Areas

The top level of the charging infrastructure is the charging area, which can represent one parking lot, a building, a basement, etc. It is a place for charging electric vehicles.

Topics in this document:

To access this section in EV Charge, from the Menu, click Areas.

Charging area explained

A charging area is where a charging infrastructure is located; the beginning of the charging infrastructure is the charging area.

A charging area or multiple charging areas can belong to an operator. Also, a charging area can have multiple charging stations.

The primary idea/usefulness of creating a charging area is to group chargers linked to the same power source into one charging area. This is because the charging area’s main functionality is the ability to do dynamic load balancing.

Charging area example

Suppose you have a building with limited power capability and a few charging stations in the basement.

You can create one charging area for those charging stations since they are from the same power source. Then, you provide the maximum capability for the power source, and EV Charge will be able to dynamically allocate the load on the currently active chargers based on the limit on the charging area. This is called dynamic load balancing with the static limit.

Now, suppose residents live in the building who consume out of the power supply.

You can have a smart meter that feeds live data into EV Charge on total building consumption at the moment, which means EV Charge knows how much power is being pulled by the residents and therefore knows how much power it can give to the active chargers. This is called dynamic load balancing with the dynamic limit.

Dynamic load balancing

Dynamic load balancing is about the distribution of energy flow between all the electric vehicles charging on the charging area’s connectors.

Dynamic load balancing is manageable on the area level. It means that we can set different load balancing settings for each area. Areas contain charging stations with chargers and connectors. Tridens EV Charge then dynamically allocates the available energy flow of an area to the active charging sessions on chargers of that area.

Energy supply is dynamically allocated among the active sessions. So if available power supply on that area is 100kW, this power can be distributed among currently active sessions. Redistributions among the sessions happen in time intervals or when new session becomes active, or when the session ends.

Static or dynamic limits can be applied for the area. Static limits are determined by area’s static limit on the Balancing Profile or by area’s Area Limit Period, meanwhile the dynamic limits are defined by the Asset measured reports or by updating Area Limit Periods by energy forecast or demand-supply systems.

Load balancing example with the static limit

A charging area has five 50kW chargers and a dedicated power source capable of fully supporting three chargers at maximum power (150kW). Therefore, you set a static limit of 150kW on the charging area because the limit is always known.

Load balancing basic example with the dynamic limit

A charging area has five 50kW chargers and a power source capable of 150kW. Also, there are other consumers in the form of an asset consuming out of the power—for example, an apartment.

Therefore, you cannot set the maximum power limit for the chargers to 150kW because other consumers can pull from the power source. Instead, you install a smart meter that tells EV Charge how much power is drawn from other consumers in real-time—for example, 20kW. Then, EV Charge can dynamically calculate the maximum power threshold for the chargers, which will be 150kW - 20kW = 130kW.

Load balancing advanced example with the dynamic limit

Area of chargers has the static limit of 60kW total power available. As balancing by asset is enabled, the total power limit of 60kW is overridden by live reports of ‘meter’ type asset, if there is any configured. Let’s say that there are 4 sessions active on the chargers of an area. As meter asset is reporting 40kW available at the moment, 40kW is the total power available for all the charging chargers on area for the sessions. As distribution strategy is set to ‘equal’, 40kW will be distributed equally among the four active sessions, meaning that each session gets 10kW of power supply.

Once meter asset reports 44kW available, each sessions gets 11kW. Lets say that after an hour, there are 10 active sessions on the chargers of area and meter asset reports only 30kW available. If 30kW would be equally distributed, each session would receive 3kW of power supply, but that is below the minimum supply limit configuration, which is 5kW. At that moment, fallout strategy applies, which is set to ‘round allocation’ and it means that the central system of Tridens EV Charge will calculate and instruct the minimum power supply among as many sessions as possible.

For 30kW available, the earlier started six sessions will receive 5kW, meanwhile the latest four sessions will be halted temporarily. At each redistribution interval, the round allocation switches the sessions, so over time, the redistribution is fairly allocated among all the active sessions. If in the meantime one of the sessions is done, the next applicable session obtains the power supply and if new session starts, it is placed to the last position of the round allocation and will start getting power supply in the upcoming redistributions.

Load balancing advanced example with the dynamic limit

Figure: Load balancing advanced example with the dynamic limit


Under Areas, there are two sections, namely:

  1. List view
  2. Map view

List view

Under the list view, a paginated list of all charging areas is shown in a tabular format.

To generate the areas list in a spreadsheet, click CSV. To print, click Print, and to copy, click Copy.


Four actions/subpages can be performed/viewed under this section, namely:

Create area

Under areas, to create an area, click Create new. It has four sections, namely:

  1. Info
  2. Location
  3. Dynamic load balancing
  4. Summary

Info

Under the info section, provide a name and code.

Additionally, you can provide support contact information for the charging area. It includes a name, phone number, and email address. They are only used for information purposes.

The charging area can be assigned to an operator. Then, if the operator logs in to their account, they can see the charging area and all the stations and chargers linked to that area.

Furthermore, any number of custom attributes can be added. They store information in key-value pairs and are intended to store additional information for the charging area.

Location

Under this section, provide a physical address for the charging area. The address is crucial; it is where the chargers linked to the charging area will show up on the map both for you in EV Charge and end users in the EV Charge - Mobile App. Hence, configuring this section matters in presenting the chargers to the end users.

Areas hierarchy

Hierarchy of areas can be used if there is one larger location, e.g., a shopping centre with further sub-locations. Each sub-location is thus more accurately located on the map and may also have a distinct power source, which can be important aspect in the scope of load balancing.

Example of area “Shopping Centre” which has 3 sub areas:

Area “Hall A”

Area “Lake Side”

Area “Amusement Park”

It is up to the operator to decide on how to represent their charging infrastructure location for the best experience and management.

Dynamic load balancing configuration

Under this section, dynamic load balancing can be enabled or disabled.

The following input fields are shown once dynamic load balancing is enabled:

Electric output limit type

The electric output limit type can either be power or current. The difference is the unit in which the rate limit amounts are configured for every consumption of electric vehicles in a charging area.

The electric output limit type determines whether load balancing limits are specified for power (wattage) or current (amperage).

Electric output limit

The electric output limit represents the general electric consumption limit for the charging area. If configured, the chargers in the charging area will be limited and will not exceed the configured value for active sessions.

For example, suppose the electric output limit type is configured as Power, and the value for the electric output limit is 150000W. This means that the value (consumption) for all active charging sessions for that area will not exceed 150kW.

Balancing by asset

Balancing by asset indicates whether measured values of related asset are considered for load balancing on the charging area. Asset’s reported measured value determines the limit of the area for load balancing.

Limit periods

The limit periods represent energy flow rate consumption limits of charging electric vehicles in a one-time/scheduled range for that charging area. Limit periods override the energy flow rate output limit of the charging area’s balancing profile for the specific time range.

Area Limit Periods can be used by the energy forecast or demand-supply management systems, as they can control the measurements and power supply rules which can be then used by Tridens EV Charge to control the dynamic load management.

Priority levels

The priority levels option utilizes the level of the customer’s subscribed plans with the energy flow rate consumption limit in scope of dynamic load balancing.

Distribution strategy

The distribution strategy indicates how electricity consumption is distributed among the charging consumers (active charging sessions).

Configuring the Distribution strategy to Equal means that if load balancing is being done (has to reduce power output on one of the active chargers), it will divide between all active sessions equally.

Alternatively, suppose the Distribution strategy is configured to First in first charged; in that case, it will give maximum power to whoever started charging first and slowly redistribute it when the person finishes charging.

Fallout strategy

The fallout strategy only applies when an Equal distribution strategy is chosen. This is where you define the method when not all active charging sessions can be supplied with the minimum electric output. The rule determines which sessions continue to charge.

Configuring the Fallout strategy to First in means that the electric output is provided on the sessions which started earlier.

Alternatively, configuring the Fallout strategy to Round allocation means that the electric output is fairly allocated over time to all the active sessions (consumers)—using the round-robin algorithm.

Redistribution interval

The redistribution interval in seconds denotes the time range after which the Tridens EV Charge redistributes the charging limits among the active charging sessions of area. Redistribution is automatically handled when the asset limit is updated.

Minimum supply

The minimum supply denotes the minimum power/current to provide for the consumer who is charging—it relates to the electric output limit type of the balancing profile.

Maximum supply

The maximum supply denotes the maximum power/current to provide for the consumer who is charging—it relates to the electric output limit type of the balancing profile.

For example, if you set the value to 10000 per charger, even if a particular charger has a 50kW capacity, the charging area limit will not let it go above 10kW.

Custom attributes

Any number of custom attributes can be added. They store information in key-value pairs and are intended to store any additional information.

Summary

This section presents the information filled out in the previous three sections and can be reviewed before the charging area is created.

Details area page

Under areas, to see the full details of a charging area, click Details. It contains the following:

  • Name
  • Code
  • Location
  • Geographic coordinate system
  • Support contact name, phone, and email (if any)
  • Dynamic load balancing configurations (if enabled)
  • Any added custom attribute

Update area

Under areas, to update a charging area, first, click Details; it shows the details of the area. Then to update, click Update.

Delete area

Under areas, to delete a charging area, click Delete.

Map view

Under the map view, all charging areas are shown on a map. By selecting a specific Area on the map, it shows the driving distance away from the charging area. In addition, it shows the name and location of the charging area, including the chargers and assets linked to the charging area.


Charging infrastructure

The charging infrastructure (hierarchy) in EV Charge constitutes the following:

Operator* Area Charging station Charger Connector.

(*) means it is optional.