EV Charge WA News

Sat 03 October 2020

How-to-guide for Electric Vehicle Charging in Apartments & Parking Buildings

There are a number of factors to consider when looking at charging solutions for your apartment or public parking building. Our experienced team can help.

Electric vehicle charging for apartments and parking buildings can present a unique set of challenges to building owners, body corporates and their electrical contractors. While rapid DC based EV charging solutions will be suitable for a public charging service, most EV charging behaviour will occur overnight or during extended parking periods. For these occasions, slower AC charging systems are best suited and provide an affordable option for mass adoption.

Parking building operators and body corporates managing apartment buildings will increasingly be asked to install and manage EV charging solutions for their parking customers and apartment owners & tenants. Doing this on a small scale with a few EV chargers is generally straightforward , however, once the number of EV chargers begins to scale then issues can arise.

Examples of the challenges Parking Operators & Body Corps will find:

The electricity supply to the building is limited, with little spare capacity available, traditional solutions would call for expensive electricity supply upgrades.

The building has limited spare capacity during high use times, but has spare capacity at other times, such as overnight.

> Small scale installations of EV chargers generally present no issue, but more than a few will quickly absorb any available capacity, the question of who is given access to the charging becomes an issue.

> The Body Corp needs to recover the cost of electricity from the tenant or EV owner, traditionally this would require a dedicated metered supply.

Managing the fleet of EV chargers becomes difficult, more so if multiple brands or types of EV chargers are installed depending on the EV driver’s requirements.

As smart chargers are connected to the internet, they require either Ethernet, WiFi or cellular connections. Both Ethernet and WiFi present issues connecting to corporate networks & cyber-security, hassles such as maintaining passwords and the like.

How to deploy large scale EV charging and overcome these challenges?

1. Plan to deploy a fully scaled EV charging installation from the beginning. Ensure you    can scale up the installation using the same principles as the first few electric vehicle chargers installed. Do not be left with an orphaned or restricted EV charge network by installing a few “dumb” chargers (non-connected).

2. Fully internet-connected smart chargers are essential, any non-connected EV chargers may need replacement as you scale the deployment. Match smart charges with an open charge point management software, take care that the supplier fully supports OCPP connectivity, this allows you the freedom to connect a range of hardware and not be locked in to just one vendor.

3. Using smart chargers allows electrical load management to be applied across clusters and individual EV chargers, depending on requirements and available electricity at that time. These EV chargers may be in a single parking location or across a range of residential apartment buildings

4. Charge Point software can dynamically manage charge sessions, as well as communicating with other building management systems (BMS).

5. Use of cellular-based communications for smart EV chargers is recommended, this is now an affordable option that allows operators to have direct control and removes issues during installation and ongoing support.

“Using smart chargers allows for load management to be applied across clusters and individual EV chargers, depending on requirements and available electricity at that time.”

Evnex’s EV charging solution is designed for use in Residential Apartments & Parking Buildings

Evnex has designed our system to be fully interoperable. This means that while we have our own AC charging hardware, we are also able to support charging hardware from other brands. CP Link™ is a cloud-based, open standards system that supports compliant OCPP 1.6J electric vehicle charging hardware.

What this all means is that Evnex can provide an end-to-end EV charging solution, both AC charging hardware and a cloud management system that supports a wide variety of third-party hardware. Additionally, for large scale deployments we can control a variety of factors so the electric vehicle charger fleet can be installed in apartment buildings, parking buildings or even at your workplace.


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