As more EVs appear on the road, one public infrastructure that will feel the effect is the power grid. This is because when many EV owners get home from work and plug in to charge their cars, it will cause a spike in demand on the grid. To cope with this increased demand, more investment is needed to boost capacity. However, the cost of upgrading the grid will eventually be surpassed by consumers’ need to charge their EVs, leading to an increase in energy prices. This could further slow down the adoption of electric vehicles.
This is where smart charging comes in. What is smart charging, and why should EV owners be interested in it? This article answers these questions and more.
What is smart charging?
Smart charging is a method of intelligently managing EV charging to not overload or destabilize the grid. This technology allows the car, utility company, and charging operator to communicate with one another, thereby optimizing the charging process.
How does smart charging work?
The concept of smart charging has three main components; Power Sharing, Power Boost, and Dynamic Sharing. All of them work together to prevent the grid from being over-stressed.
With Power Boost, smart charging balances power consumption in real-time between the charger and the rest of the electrical load in the household or apartment complex. When consumption reaches close to the maximum capacity, Power Boost will reduce the energy going to the car. If necessary, the charging is paused until there is less need elsewhere.
Power Sharing or Load Balancing shifts peak demand to off-peak hours. Dynamic Power Sharing combines Power Sharing and Power Boost by using the max power to calculate how to distribute power among multiple charging stations to prevent going over the power cap. This helps charge station operators increase the number of charging points without increasing overall power capacity.
Advantages of smart charging
Smart charging allows network operators to optimize energy flow to the EV. It thereby helps the grid withstand future surges due to increasing demands by EVs. As a result, power shortages and outages are avoided.
Since smart charging helps to avoid the need to upgrade the grid, it leads to significant savings in funds that can be directed to other uses.
Businesses that want to install multiple charging stations also benefit from smart charging because they can save on installation costs since they do not have to upgrade their existing infrastructure. They can also reduce the cost of charging by cutting the kWh consumed.
EV owners benefit from smart charging because they also save on charging costs. In addition, smart charging makes it less likely that EV owners will be required to fund expensive upgrades to the grid.
Volty is a digital platform that brings you the best content, news, analysis, research, and information about electric vehicles. Our live TV and VOD channels boast over 1000 hours of free original premium content streaming 24/7. Explore and learn everything about electric vehicles. www.volty.tv