Smappee Cascade Overload Protection is a unique new feature that allows businesses to enjoy a higher level of dynamic overload protection. This smart solution extends dynamic overload protection to all secondary fuse boxes in complex electrical setups with multiple levels of hierarchy, avoiding breaker tripping altogether. That’s not possible with typical dynamic load balancing.
Charging an electric vehicle requires a lot of energy. But just how much?
On an annual basis, a single electric vehicle (EV) requires approximately the same amount of electrical energy as an average household. However, unlike households where energy consumption is spread over 24 hours a day, most EVs charge for only a few hours a day at a power of 11 kW. This is equivalent to about five electric kettles running simultaneously.
Now imagine an office block or factory with several EV chargers for staff and visitors and having two, twelve, or twenty electric vehicles charging at the same time. The strain on the building’s power network will be huge and makes it easy for the power to trip and all work and vehicle charging to come to a standstill.
That is why dynamic overload protection is so important.
What is dynamic overload protection?
Smappee’s smart energy management technology works inside the primary fuse box and automatically monitors, controls, and balances the energy flow in a building with the energy needs of EV charging.
When the demand from the building increases, Smappee’s dynamic overload protection reduces the electric charge going to the EV chargers, while also considering the driver requirements.
Once the building’s demand decreases, the EVs will return to a higher charge. In this way, the load is balanced to ensure that work continues, and the vehicles are charged and ready when drivers want to leave.
This happens automatically and quietly behind the scenes so that home and business owners have complete peace of mind, knowing that their power won’t trip. Smappee estimates that currently their system’s dynamic overload protection monitors as many as 2 500 sessions at any given moment of a day, making sure that tripping is avoided, and life can go on.
Why Smappee introduced Cascade Overload Protection
Until now, dynamic overload protection has only been able to monitor the primary fuse box and adjust the energy flow through that board. If the energy demand from electric vehicles exceeds the available capacity on the secondary board, it would trip, and all vehicles would stop charging.
Smappee therefore saw the need for further overload protection and developed a unique new solution for businesses. Built around the powerful capacity of the Smappee Infinity energy monitor, together with Smappee’s smart charging solution, Cascade Overload Protection gives comprehensive protection against tripping.
This makes it possible to monitor and manage all secondary fuse boxes with multiple levels of hierarchy, also via the Smappee dashboard, to ensure that they don’t trip and interrupt business activities and EV charging.
After rigorous beta testing with the help of 20 companies in different industries, Smappee can confidently say that Cascade Overload Protection saves money and protects revenue.
The figure above shows a typical set–up with a primary fuse box for the building and a secondary fuse box for the EV chargers. This is a typical case where Cascade Overload Protection might be used. The incoming grid connection has a capacity of 400A. However, the EV chargers are connected to a secondary distribution board some distance away from the primary board. The cable between the primary and secondary boards is only rated for 200A. Therefore there are two restrictions: all EV chargers combined can use no more than 200A; AND the site as a whole (including the office building) can use no more than 400A.
Stepping up the safeguarding of your business with Smappee’s new Cascade Overload Protection
Like dynamic overload protection, Cascade Overload Protection kicks in before the threshold on any fuse box is reached. In the example below, the threshold for the secondary fuse box is 200 amperes but the electric vehicles are drawing 256 amperes. Without Cascade Overload Protection, this fuse will trip, and all charging sessions will be halted.
In the figure above eight EVs use 22 kW to charge, and the total power required exceeds the threshold on the secondary fuse box and will make it trip. Smappee Cascade Overload Protection will detect this risk before it happens and adapt the power supply to the EVs so that the business and the chargers continue to work uninterrupted.
Now you can rest assured that your building and business operations are protected (no tripping).
Benefits of Smappee Cascade Overload Protection
1. No tripping.
Even in complex electrical installations, all parts are protected against overload. There won’t be any interruption to the power flow, and everything will continue as normal.
2. Reduces installation costs.
There is no need for oversized electrical installations. For instance, if you have 20 EV Bases, they could consume a maximum of 20 x 2 x 32 = 1280A. Without Cascade Overload Protection you would need to have infrastructure that can handle this maximum load.
However, in practice, it will rarely happen that both connectors on all 20 chargers are in use simultaneously, and all of them certainly won’t ever charge at their maximum speed at the same time. So, with Cascade Overload Protection, it would be adequate if you foresee cables rated for, for example, 500A. That would save a lot of money.
3. No inconvenience to drivers.
With Cascade Overload Protection, drivers’ needs will still be considered and met so that they will be able to leave as planned and drive the distance required. A reduced power supply won’t leave them without enough charge to go about their business.
4. Protects revenue.
By balancing the load to avoid tripping, your business revenue is protected: Customers won’t be unhappy, production won’t be halted and income from public charging stations won’t be cut off.
5. Easy to use and hands-free.
Once it has been set up, you don’t have to do anything more. Smappee’s AI does the work for you.
6. Works in multi-gateway setups.
Smappee’s Cascade Overload Protection safeguards complex electrical set-ups, even on large sites where multiple electrical sub-panels are positioned far away from the primary panel.
7. More data means better control.
Being able to monitor your main and secondary fuse boxes will give you even more data on your energy use and can help to improve your overall energy management. And better energy management means greater savings.