Comprehensive solution for cable management, usage management, safe charging, and lower electricity costs
The era of electric vehicles (EVs) has arrived. According to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the number of license registrations for EVs in Taiwan grew 84% in 2020 compared with the previous year. Private home charging will dominate the EV charging ecosystem in the future, leading to a rise in demand for home charging infrastructure and facilities. In the past, construction developers did not anticipate the need for community charging, they did not reserve additional space for electric power and cable distribution, which poses some difficulty and impediments to future charger installations.
In addition to offering a total solution for EV charging, Delta has introduced the concept of “master planning” to help existing communities undergo planning and restructuring to ensure the safe use and unified control of EV chargers and electricity. This is intended to provide the best solution to address the needs of community management and resident charging.
The EV trend makes the need for community charging impossible to ignore
Walking into one particular underground parking lot in a mid-sized community in Northern Taiwan reveals 30 brand-new EV chargers neatly mounted on the wall. This setup is representative of the Community Charging Master Plan, officially launched in February 2021and duly designed and planned by Delta’s team. Since last year, residents of one of the most renowned landmark communities in Northern Taiwan, with apartment buildings aged 7 years and containing more than a hundred households, have already expressed the need for EV charging stations.
Regardless, installing chargers in existing buildings can cause problems with the power distribution, leading to both safety and management issues. Therefore, in November of last year, as advised by Delta’s distributor, the community adopted a master plan that considers electric power, cabling, equipment safety, and maintenance needs. The homeowner association of the community proceeded with installing basic power facilities paid not with community-shared funds, but with money crowdfunded from 56 households who signed up for a charger.
An all-bases-covered master plan for cheaper and safer community charging
Generally, the power supply problem must first be addressed if an existing community or building were to install EV charging stations in its parking lot. If residents were to install home EV chargers by connecting them to their electricity meter, the improper installation might cause power outages in the area and a massive surge in electricity costs. Using community-shared electricity also limits the number of chargers that can be installed and can easily lead to disputes about electricity bills and who gets priority installation.
Houses and EVs are high-value assets, the safety of which is critical. Thus, qualified electrical engineers are required to closely inspect existing power lines and devise new plans for circuit configurations, cable installation, and backend management facilities. Furthermore, these are done under the premise that existing firefighting facilities and cable connections remain undisturbed.
Take this community as an example. Delta first checked with Taipower for the community’s remaining electricity quota and then submitted a new application to install independent electricity meters exclusively for EVs. The community has three floors of basement parking (B1–B3). Each floor has been equipped with an independent electricity meter connected to the DeltaGrid® EV Management system, which features an energy management function to limit the current flow for multiple chargers, to prevent power overload, and to mitigate fire risks. The system also has a scheduling function to allow for charging at different times in up to 56 parking spaces to ensure that car owners can finish charging their EV.
EVs consume a considerable amount of electricity. The ideal master plan for the community charging can reduce the overall power usage of the whole community and ensure safety. In addition, the right backend system will help with managing charging times so that EVs are charged at night during off-peak hours, thereby helping EV owners save on electricity bills.
Unified charger specification for both aesthetic benefits and easy management
When installing chargers in this community, the electrical engineer made plans to place the dedicated cable trays above the parking lanes to avoid disturbing existing cables and firefighting systems. Compared with residents’ private installation, in which cables are pulled from their own electricity meter, this design meant that cables could be shorter. Any resident wishing to install a charger can also use the cables from the overhead cable tray and extend them to their own parking space, thus keeping the parking space neat and tidy. Compact, smartly designed AC Mini Plus chargers, ideal for slow overnight charging, has been mounted on the wall of each car owner’s parking space, creating an aesthetically pleasing and expandable space without compromising car mobility.
Delta 7kW AC Mini Plus
The AC Mini Plus is a 7-kW charger ideal for slow overnight charging and features the following:
- CNS15511 certification and coverage under Delta’s product liability insurance;
- Built-in RFID reader for authorized users to start charging their EVs as soon as they pay with their credit card;
- Built-in communication functions that support Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP);
- IP55 protection against dust and water ingress and IK08 protection against impact;
- A small and smart design that takes up minimal parking space and is applicable for both wall-mount and pedestal installation; and
Electrical protection mechanisms, such as over-temperature and ground fault detection, ensure the safety of users, cars, and property.
(Find more residential charger：https://www.deltaevcharging.com/application-residential)
DeltaGrid® EV Management
Using the same EV charger model provides aesthetic benefits, satisfies power demand, and renders consistent IT communication. In the case of this mid-sized community in Northern Taiwan, the DeltaGrid® EV Management backend system is used in all EV chargers so that the community manager and homeowner association are kept informed of the status of every charger. With respect to pricing and charges, the backend system also provides membership and account management services, using pre-authorized RFID card and account top-up functions to charge users and ensure fair payment among users.
In addition, using the same software and hardware system facilitates charger maintenance. Simply by learning the same set of software and hardware equipment, a site operator can carry out simple day-to-day maintenance, which greatly reduces the response time for future troubleshooting issues. Servicing and maintaining charging facilities can also be included as part of the community’s regular inspection process, while the master plan of using a single supplier also makes accountability clearer.
A safe, aesthetically pleasing community charging environment
The master charging plan for this mid-sized community details how cables are deployed, how chargers with the same specs are installed, and how the backend management system is set up. By executing this plan, Delta has created a safe, aesthetically pleasing community charging environment that is friendly to both residents and the homeowner association. The master plan completely has transformed the community’s infrastructure in a way that not only fulfills multiple purposes but also leaves room for extra chargers that residents may need in the future, thereby adding more value to the entire community.
A full day of charging, starting with the community
This case of home charging is not an isolated case. EVs have gone mainstream in Taiwan, as major automobile manufacturers launch new EV models and the government introduces policies that favor EVs. As the number of EV owners in Taiwan continues to grow, how to aid the master planning of community home charging to achieve full-day charging for car owners will be an issue that new property developers and existing communities must tackle.