What Charger should I choose? 1 Phase or 3 phase? How much power do I need?
Before buying a charging station, you should be aware of the different charger classes and models. This will help you save money as you can purchase a product that exactly meets your needs.
For example, why pay more for a three-phase charger if your garage doesn't have a three-phase power supply?
Or if your vehicle absorbs 16 amperes why buy a 32 amp charger?
We will first divide the charging stations into two categories: a) Single Phase and b) Three Phase (Note that in the response we will deal with AC Charging Stations. For DC charging see next question)
So if we have a single-phase power supply in our building and do not intend to upgrade it to a three-phase one, then we choose a single-phase charging station. Conversely if we have 3 power supply then we can choose either single phase or three phase station depending on the needs of our car. Generally, three-phase charging is faster provided our car can handle it.
The next important parameter is the power of our charger. It is very important to choose a charging power that matches both the vehicle we are about to charge and the electrical capacity of our space.
There are four categories of AC charging power:
- 3.7 KW 1 phase
- 7.4 KW 1 phase
- 11 KW 3 phase
- 22KW 3 phase
Apart from the above if your premises are professional or shared or you are an advanced electric car driver then it is important to consider whether your charging station provides the ability to connect to an on-line monitoring and control platform, one that provides smart charging, load balancing, etc.
What socket type(connector) do I need? Type 1, Type 2, CHAdeMO, Combo?
A few years ago the answer to this question could cause confusion for electric vehicle drivers.
Fortunately, things are simple now:
In Europe we use Type 2 sockets.
In January 2013, the IEC 62196 Type 2 connector was selected by the European Commission as official charging plug within the European Union. It is also used by countries other than the European Union.
The type 2 connector is sometimes referred as MENNEKES connector. On the other hand, there are some countries that use a different type of connector. The main alternative is the Type 1 (SAE J1772) which is used in America and Japan.
For DC charging in Europe we use Combined Charging System CCS2. In America for DC charging needs COMBO1 connector. The CHAdeMO (Japanese JEVS) connector is used for DC charging in Japan.
Finally, TESLA vehicles they can charge at both European Type 2/Combo 2 and Type 1/Combo 1 sockets as they are equipped with the corresponding adapters
The photo shows the two types of AC Type 1 and Type 2 receptors as well as the Combo 1 and Combo 2 for DC charging.
What is DC charging?
It is also called super fast charging or ultra rapid charging because it can charge very fast (10-25 minutes).
The DC designation derives from the fact that the charger directly supplies DC current to the vehicle. However, this means that it cannot be powered by a simple three-phase power supply, but a special installation needed in order to rectify the AC current. It also needs high power supply as DC charger charging stations can provide very high charging power such as:
- 50 KW
- 100 KW
- 150 KW
- 300 KW