Electric vehicle chargers (EV chargers) charge electric vehicle batteries faster and longer. With the growing demand for fast charging stations, the need for load balancing has become a reality in EV charging networks. With so many factors involved in creating an efficient network for fast charging stations, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
EV charging stations are often installed in public parking lots, malls, and residential homes. These shared stations have a limited capacity and are best suited for shorter charging sessions, usually lasting less than an hour. If a station is left unsupervised, its demand can spike, leading to overload conditions that can impact the entire system’s efficiency and cause user frustration.
You might have installed equipment that consumes a lot of power at home compared to other devices. Without proper load balancing, these devices could easily cause a power overload leading to a short-circuited circuit breaker or exponential power bills.
This article discusses how load balancing in EV chargers can help you avoid these issues and keep your chargers operating at peak efficiency under all conditions.
1. Why do EV chargers need load balancing ?
Load balancing is the process of distributing power among multiple points or channels to achieve maximum efficiency at minimum cost. Load balancing requires accurate knowledge of demand patterns before planning the placement of EV charger locations. Load balancing minimizes costs associated with overloading and underloading chargers, leading to reduced charging service availability, increased deployment time of EV chargers, and a diminished customer experience.
With load balancing, EV chargers provide long-term station deployment and zone expansion flexibility. A common example of load balancing is the utilization of multiple parallel parking lanes at a parking lot. If multiple customers park their cars in the same lane and all cars are charging, that lane is left unoccupied. Each unoccupied parallel parking lane can be split into smaller ones (usually two or three spaces) that accommodate a single car in each stall. This effectively reduces wasted space and increases the number of stations that can be used. It also reduces the cost of building the parking lot because each stall is a smaller expense than an entire lane.
2. The difference between dynamic and static load balancing.
The two types of load balancing are dynamic and static. Static load balancing adjusts the available power in a charging station based on a fixed allocated supply capacity. This system does not consider the current condition of the charging station when allocating traffic. Static load balancing can be seen as a set of thresholds determining how much power is available and how many units can be connected simultaneously. With a static system, the charging station connects to the network and is allocated an amount of power based on a fixed capacity.
Dynamic load balancing, on the other hand, uses a smart algorithm that uses real-time data to determine the current condition of a charging station, the consumers available and the amount of power required by the charging station. These measurements are analyzed to track how the charging station load changes over time and adjust the charging stations’ power output accordingly. Dynamic load balancing can calculate the optimal amount of power needed by the charging station and connect the stations in a more optimal way to maximize efficiency. Dynamic load balancing provides a significant benefit in efficiency and cost savings.
3. What’s the dynamic load balancing and the main functions?
In residential homes, dynamic load balancing serves as a monitor of the overall power consumption in your home. This system works with a control unit, your EV charger, and your main electricity meter. The control unit is a computer device that analyzes the total power available from your grid and the amount of power consumed by all the other electrical appliances in your home. For example, during the day, when most appliances are running in the house, the control unit will detect that most of the power consumption comes from the main meter (Appliances using power in your house). The Control unit will reduce the power being directed to the EV charger so that most of the power remains in the house. This means that your EV charger will charge your car slowly during the day because of the low power directed to it by the dynamic load balancer.
At night, when most of the appliances are off, the control unit will detect a low power demand from the main house because most of the appliances are off. It will then direct most of the power to the EV charging station for faster charging of your EV vehicle. The control unit monitors the power consumption from the main meter and adjusts the power directed to your charging station based on your home’s power consumption.
Dynamic load balancing provides more flexibility in managing the power distribution of a charging station and other appliances using power in your house. The system adjusts power output based on the needs of the charging station and other appliances consuming power to ensure the maximum charging speed and optimal customer experience.
Some important applications of the dynamic load balancing system in your residential home include:
Maintaining a balance in the power supply between your EV charger and other electrical appliances in the house: Your EV charger is the most important electrical appliance to be managed by the dynamic load balancer system. However, there are others. Several electrical appliances in your house are using power. That power has to come from somewhere, and if your EV charger is using up all of it, none will remain for other household equipment.
Detecting when there is an overload in the power grip and redistributing power in your home accordingly: When you change your car on the drive, the dynamic load balancer system will know it. The control unit will stop charging your car, measure the power being directed to it, and then redistribute that power to the rest of your household appliances to maintain a balance in power availability.
Managing power distribution between two charging stations and other household appliances when you have two stations installed: If you have two EV chargers installed in your home, the dynamic load balancing system distributes power between them automatically to guarantee optimal charging speeds for both of your EV vehicles and your house.
Detecting and managing under-voltage conditions: As you drive away from home at night, the control unit will still be able to detect a low power demand from your house. Your car can no longer consume most of the power from the main meter. It will then direct most of that power to other electrical appliances in your home. The control unit keeps track of how much power is available at any given time to maintain a balance between all electrical appliances running in the house.
4. HOW DOES A DYNAMIC LOAD BALANCING EV CHARGER HELP PROTECT YOUR POWER GRID?
The main function of a dynamic load balancing system is to monitor the current load and make sure that the system maintains a steady state. Dynamic load balancing helps individual charging stations avoid overloading and overcharging so that customers can use the service as intended.
You can use dynamic Load Balancing technology to monitor and adjust the power output in real-time to ensure optimal performance of your EV charger for an increased lifetime and efficiency. With a dynamic load-balancing EV charger, you don’t have to worry about grid overload. It monitors your home’s power consumption and ensures that your EV charger is only fed with enough power for efficient charging. This way, you use fewer resources while maximizing enjoyment while driving an electric vehicle.
EV charging stations vary in their capabilities and requirements. Some have low power consumption, while others have higher power needs because they charge larger battery capacities.
As a result, an EV charging station requires power from various sources. While many options exist for connecting these stations to a residential grid, an intelligent load balancer is an efficient and cost-effective solution.
You can use dynamic load balancing with any type of EV charger. The system can help protect your home’s power grid from overload situations and offer more efficient use of the available power in your home. Although initial installation costs might be high, dynamic load balancing is an affordable feature that can save you money on electric vehicle charging. With this system, your EV charger is only fed with enough power for efficient charging and extending its lifetime. Instead of overcharging and overheating your EV charger, the system will automatically adjust the power according to your home’s power consumption.