When Does Sharing a PCS Across Multiple Dispensers Make Sense?
Joseph Gottlieb, CTO, Tuesday August 10, 2021
Our last blog explored why remote dispensers, where the dispenser functions are separated from the power electronics systems (often called the power control system, or PCS), are popular for medium- and heavy-duty (M/HD) electric vehicle (EV) fleets. Going on the theme from last week’s blog, another question we often hear from customers is “can I connect multiple dispensers to a single PCS?” After all, the PCS is the most expensive part of an EV charging system – if you could connect multiple dispensers to a single PCS, it could significantly reduce the electric vehicle support equipment (EVSE) portion of the total cost of ownership of a M/HD EV fleet. So can you share a PCS across multiple dispensers, and when does it make sense to do so?
The answers are: i) yes, you can share one PCS across multiple dispensers; and ii) , and ii) it really depends on the use case. If you are charging large transit buses with equally large batteries (for instance, a Proterra ZX5 MAX with a 600kWh battery), the bus uses most of that charge on its route during the day, and has a 9-hour charging window, it is unlikely that sharing a PCS across multiple dispensers will make sense – you would need an extremely powerful PCS (think 200-300kW capacity). If on the other hand you are operating a fleet of delivery trucks with 100kWh batteries that use 90% of their energy per day (on average) and the same 9-hour charging window, a 60kW PCS could easily charge 5 vehicles during the charging window. Of course, the ability to share a PCS across multiple dispensers is not free, but with the right use case, a shared PCS could have an overall lower system cost than the typical dedicated PCS per dispenser approach.
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