Charging several electric cars at the same time presents new challenges for those responsible. If the grid capacity is exceeded, high costs can result. Load management is crucial for companies and locations with many charging stations. It ensures that power consumption is controlled according to one's needs.
In this article, we explain why charging and building infrastructure must be considered holistically. Learn how intelligent load management can reduce investment and operating costs and increase the availability of charging points for electric vehicles.
What is a building base load?
Base load is the amount of energy required during the course of the day to meet minimum energy consumption.
In addition to the base load, there are also the load segments medium load and peak load, which are used when there is an increased demand for electricity during the course of the day. Here, the medium load covers the foreseeable additional demand for electricity. The peak load is additionally required at times of greatest demand.
Base load, medium load and peak load together make up the total amount of electricity consumed.
Why does the building load matter when charging electric cars?
If the vehicle fleet in the company is to be electrified and several electric cars are to be charged at the same time, the available power of the power connection may no longer be sufficient. The additional power required to charge the vehicles can overload the building's power grid.
The result: load peaks occur that exceed the grid connection capacity agreed with the energy supplier. There is a risk of high grid charges, as the electricity price is calculated on the basis of the maximum power demanded, the peak load.
An intelligent load management system can reduce peak loads when charging electric cars. A load management system actively and specifically controls power consumption so that the electric cars only draw power via the individual charging stations when the capacity in the power grid is sufficient to do so.
- Avoidance of expensive load peaks
- No overloading of the building connection
- Avoidance of costly expansion of the grid connection
- Flexible monitoring of the charging processes through an active control system
- More flexibility in expanding the electric fleet and the charging infrastructure
If a site was designed without large power reserves, load management is usually always necessary.
Optimizing charging processes in electric vehicle fleets with intelligent load management
Static load management
With static load management, a fixed reserved charging power for all charging stations is distributed evenly among several connected electric vehicles. Static load management is not flexible compared to dynamic load management, so unused power cannot be made available for other electrical consumers.
Dynamic load management
Dynamic load management measures the current power at the grid connection and flexibly adjusts the available total charging power up to the level of the grid connection power. Thus, if the power consumption in the building decreases, more power is available for charging the fleet. If less energy is available overall, the charging power per vehicle is reduced so that no grid connection overload or load peaks can occur when charging the electric fleet.
Schedule-based load management
Schedule-based load management is a special form of dynamic load management. The available total charging power is not only divided based on the energy demand and vehicle-specific charging power of the vehicles, but additionally the vehicle availability is integrated into the charging planning based on schedules.
An intelligent charging management system such as IO-ELON uses vehicle bookings to decide which vehicles need to be ready for use again at which times and therefore have to be supplied preferentially with higher or lower power.
This is also referred to as demand-based control, whereby the building's grid connection is also taken into account when charging the electric vehicles.
Holistic energy management
Schedule-based load management can even be extended and made even more future-oriented. We speak of holistic energy management when decentralized power supply options are included in the site's energy planning. This can be realized, for example, by integrating a PV system or using a battery storage system.
An intelligent charging management system such as IO-ELON uses site-specific solar forecasts to predict the level of solar yield and shifts charging processes so that as much self-generated PV power as possible can be used. This does not restrict the mobility of the vehicles and maximizes the self-consumption and the profitability of the PV system.
Read more here on how to achieve higher PV yields with forecast-based solar charging.
Active, holistic energy management can save considerable costs.
With IO-ELON, you can charge an unlimited number of electric cars – regardless of the charging station manufacturer. The modular structure allows you to use the charging management flexibly, whereby you decide yourself which functions you currently need or would like to add at a later date.
Would you like to learn more? Then feel free to contact us or ask for a free demo version of our charging and energy management. We will get back to you as soon as possible!