What is Smart Charging?
This article will explain smart charging and the features you should look for when choosing a home charge point with smart technology.
What is smart charging?
Smart charging is technology which allows you to monitor, control and optimise your energy usage when charging your electric vehicle.
From July 2019, all government-funded home charge points will need to use smart technology.
Smart technology can range in sophistication, from a basic model where you can only choose when to start charging, to a higher range, class-leading device which gives you a wide range of useful features, such as load balancing, access management of the device, solar charging, billing, data encryption for added security and the ability to update the charge point with over the air (OTA) updates.
What should I look for from smart technology?
Look for multiple connectivity options so you can connect via WiFi or ethernet, for uninterrupted control.
Most basic units are WiFi enabled. WiFi signal outside buildings can often be weak, resulting in unreliable connections. More advanced or high end units can be connected by an ethernet cable. Ethernet is the most reliable connection.
Some units now also have Bluetooth to enable easy set-up and maintenance of the units.
Make sure the unit has OLEV compliant with the ability to connect to a cloud system using an API. Some units have proprietary APIs, which work with only the manufacture’s software and systems.
Some units support OCCP (Open Charge Point Protocol). This is an international standard, meaning it can be connected to any OCCP compatible system.
Choose a device where charging data is stored safely in the cloud, and encrypted to protect your information.
Andersen encrypts our connections with 128-bit encryption and multi-factor authentication for secure private connections. We use enterprise grade AWS and Azure cloud hosting and private connections.
Look for an app for ease of use, which you can control on mobile or desktop. All Andersen charge points include a smart mobile app, which is available on Google Play and downloadable in the Apple store.
Over The Air Updates (OTA)
Some units support over the air updates. This is a great feature which enables the charge point’s software to be updated remotely, delivering improved performance, reliability and support for new features and charging standards.
What features should I look for?
Select when to start and finish charging
This allows you to take advantage of off-peak times when electricity costs are lower, reducing the cost of charging your electric vehicle.
Energy companies such as British Gas, Scottish Power and Engie offer tariffs specifically for electric vehicle owners so you can charge your EV at a time of day when it is cheaper.
Remotely lock the device
Look for a charging point with smart technology that lets you lock and unlock the device remotely. Choose a smart app where family and friends can also lock and unlock the device when you aren’t there.
Energy usage reports
Andersen’s Kønnect app lets you export charge statistics in html, pdf and xls formats so you can keep track of your charging data.
Monitor your charge status and costs
Choose a charge point with smart technology that lets you see charge duration, cost, grid power and charging power. This is clearly shown on the Andersen app Kønnect [images below]:
Kønnect tracks and remembers your electric vehicle’s charging behaviour, so you can easily keep tabs for future reference.
Look for Alexa integration so you can use Alexa to lock and unlock your Andersen, tell you how long you have been charging and how much energy you have used, and how much it has cost you.
Opt for a device with solar charging capabilities, so you can use your surplus local generated solar or wind energy to charge your electric car. This is available with Kønnect Solar Charging from Andersen. Just select the Eco setting mode in the Kønnect app to monitor and choose when you want to use your green energy.
Andersen charge points come with support for two external wired power sensing devices and an integrated Eco generation meter with an accuracy of +/-1 % on current and voltage.