When you buy electric vehicle charging stations, you have a choice: do you choose charging stations with or without a charging network? With networked charging stations, you can use cloud-based charging software to manage and monitor your property’s charging stations. Station owners can set pricing, create member groups to control access, and view reports on usage, sustainability, and revenue. Drivers can view station status and pay for a charging session with a mobile app. But smart charging stations can do more than control access or payments. They can also support energy efficiency on the local and regional levels.

The newest and most important charging station feature: load management. Here are two ways that networked charging stations can help manage electrical load and energy efficiency.

Static Load Management

Through static load management, property managers can set a maximum power capacity for their facility. If property management is concerned about too many users charging at the same time and driving up the electrical bill, the station administrator can log into the station management software to set a maximum power capacity. This can help properties with limited capacity or large scale charging programs. A property with 30 charging stations could scale down power to the stations, thus reducing the load on the transformer. Or the property could program individual stations to deliver 20amp instead of the full 30amp to vehicles. With the SemaConnect Network for station owners, it’s easier to minimize costs and offer versatile charging amenities to tenants and employees.

Dynamic Load Management

Load management is not just for property managers – it helps the utility manage the grid, too. As more drivers buy electric vehicles and plug into the grid, utilities are realizing the value of an EV demand response program. That’s why the best EV charging stations use ADR 2.0b, the current standard for managing demand response signals. Networked, ADR-compliant charging stations allow utility providers to throttle energy flow based on grid demand. During peak energy events, utilities can automatically reduce the flow of electricity at charging stations, so millions of vehicles plugging in at 5pm won’t cause a summer blackout. Users can even receive notifications before an “energy savings day” so they can plan ahead before plugging in when the station has reduced power.

SemaConnect charging stations are ADR 2.0b certified, and select properties are already participating in several load management pilot programs. In these pilot programs, participating utilities reduce energy flow to charging stations at select properties. EV drivers receive notifications before these energy events, so they can plan ahead for longer charging sessions at the reduced charging speed.

Smart charging stations with load management features are the future of EV charging in smart cities. Want to learn more about setting up your property or utility’s EV demand response program? Contact your SemaConnect sales manager today to get started.