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What is dynamic load balancing for electric charging stations and why use it?

An electric charging station consumes a great deal of energy. However, household electrical installations are generally not designed to deliver this level of power. Dynamic load balancing means that you can install charging stations without having to increase the power of your connection.

Depending on the situation, a household charging station can deliver up to 11 kW (11,000 watts) of power to an electric vehicle. By way of comparison, an "A" class washing machine requires on average 1 kW to 1.5 kW (1,000 watts to 1,500 watts) of power. Installing a charging station adds a considerable load to your household electrical system.

When several energy-hungry electrical appliances are running at the same time, circuits can become overloaded. This will cause the circuit breaker to trip, cutting off power in order to protect the circuits.

In order to avoid this, you may need to reinforce the existing connection or opt for a new one. In the case of an apartment building, this operation may entail significant costs and require special authorisations.

Load balancing: smart power management

In order to prevent circuits from overheating without changing connections, another solution is to install a dynamic load balancing system, also known as Load Balancing or EMS (Electric Management System).

It will constantly monitor your circuit's electrical loads and adjust in real time the power consumed by the electric vehicle. This is also the case if you have several charging stations, or in the case of apartment buildings.

If, for example, several cars are connected at the same time, load balancing may decide to slow down the charging of one of the cars until additional power becomes available. This means that you can install one or more charging stations without having to opt for a more powerful circuit.

Without load balancing:

Sans équilibrage des charges

The power available does not allow all cars to be charged simultaneously. There is a risk of overloading.

With load balancing:

Avec équilibrage des charges

The loading power is dynamically adapted to the available power.
All cars can then be charged simultaneously at reduced power taking into account their needs.

Advantages of load balancing

Accordingly, dynamic load balancing offers a number of advantages:

  • Protection of the installation: dynamic load balancing adjusts the energy consumption of charging stations automatically so that they do not overload the electrical circuit of your system.
  • Easily expandable: the installation of new charging stations is made easier and requires fewer costly interventions such as adding cables, meters, fuses, etc.
  • Greater efficiency: as the available power can be adjusted for all cars, the power per car will be lower when there are many cars, but higher when charging a limited number of cars.

One criterion to be taken into consideration

Dynamic load balancing is then a guarantee of efficiency and safety when charging electric vehicles.

However, not all electric charging stations will allow you to use load balancing. When choosing your charging station, make sure it is compatible with smart charging.

In Brussels, the use of a load balancing system is also mandatory in certain cases. This is particularly the case when the installed power of the charging stations exceeds the power made available by the grid operator for electric charging.

Given the advantages of dynamic load balancing, this is an important criterion to consider when choosing a charging station.

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