August 10, 2020
With the increasing popularity of electric vehicles in Canada, there are new challenges in managing electrical capacity while servicing charging stations, especially in commercial and multi-use residential buildings. While many businesses are choosing to install EV charging stations to meet the needs of customers, staff, and tenants, there is some risk of the total load exceeding energy capacity. That’s where EV energy management systems (EVEMS) come in.
An EVEMS controls the total load capacity used by EV chargers, allowing for maximum charging speeds without the risk of overloading overload the conductors or distribution equipment. There are many options when it comes to choosing an EVEMS. Some operate automatically while others allow an administrator to manually override and control, monitor and manage loads.
According to Canada Energy Regulator projections, EV’s and plug-in hybrid vehicles will account for 35% of new vehicle sales by 2030 and close to 57% by 2035. (See our post on the case for installing EV charging stations here.) While this represents a positive shift away from fossil fuels as an energy source, it also brings a set of unique challenges that come with additional demands on the electrical grid.
One option commercial and multi-unit residential buildings will face is the option to increase service size, but that can be complex, time-consuming and extremely cost-prohibitive. This is what makes EVEMS such an attractive option as more and more condos and businesses are looking to install EV charging stations.
Installing an EVEMS with charging stations is a great option to consider alongside other cost and energy-saving measures such as commercial LED lighting and signage retrofits. While retrofits create extra space on the electric service which can then be put towards EV charging, EVEMS allows real-time monitoring of available electric capacity and distribution of that capacity between stations, ensuring that EVs are always charging as quickly as possible without overloading the system.
Electric Vehicle Energy Management Systems were addressed in the most recent CE Code (2018 – Section 8) to include new definitions in response to evolving EV technology:
• Control of electric vehicle supply equipment loads – the process of connecting, disconnecting, increasing, or reducing power to [electric vehicle] supply equipment.
• Electric Vehicle Energy Management System – a means of controlling [electric vehicle] supply equipment loads comprised of any of the following: a monitor(s), communications equipment, a controller(s), a timer(s), and other applicable device(s).
In relation to multi-unit residential buildings – where increasing numbers of tenants will be home charging their EVs in the coming years – EV charging stations equipped with EVEMS should be considered alongside any electrical upgrades such as LED lighting retrofits in building interiors and parking garages. In new developments, installing EVEMS equipped charging stations helps to future proof developments so they don’t face expensive and intrusive infrastructure upgrades down the road, where 50% of cars could be electric or hybrid within the next 20-30 years.
At Relight we are constantly working to offer cutting edge solutions to our clients, including the best start to finish approach for electrical upgrades, such as installing smart EV charging solutions equipped with EVEMS to ensure smooth service and maximum cost savings through energy-efficient load management.
Contact us to receive your free energy assessment – covering LED lighting and signage upgrades and EV charging solutions.