Overcoming Switchboard Capacity Challenges: Ocular Flexi Load Controller
As EV adoption becomes more popular, the question of limited switchboard capacity can often present a barrier for those eager to embrace sustainable transportation. The good news is that solutions are emerging to navigate this challenge and make EV charging a reality for everyone. Load control technology allows you to optimise your available power resources while accommodating the installation of EV chargers.
The Ocular Flexi is an efficient load controller that will monitor the usage at the supply point and will dynamically change the charging rate, ensuring optimised energy management and resource utilisation, contributing to cost savings and reduced environmental impact.
The Ocular IQ Solar is the top residential choice for load management. It can operate as a standard EV charger, and through its solar modes, can also utilise 100% green energy generated from your solar panels or wind generation. The Ocular IQ Solar has an inbuilt Ocular Flexi Load Controller which supports 3 types of energy optimization: load management only, solar assist and solar only. Accompanied with a free app, you can control all aspects of your EV charging at the palm of your hand. This includes seeing your complete charging history, charging costs through its inbuilt electricity rate calculator and program schedules to control when your charger is in use.
Exploren’s intelligent algorithm manages the load on the charging stations within the group to ensure optimal load distribution while not exceeding the maximum limits for the group. As EV charging stations consume a large amount of power in a long period of time when in use, load management is an essential and critical safety feature to protect the properties’ electrical infrastructure whilst maintaining efficient and optimal operation of the charging infrastructure.
Types of Load Control:
a. Limiting charger(s)
Imagine a situation where there’s only 100A of spare capacity on the switchboard. In such cases, static load control can be employed to restrict the chargers’ combined power draw to stay within the 100A limit, preventing the switchboard from tripping.
b. Limiting a group of chargers connected to the switchboard
Sometimes, a group of chargers shares a common switchboard. Static load control can be applied to manage this group’s power consumption collectively, ensuring the switchboard’s capacity is not exceeded.
c. Limiting a group of chargers connected to different switchboards:
In more complex scenarios where chargers are connected to different switchboards, the coordination of static load control might require a platform like Exploren. This advanced system can help regulate power distribution across multiple switchboards to avoid overloads.
2. Active Load Control:
Active load control takes load management to the next level by dynamically adjusting power consumption in real-time. This approach is crucial in scenarios where static limits are insufficient to prevent electrical issues. Two notable solutions for active load control are the Ocular Active Load Controller and the Exploren Load Controller.
Where you need to use active load control:
a. Limited switchboard size (EVDB)
In cases where chargers are connected to a switchboard with limited capacity, active load control constantly monitors electricity consumption. If it detects that the load is nearing the switchboard’s limit, it will instruct the chargers to reduce their power draw, preventing tripping of the switchboard.
b. Limited main switchboard capacity for the site:
At the upstream main switchboard level, active load control can monitor the overall site’s electricity consumption. If the site is getting close to its capacity, it can dynamically adjust the chargers’ power output to avoid tripping the entire site at the main switchboard.
c. Limited switchboard size and main switchboard size (multi-level):
For multi-level charging infrastructure, active load control can consider the real-time electricity consumption of site switchboards and the main switchboard. This comprehensive approach ensures that the entire system remains within its operational limits.
Limited capacity in EVDB + Main Switchboard:
Imagine you have a 250A limit on an Electric Vehicle Distribution Board (EVDB) and approximately 200A of spare capacity at the main switchboard, which has a total capacity of 630A. In this case, you can employ static load control on the EVDB to ensure it doesn’t trip above the 250A limit and active load control on the main switchboard to ramp down charger power if the site approaches its capacity of 630A.
To conclude, load control in EV charging infrastructure is a complex but an essential aspect of ensuring reliable and efficient operation. Understanding when and how to use load management strategies is key to avoiding power disruptions and optimizing EV charging networks for a sustainable future.
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