SmartMeter: How to balance energy consumption and network capacity?

One of the most common problems when charging an electric car at home or an electric fleet in cour company is the risk that charging at high power in combination with the operation of other appliances will cause the circuit breaker to trip. Increasing the reserved current is not always possible and can also be expensive. The solution comes in the form of OlifeEnergy SmartMeter, which manages the charging of the electric vehicle so that neither the contracted limits are exceeded nor the circuit breaker is tripped

Charging electric cars at home or at the company’s headquarters is very convenient, but it can also bring complications. For example, if your reserved wattage, or the “size of your circuit breaker” is not sufficient to allow you to charge your electric car and operate other demanding appliances, such as the electric stove, heater, boiler, production machines, etc., without problems. It can easily happen that your car causes the tripping of the breaker of that you overshoot the 15-minute maximum defined in your contract, resulting in expensive fines.

There are several solutions to this situation. The most obvious one is to simply install a circuit breaker large enough to ensure that the limits are never exceeded. However, this entails relatively high initial and monthly costs and sometimes it is not even possible. Often the distribution network does not have sufficient reserves, so the energy supplier simply cannot allow a larger circuit breaker – or the increase is only available in a long time, sometimes even 18 months.

Another way to deal with this inconvenience is simply to keep the consumption in mind at all times. You could call it “appliance micromanagement”. You simply make sure that you don’t turn on, say, the heater or the stove when you’re charging, or that you don’t charge when you need other appliances. But that’s probably not the sort of thing you dreamed of when you bought a rather expensive electric car.

Fortunately, OlifeEnergy has a much more elegant and convenient solution for you. It comes in the form of the SmartMeter electronic control unit, which controls the power output of the Wallbox according to the actual consumption of the other devices so that the permissible limits are never exceeded. This way, you can safely plug in your electric car and let it charge, safe in the knowledge that the charging rate will adapt to the rest of the household – and, for example, when appliances are inactive at night, the car can charge at its maximum rate.

The SmartMeter is installed in the main cabinet and monitors the total household consumption in real time. It also stores the value of the main circuit breaker and can easily calculate how much power is available – it then sends instructions to the Wallbox, which adjusts the charging current to avoid exceeding the circuit breaker’s capacity, or the fifteen-minute maximum. At the same time, it charges the electric vehicle with the maximum power available at the time.

SmartMeter is compatible with all Olife Energy chargers, i.e. Wallbox, DoubleBox, and AC and DC Charger.

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