AC CHARGING

Driver Behaviour

There has been a discernible change in the charging habits of electric vehicle drivers with the advent of long range electric cars. Charging at DC charging networks has dropped markedly while charging at home overnight has increased.

 

Drivers prefers home charging. The bigger battery packs in the newer cars negate the need to find charging stations during the day. Drivers of commercial fleet cars behave in a similar manner. Overnight charging is the preferred option.

When to choose AC Charging

AC charging is suitable where the vehicles can charge uninterrupted for 6 to 8 hours

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Markets for AC Charging Stations

The market for AC charging consists of:

  • Individual homes and offices
  • Residential apartments and commercial developments
  • Destination charging at hotels and overnight accommodation
  • Public charging facilities provided by public and private enterprises
  • Public and private car parks

Charging speeds at AC stations depend on the size of the battery pack in the vehicle, the rate at which the vehicle can draw power and the capacity of the charging station to deliver the power.

AC charging stations can deliver power at a rate of between 7 kW and 22 kW.

Most electric vehicles on the road draw at between 7 kW and 11 kW.

Some hybrids only draw at 3.1 kW.

The Renault Zoe draws at the full 22 kW AC.

Single phase AC charging stations are normally sufficient for overnight charging.

A single phase charging station rated to 7 kW provides 42 kWh in 6 hours.

The average electric car driver uses 10 kWh per day.

Most drivers will only need a top up overnight.

Twin socket three phase 22 kW AC charging stations allow two cars to charge at the same time.

Each car gets 11 kW each, or 22 kW each if the station is rated to 44 kW (kW figures for illustration purposes only).

A twin socket station is normally cheaper to install than two single socket stations.

AC charging stations are relatively cheap to install.

The payback period depends on the utilisation of the charging stations and the profit margin per kWh.

Commercial street AC charging competes with home charging.

Electric vehicle drivers are reluctant to pay more for power at a public charging stations then they would pay at home.

Commercial AC charging providers may find it difficult to compete with home charging given that domestic power rates are generally much cheaper than commercial rates.

AC Charging for Commercial Developments

Multi-node overnight AC charging in commercial developments, residential apartments and overnight accommodation is a much more attractive business proposition because the occupant will need to charge overnight. The stations are much more likely to have a high utilisation rate.

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Choosing an AC Charging Station

Most AC charging stations provided by the different manufacturers have similar physical characteristics. However, the on-board DC leakage protection, networking, load management, payment systems and housing configurations offered by the various manufacturers can differ. There are other features such as integration with Solar PV and remote control via a Bluetooth smart phone app that are only available in certain models.

AC Charging Station Essential Features

An AC charging station should have at least the following features

  • On-board DC Leakage Protection

    This is now a legal requirement. DC leakage protection is implemented either by a DC leakage device in combination with an MCB or a Type B RCD. DC leakage protection must be on-board the station. Twin socket stations must have separate DC leakage for each socket. This is most commonly implemented by installing 2 Type B RCDs.

  • Australian Standards

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AC Charging Station Optional Features

An AC charging station should have at least the following features

  • Remote charging activation via a timer
  • Remote control via Smart Phone
  • Integration with a CT clamp load balancing system so that the charging station load sheds when the house approaches its maximum permissible mains current (14 kW for a single phase house)
  • Adjustable power limits
  • Access control
  • Lockable with a key
  • RFID card Via smart phone app
  • Twin socket option – one station serves two parking spaces
  • Bollard mounting and wall mounted options
  • Embedded load management in twin socket stations
  • Surge protection
  • Networking
  • Connectable to a back end network management system using OCPP
  • Ethernet and/or 4G
  • Billing
  • Integration with backend billing systems for paid charging stations
  • Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) 1.6+ compatible. The station should be directly connectable to any OCPP compatible network management system. Some stations on the market can only be connected to the manufacturer’s network. OCPP connectivity is provided through a gateway on the manufacturer’s network. This is a security risk because the charging station provider has no control over the gateway side of the network and cannot install IOT intrusion detection devices on the manufacturer’s network.
  • Facility to dial down the power output of the charging station
  • Easy to install
  • LCD screen for messaging and instructions and should be daylight readable
  • RFID card and Optional credit card reader
  • ISO / IEC14443A
  • B MIFARE Classic
  • DESFire EV1
  • ISO 18092 / ECMA-340
  • NFC 13.56MHz
  • Rated to IP 65 and IK 10
  • Cable length 5 meter or more
  • Max ambient operating temperature +50 Celsius

Must have on-board DC leakage protection

Twin socket stations must have separate DC leakage for each socket. This is most commonly implemented by installing 2 Type B RCDs.

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