With the increasing popularity of electric vehicles in Canada, there are new challenges in managing electrical capacity while servicing charging stations, especially in commercial and multi-use residential buildings. While many businesses are choosing to install EV charging stations to meet the needs of customers, staff, and tenants, there is some risk of the total load exceeding energy capacity. That’s where EV energy management systems (EVEMS) come in.
An EVEMS controls the total load capacity used by EV chargers, allowing for maximum charging speeds without the risk of overloading overload the conductors or distribution equipment. There are many options when it comes to choosing an EVEMS. Some operate automatically while others allow an administrator to manually override and control, monitor and manage loads.
According to Canada Energy Regulator projections, EV’s and plug-in hybrid vehicles will account for 35% of new vehicle sales by 2030 and close to 57% by 2035. (See our post on the case for installing EV charging stations here.) While this represents a positive shift away from fossil fuels as an energy source, it also brings a set of unique challenges that come with additional demands on the electrical grid.
One option commercial and multi-unit residential buildings will face is the option to increase service size, but that can be complex, time-consuming and extremely cost-prohibitive. This is what makes EVEMS such an attractive option as more and more condos and businesses are looking to install EV charging stations.
Installing an EVEMS with charging stations is a great option to consider alongside other cost and energy-saving measures such as commercial LED lighting and signage retrofits. While retrofits create extra space on the electric service which can then be put towards EV charging, EVEMS allows real-time monitoring of available electric capacity and distribution of that capacity between stations, ensuring that EVs are always charging as quickly as possible without overloading the system.
Electric Vehicle Energy Management Systems were addressed in the most recent CE Code (2018 – Section 8) to include new definitions in response to evolving EV technology:
• Control of electric vehicle supply equipment loads – the process of connecting, disconnecting, increasing, or reducing power to [electric vehicle] supply equipment.
• Electric Vehicle Energy Management System – a means of controlling [electric vehicle] supply equipment loads comprised of any of the following: a monitor(s), communications equipment, a controller(s), a timer(s), and other applicable device(s).
In relation to multi-unit residential buildings – where increasing numbers of tenants will be home charging their EVs in the coming years – EV charging stations equipped with EVEMS should be considered alongside any electrical upgrades such as LED lighting retrofits in building interiors and parking garages. In new developments, installing EVEMS equipped charging stations helps to future proof developments so they don’t face expensive and intrusive infrastructure upgrades down the road, where 50% of cars could be electric or hybrid within the next 20-30 years.
At Relight we are constantly working to offer cutting edge solutions to our clients, including the best start to finish approach for electrical upgrades, such as installing smart EV charging solutions equipped with EVEMS to ensure smooth service and maximum cost savings through energy-efficient load management.
Contact us to receive your free energy assessment – covering LED lighting and signage upgrades and EV charging solutions.
There are many advantages to retrofitting commercial signage to LED technology, including energy cost savings and a lower environmental impact. Here are five reasons to consider an LED sign retrofit for your business today:
It’s no secret that LED technology is more energy-efficient than its traditional fluorescent counterpart. LED signs use up to 80% less energy than fluorescent and neon signs. Investing in an LED sign retrofit means your signage energy costs will be just a fraction of what they were previously. Our customers often note this substantial savings is seen almost immediately, quickly cancelling out the cost of the signage retrofit.
We work with our customers and complete the paperwork for rebates through BC Hydro to ensure our customers get the best rebates possible for LED lighting conversions, including LED signage retrofits. This means in addition to substantial savings through lower energy bills, and customers see a faster ROI on LED sign retrofits.
Did you know that LED signs last exponentially longer than their traditional alternatives? Incandescent bulbs last up to 1000 hours and fluorescent bulbs last up to 10,000 hours, whereas LED bulbs last anywhere from 30,000 hours to 50,000 hours. Therefore one of the biggest cost advantages of investing in LED sign retrofits – aside from substantial energy savings – is through the long life span of LEDs. This means less maintenance, fewer repairs, and lower replacement costs than the shorter life span of fluorescent and neon signage. LED signs are also extremely durable, making them suitable for indoor and outdoor signage. They have sturdy, weather-resistant components, and they will never burn out suddenly. Instead, they dim over time, which allows you to plan for maintenance rather than emergency repairs.
LED signage means brighter and more consistent illumination when done by qualified installers. This creates a better aesthetic and makes the signage easy to see from up close and from a distance. At Relight, we also offer LED signage with dimming controls, which allows you to configure the brightness of your signage. This brighter and even illumination provided by LED signage means no warm-up time, even in winter conditions. It’s far superior to “flickering” neon lights and fluorescent technology, which takes time to achieve full brightness.
One of the most significant benefits of upgrading to LED signage is that LED lights are 100% recyclable. They have far less environmental impact than fluorescent signs, which contain harmful chemicals such as mercury. With a much shorter lifespan than LEDs, fluorescent lightbulbs cause considerable waste, chemical contamination, and harm to the environment when disposed of. Compared to fluorescent and neon technology, LED signage also runs on lower voltage, meaning there is less chance of environmental damage due to fires.
At Relight, we have been helping businesses upgrade to LED signage for over seven years; in fact, LED signage is at the heart of our business. We keep up to date on the latest LED technology, as well as the latest sign and installation technologies allowing us to ensure our customers get the best value out of LED sign retrofits. We employ qualified installers and work closely with BC Hydro so customers can see the quickest return on investment. Contact us today for your free quote!