What is EV load balancing?
Every building and location has a limited amount of power they can count on, so someone needs to be strategic in the way that this power is used to make the most out of it. Load balancing is here to make that decision for you, as the smart tool for power consumption and distribution. Not using a tool of this kind can be a deal breaker for large charging sites, companies offering charging and more to successfully operate.
How much power does your electric vehicle need?
It is no secret that charging an electric car demands a lot of energy. More specifically, an EV charge can on average require up to 7,200 W to stay charged. Imagine how expensive things can get if you have to use your electric car on a daily basis.
That being said, it doesn’t take much to realise that EV drivers need all the control they can get over the charging process to ensure that they make the most out of the power output that is available to them.
This is where a load balancing solution can help, as it will not only allow you to avoid overloading but it will also ensure a stable power consumption even during peak demand.
Why should you care about Load Balancing?
With the spiking growth of electric vehicles all over Europe, the strain on the electricity grid and consequently, your electrical installations to perform well, will only increase.
The importance of balancing the power you have available across all end-points needing electricity (e.g. between your charge points and your building) is crucial to keeping the charging station running without interruptions.
An unbalanced system can result in reduced efficiency, with the available power not evenly or optimally distributed, making the risk of your circuit breakers flipping quite high. This can lead to outages and damages to your charge points and electricity equipment in the long run, significantly reducing their lifespan. Simply put, it hinders an efficient charging process and makes energy usage more expensive.
By utilising any of Monta’s load balancing options, you can make the most out of your electrical installation without sacrificing performance or cost. It also ensures that your charging site is scalable for future load requirements, for example if you want to add more charge points to your site.
How does it work?
Monta’s Load Balancing feature automatically divides the available power over all the connected charging vehicles. The system measures the available capacity and how much power an electric vehicle needs at a given time. Smart electronics then manage the power supply based on the maximum capacity of the connection and available amps.
With load balancing, electric vehicles can always be charged, no matter the amount of amps available for installation. No expensive investments are required in large or complex installations and sites.
Monta’s load balancing methods
Monta offers the following 4 methods for Load Balancing:
• Static Load Balancing
• Dynamic Load Balancing
• Double Dynamic Load Balancing
• Phase Aware Load Balancing
And here’s a breakdown:
What is Static Load Balancing?
Static Load balancing is a setup where the site has a “fixed” (static) load on each charger. A lot of housing associations and residential spaces with multiple charge points use static load balancing to keep things evenly spread out. Like that, you will never have to worry whether the available charging power is evenly distributed.
Let’s say that there is a site that has 40 amps available in total and 4 chargers; each charge point will receive 10 amps no matter whether there is an electric car charging or not. Similar to a fixed price menu.
No matter what, it’s all evenly distributed ensuring the stability of the power grid. That can be a great option for EV drivers who prioritise consistency and want to avoid overloading.
Dynamic Load Balancing for EV charging
With a dynamic load balancing set up, each charger is allocated a current from a pool based on a set value. For example, bigger fleets might require that electric cars charge at different times or different flows and can set up a maximum current of 40 amps in the partner portal.
Based on activity and available charging stations, amps will be evenly divided among each charge point and queue up to charge efficiently. This allows for the energy consumption to be more balanced and to reflect with 100% accuracy the energy demand at any given moment.
Double Dynamic Load Balancing
Similar to dynamic load balancing, the load shared across charges is reduced by an external meter called an ‘energy box’, connected either through API or MODBUS integration.
Here’s an example: if a building has 40 amps available but 10 amps are prioritised for use by the building itself (e.g. for an elevator or other essential services), the meter will report this to our system and the EV charging points will share the remaining amount amongst each other.
In this example, the chargers are sharing 30 amps, and those 30 amps are “dynamic,” so if two electric cars are charging, they each get 15 amps, but if there’s only 1, that car would get the full 30 amps.
In other words, it’s a smart and very flexible approach to power supply which protects the stability of the power grid and of the entire EV charging process.
Phase-Aware Load Balancing
This is a type of load balancing that not only takes the power grid into consideration, but also cars charging in different electrical phases. It’s important to note that electricity has three phases; 100amps available across three phases L1, L2, and L3, means that we actually have 100 amps available on each phase.
What makes Monta unique here is that if an electric car only charges in Phase 1, it won’t prevent other cars from charging in phases 2 and 3.
Without phase-awareness, an electric car charging in phase 1 prevents cars from charging in phases 2 and 3, (and cars charging in phase 2 prevent phase 3 charges).
Our phase-shifting feature allows us to maximize a charge point’s capability. We move the complexity of phase-shifting from the charge point to our system.
A great benefit of a phase-aware and a phase-shifted setup is when certain cars can only charge on phase 1 or phases 1+2, a system without phase-awareness would quickly fill up in capacity, a lot of capacity unused on phases 2 and 3.
A note: An electric car always decides which phase(s) it will charge from, but Monta “tricks” the car by switching the phases when connecting to the grid.
How can I apply Load Balancing on my charge points?
Short answer: you can do it directly from the Monta Portal. However, we recommend reading this guide (available in English), that explains in more detail how to set up Load Balancing and what you need to consider.
Please note that Load Balancing is only available for Enterprise Teams. Here, you can learn more on how to upgrade your plan with Monta.