February 23, 2023 2 min read
Apartment associations are now dealing with the topic of EV charging.
How is electricity paid for? How long ahead should the infrastructure for the association be planned? How do you avoid overloading the power supply and causing outages? How do you create a charging infrastructure that can be controlled smartly and built in stages? One that every member of the association has access to in the future?
These are the burning questions that the more ‘advanced’ apartment associations are dealing with now.
Group thinking is what we need in apartment buildings!
Avoid solutions that are meant for a few select people.
Solutions for a sustainable charging infrastructure are available.
How long into the future should an association plan? Should charging points be built for those who want them now or for those who might buy an EV later?
There are people in every building who are categorically opposed to shared investments and think that those interested can use their personal switchboards for EV charging. That is neither possible nor economically feasible.
Global experience has shown that it only takes a few charging points to make demand spread like wildfire both inside the building and around the surrounding areas.
Issues arise when associations allow apartment owners to install and use their chargers however they please. Once the main fuse is no longer powerful enough and load control is needed, it turns out that everyone has a different device – often, they are not smart and cannot be adjusted.
One aspect to think about is the fact that creating more capacity takes time. Especially if the power grid in the area is already under heavy pressure and needs to be expanded.
How do you avoid electrical circuit overloads and power outages?
Even when installing the very first charger, you must choose wisely. Take a pen and paper and figure out the technical solution for all parking spaces to make charging available for as many EVs as possible.
The electrical installation in the building must be up to date and expandable.
It will not take long until the charging installation of the building consists of 10, 20 or more charging stations. Controlling the loads in the stations will become a critical issue.
There are two solutions to avoiding overloads: increase the amperage of the main fuse box or use dynamic load control.
Since increasing amperage in the main fuse box means both a single investment and a larger monthly network fee, it could end up being much more expensive than dynamic load control.
Smart chargers or chargers without an internet connection?
You can use an RFID card to add power sharing and access control functions. However, charging stations without an internet connection are unable to distinguish between users, making it impossible to know who consumes how much energy. This is why people who use this type of public charger mostly pay a fixed fee.
We do not recommend chargers without an internet connection for apartment buildings, because they do now allow distinguishing between charging station users. In a few years, users would like to replace them with newer versions anyway.
VOOL makes it possible for several users to share one charging station. It can be a temporary solution to monitor each user’s consumption to divide the invoices fairly.
What if chargers by different manufacturers are used in the building?
The VOOL software connects to other chargers as well. Invoices are created automatically based on consumption and everything can be monitored clearly in the user portal. No one has to pay for someone else’s EV charging!
From Garage to Grid: Apartment Associations Confront the EV Charging Challenge
VOOL is the first complete EV charging solution making reliable, smart, and cost-efficient charging available for everyone. Affordable and hassle-free EV charging fastens the energy transition. VOOL means hardware and software made inhouse, flexible charging options for private users and businesses. You can save money with smart charging and earn money opening your chargers to other EV owners.