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 static dynamic load balancing.

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 truly dynamic load balancing.

Dynamic load balancing example

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

(Static) Dynamic load balancing example

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.

(Truly) Dynamic load balancing example

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.


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.

Dynamic load balancing

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.

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.

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 charging limits are redistributed for the charging area.

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.