eu leo. Aenean lacinia bibendum nulla sed 

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive updates, promotions, and sneak peaks of upcoming products. Plus 20% off your next order.

Promotion nulla vitae elit libero a pharetra augue

Nullam quis risus eget urna mollis ornare vel eu leo. Aenean lacinia bibendum nulla sed