The literal translation of the word says a lot; Smart charging. And the smart part of it focuses mainly on optimizing the charging process of electric cars (or rather, vehicles). Think of automatic charging at times when this is the smartest (such as when your solar panels provide a lot of electricity) or to divide the charging capacity among the cars that are at a charging point at a certain time.
Why is Smart Charging actually ‘a thing’?
Our charging infrastructure must be smarter; with the growth in the number of electric drivers AND the associated demand for charging points, you can guess that the demand for power, electricity, will only increase. And that electricity must be there, but it must also be able to be supplied.
At the same time, we also look at the smart use of available energy AND we want to make smart choices from a cost-technical point of view for both business and private individuals.
- Consumption peaks
When we are all in the same charging pattern (at home after work plugged in), we inevitably run into a challenge. Put flatly, there is an imbalance between supply and demand; a consumption peak. The grid installations (such as power cables, transformers, etc.) are not (yet) ready for such a load.
Smart charging creates opportunities to spread a better distribution of supply and demand in order to keep the grid in balance.
- Charging costs
If you generate electricity yourself as a private individual using solar panels, smart charging is certainly interesting. The smart charging systems adjust the charging times of your vehicle to the times when your panels produce the most. In many cases, this allows you to use the optimal moments and therefore lower costs for your charge.
- Vehicle to grid
Smart Charging is strongly linked to the possibility of V2G (Vehicle to Grid) where you can, as it were, make flexible use of parked electric cars (vehicles). This describes a technical concept whereby over-produced electricity can be stored and provides a power reserve for times when the large network or home network needs energy. Your electric car thus becomes, as it were, a way of storing electricity.
The same is also being considered for Vehicle to Home, where your car takes on the role of a kind of home battery to store the energy you produce yourself.
- Load multiple vehicles simultaneously
For companies that have several vehicles (fleet), the smart handling of charging moments is of great importance. For example, depending on the number of cars that are charging at a time, it can be determined dynamically and smartly how much each vehicle gets charged.
Suppose a company has 2 charging stations, each of which can supply up to 16 amps, can make up to 25 amps available for charging. Depending on the number of charging cars, the charging session is streamlined: With 1 car charged, the vehicle gets 16 amps (the max of the charging station) and with 2 cars charged, both vehicles get 12.5 amps charged, a fair distribution of the maximum option of 25 amps.