Dynamic Load Balancing
Dynamic Load Balancing Improves Energy Efficiency
Charging electric vehicles may use up a lot of your home's electricity. If an extra EV charger is added to a property without first increasing the amount of electricity available, the property may quickly reach its limit. Adding more electricity to your home is an expensive project. With the help of a smart technology called Dynamic Load Balancing (DLB), your electric vehicle can be charged at full speed without you having to pay to increase your available electricity capacity.
Commercial properties and charging point businesses need a DLB system.
- A commercial property, such as a hotel or service station, may not have been designed for an EV charger installation. The property's capacity needs to be managed carefully to avoid overloading the system.
- Charging point operators almost certainly need DLB controllers. They will be charging many cars. Assuming different charging speeds and battery levels, the best power distribution can be determined in real-time by the DLB controller.
We'll show you what dynamic load balancing is, how you can use it, and even some ways to benefit from "manual" dynamic load balancing.
Why Do We Need Load Balancing?
If you look at the issue dynamic load balancing solves, you can figure out how it works. Electrical circuits have a maximum load and may overheat if too much power is applied.
Most contemporary houses feature circuit breakers that shut off the power if the circuits are overloaded. This is because overloaded circuits may create fires. Also, running multiple power-hungry appliances uses all the available power and will trip the breaker, causing a home power outage.
When the electricity goes out, it's inconvenient and uncomfortable, but you may try shutting off power-hungry equipment to restore it. In this situation, dynamic load balancing may monitor how much power is being used on your circuit and intelligently provide it to the appliances that need it most. This enables several appliances to function without overloading the circuit.
Dynamic Load Balancing: What Does It Mean for EV charging?
Dynamic load balancing is a feature that keeps an eye on how your circuit's energy use changes and gives the available power to different appliances automatically. It evens out the amount of energy used and changes the charging output to your EV based on how much electricity is being used.
DLB also works for a charging station when more than one electric car uses the same electrical circuit to charge. Then, depending on what you choose, dynamic load balancing will either ensure the available power is evenly distributed between the two cars or give one of them more power. This could be useful to send more charging power to the car with the lowest charge level.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Dynamic Load Balancing
Dynamic load balancing seems like an easy decision. It has significant advantages for homeowners and charging station operators:
- After it is installed in the electrical system, little else needs to be done.
- If the homeowner buys a vehicle with a higher charging current, no upgrade is necessary.
- The system can take on two more EV charging devices.
These are significant advantages, but there are some downsides, mostly around installation costs. The cost to get the system connected is higher due to the cost of the device and the extra cabling.
Evaluating Whether You Need a Load Balancer for Your Property
The only way to determine whether you need a load balancing device is to check the power consumption of your property. You can do this in a few ways:
- Simply hire an electrician and have them measure it for you.
- Call your energy company and ask how much unused capacity your property has.
- Measure yourself by subtracting the current draw of all your appliances from the power rating on your main fuse.
Once you know how much available power you have, you can tell whether you need a load balancer. If your EV charger will overload your main fuse, then you need a load balancer.
Other Ways to Control How Much Power Your EV Charger Uses
If you've gone through the above steps, you'll be aware of your home's power consumption and how an EV charger will affect your system. This means you can take some other steps to reduce the loads on your systems. Doing so means you can avoid the cost of a dynamic load balancing EV charger.
Let's cover the two simplest ways to manage the charging power and your main fuse.
Use a charger with lower power output
The simplest choice is to pick a charger that delivers less charging current. A slower charger could take longer, but allows you to protect your home's power distribution. This ties into the second easy way to control your power consumption.
Charge your electric car at night
Charging your car overnight means using energy when the network is least loaded and the prices may be lower. This is a great option for most homeowners because they tend to charge overnight, anyway.
Commercial Dynamic Load Balancing
A better example of the usefulness of a dynamic load balancing system is a charging point operator. These locations serve multiple users on more than a single device regularly. A DLB system gives them the ability to make the most efficient use of available power and charging points.
Here's how it works:
- Multiple cars plug into the system, drawing power from the grid.
- The DLB is constantly monitoring the power draw from each car and their current charge state.
- Power can be distributed to the car that needs it most in response to the charge state of each battery and their charging current potential.
Installing a large amount of DLB systems connected across the grid can create a very flexible system that uses data to avoid a power grid overload.
Here's what we know about dynamic load balancing:
- DLB is a way of changing the amount of power being delivered to a charger to avoid overloading a building's electrical system.
- Homeowners can use DLB to make the most efficient use of energy and save money.
- Businesses need a DLB controller to manage their capacity and deliver the power to the charging station most in need of it.
If you'd like to know more about dynamic load balancing or have questions about other EV technology, please read more of our glossary pages.