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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I work for the NHS and the team that I work with uses lease cars to carry out the work. We now have the Corsa but no EV charging point. We also want to change over all the cars to EV (this would be about ten cars) so would need a bank of points. Currently we are relying on public charging, but this isn't a good option long term.

We have looked at installation, but the building is at maximum capacity and so is the whole site.

So are there any other options we could look at?
 

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There are various ways of load balancing available such that charging can be achieved during periods of lower demand from other equipment, but without knowledge of the site's usage it's impossible to judge. The only other possibilities are off-site storage and fast charging or staying with Rapid charging with its associated costs in equipment and staff time.
 

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Difficult to know without more information. How much charging do you think you'd need every day? You might be able to install a couple of chargepoints, rather than ten. There are chargepoints which limit what they draw, to stay within the capacity your building has.

If you can't upgrade the supply - likely to be too costly - not sure what other options there are.
 

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Over here loads of places have a similar problem with a lack of capacity it was something that reared its head when electric showers were popular as lots of houses did not have enough spare capacity to run one. Some clever bloke here came up with a box called a shower priority unit and they sold like hot cakes. We had a house with one of these things and the way it worked was to only allow one out of two heavy loads to work at any one time from the same supply. Our box was set up so that the cooker and the power to the hot press was turned off if the shower was being used. It worked just fine as we never needed the cooker immersion and shower all on at the same time.

The same bloke that came up with that box of tricks has done the same for car chargers, so the charger will only come on if the other heavy loads are not on. These boxes used to be set to give priority to an electric shower but the version they are selling for car chargers is set the other way around so that priority is given to the other circuits and it is the charger that gets shut off if there is too much load.

If charging can be arranged so that it is at a time when other loads are low like during the night then it may well be that some sort of priority box like this might work OK for you. I know that they do these things in large sizes as we have installed them in commercial installations running on three phase supplies. The most common unit for domestic use is made by Garo and a bit like Hoover most people call these things Garo boxes even if they are made by someone else.
 

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As others have said it's impossible to give any meaningful advice with the limited information provided. As a first step I can only suggest that you look at the Gov't Workplace Grant Scheme and possibly see if a major installer such as Podpoint would be willing to undertake a free site survey with a view to you making an application for circa ten points to be installed. That would at least set out the limitations, suggest solutions, and provide costings for capital expenditure requests.

Workplace Charging Scheme: guidance for applicants, chargepoint installers and manufacturers - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Edit - On reflection, I'm not sure if one Gov't department can ask for funding from another such as under this scheme. But nothing lost by asking.
 

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What capacity of chargers were you looking at. do you really need 10. Would you be charging all 10 cars everyday- when are you going to have time to use them. Are the cars parked on site overnight. Expect you can find a way. There are a few ways of deciding "max capacity" and perhaps a different electrician is required.

Before giving up i would want to see what the max input to the building is with a meter.
 

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@Slartibartfast 's solution is interesting as it may cause sleeping issues with some cars. The ideal solution would just throttle the charge rate to a minimum to avoid the car sleeping.
 

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@Slartibartfast 's solution is interesting as it may cause sleeping issues with some cars. The ideal solution would just throttle the charge rate to a minimum to avoid the car sleeping.

I was not aware of this all I know that these priority boxes are pretty commonplace and I have not heard of any problems with them. Do you happen to know what causes the problem as it would be useful to know given that low power mains is still a fairly big thing people in rural areas here have to live with. Our very first house was fitted with a 40A fuse on the supply and that was not at all unusual and I bet there are still a lot of places like that and they are expensive to try and get upgraded as there are lots of areas where there just isn't enough power available something that is probably getting worse as they shut down the peat fuelled power stations.

With a supply that is limited to that sort of current or even if you are lucky enough to have a 60A fuse then a priority box is perhaps the only way a charger can easily be installed although some of the expensive newer ones may have something that does the same sort of job.

We installed 16 Tesla AC chargers on one site and they had a neat feature that allowed them to talk to each other to keep the maximum load down something that seemed to be a good idea. I know that these chargers will also charge other electric cars although I remember there having to be some changes made to the settings to allow this. I only remember this because we left them set up as they came and the client called us back to get them to work with some other make of electric car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Would be looking for 7kw charges, so they can be used overnight.

Pod Point does seem a good idea.

Have looked at the work place grant, not sure if we can access this.

Some sort of throttling seems to be a good idea, as most of the charging would be done at night.
 

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Would be looking for 7kw charges, so they can be used overnight.

Pod Point does seem a good idea.

Have looked at the work place grant, not sure if we can access this.

Some sort of throttling seems to be a good idea, as most of the charging would be done at night.
Podpoint have done alot of work on NHS chargers, I'm not sure if every site has to source their own but put it on a NHS message board (if they have one) and ask some facilities managers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Podpoint have done alot of work on NHS chargers, I'm not sure if every site has to source their own but put it on a NHS message board (if they have one) and ask some facilities managers.
Didn't know that, thanks 👍
 

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Podpoint have done alot of work on NHS chargers
Here in the north pretty much all the NHS Properties are installing EV Chargers on the Hubsta network, who mostly install Elmtronics units. Not only do they offer load balancing, but they can monitor the available supply power and adjust accordingly.

If the site is near capacity in terms of electrical supply though, this can only go so far. Having the provision for 10 EVs to be plugged in at the same time will still likely require an upgrade to the power supply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Here in the north pretty much all the NHS Properties are installing EV Chargers on the Hubsta network, who mostly install Elmtronics units. Not only do they offer load balancing, but they can monitor the available supply power and adjust accordingly.

If the site is near capacity in terms of electrical supply though, this can only go so far. Having the provision for 10 EVs to be plugged in at the same time will still likely require an upgrade to the power supply.

That's good to know, will bring that up. I'm not sure why the management want that amount of charges, unless they are thinking of an uptake of staff getting EV's
 

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The sites I've seen the NHS charges staff to use them in the day to get some cash back while the fleet is out in the day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The sites I've seen the NHS charges staff to use them in the day to get some cash back while the fleet is out in the day.
I don't that would be an issue for staff, as long as the price per kw isn't overpriced.
 

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I don't that would be an issue for staff, as long as the price per kw isn't overpriced.
I know they had it cheaper than the "average" at home. One site had 20 7kw and 1 22kw for the CEO! A way to claw some cash back, pretty sure they got the grants for them. They also got there own on site Sparky's to fit them and podpoint to comission them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I know they had it cheaper than the "average" at home. One site had 20 7kw and 1 22kw for the CEO! A way to claw some cash back, pretty sure they got the grants for them. They also got there own on site Sparky's to fit them and podpoint to comission them.
The trust I work for, has its own Sparky's as well. So thinking Pod Point could be the way to go.

Bet the CEO found a way of claiming the cost back!!
 

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500 miles/day at say 3 miles/kWh is only around 170 kWh, which over 10 cars is 17 kWh each or over 12 hours a charging rate of about 15 Amps in total. So the key is not to charge at a high rate - maybe install 3kW chargers at most.
 
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