Advantages of Remote Dispensers for EV Charging
Joseph Gottlieb, CTO, Tuesday August 3, 2021
One of the questions that we hear a lot from prospective customers is “when do remote dispensers make sense in electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions?” A remote dispenser architecture is one where the AC to DC power conditioning equipment (also known as the power control system, or PCS) is separate from the dispenser that connects to the vehicle. The alternative architecture is an integrated dispenser and PCS, where both subsystems reside in a single cabinet. AC-only chargers are typically integrated systems, as are some DC fast chargers that are used in commercial establishments. Conversely, most DC fast chargers utilized for fleet charging are most often remote dispenser architectures, which is the use case we will discuss.
For fleets of any sort, maximizing the number of vehicles that can be fit into a vehicle yard is critical, especially for medium- and heavy-duty (M/HD) vehicles. It is not unusual to see transit buses parked end-to-end with little more than a foot of space between them to maximize parking density. In these vehicle yards, integrated DC fast chargers can be a significant problem due to their size (the typical integrated charger has a 2 ft x 3 ft footprint; even if put side-by-side, this pushes the buses at least two feet (and more likely three feet) apart. Remote DC dispensers can easily fit in the space between the sides of buses – they are smaller than the foot of clearance needed to let drivers enter the buses. This is why remote dispenser architectures are the standard for M/HD EV fleets.
If you are looking for made in the USA high-power DC fast charging systems for those EVs, look to Rhombus Energy Solutions. Our market-leading bi-directional EV charging systems (which are designed from the start for the needs of fleet operators) are designed and built in the USA. Rhombus also excels in the design of high-power smart inverters for next-generation renewable energy and energy storage deployments. Our expertise in energy management system (EMS) software is also embedded in our VectorStat EMS controller and software which is embedded in our EV charging systems and smart inverters. We have built over a thousand V2G-capable high-power, high-reliability chargers and bi-directional smart inverters for a variety of different sizes and classes of EVs.