Foto: Thorsten Franzisi/LEW

Charging electric cars in the underground garage: LEW charging solution for apartment buildings and homeowners’ associations

The “LEW underground garage charging solution” from Lechwerke (LEW) is an effective and safe infrastructure for charging multiple electric cars for condominium owners’ associations (WEG) and landlords of multi-party buildings. The service provided by LEW’s e-mobility experts ranges from feasibility analysis and electrical installation to the control and billing of charging processes at the wallboxes of the individual parking spaces. In Donauwörth, one of the charging infrastructures specially developed by LEW for underground car parks is already in operation.

Simultaneous charging at each wallbox

Up to fifteen parties can easily and conveniently charge their electric cars directly at their parking space in the underground garage of a condominium complex in Aventinstraße in Donauwörth. A personal wallbox is installed for each one, which the owner can activate with their RFID card. The wallboxes are connected to the power grid with a charging capacity of up to eleven kilowatts via a shared charging infrastructure that LEW planned and installed on behalf of the owners’ association. The community of owners uses a dynamic load management system to control the charging processes. On the one hand, it ensures that each individual wallbox can be charged with as much power as possible and, on the other hand, that the energy grid of the residential complex is not overloaded when charging at many wallboxes at the same time. By using this dynamic load management, the owners’ association was able to avoid an expensive expansion of the power of the house connection.

Owners develop underground car park together

Several apartment owners had previously expressed their interest in a charging solution for their parking spaces. The property management then contacted LEW. The e-mobility experts from LEW prepared a feasibility analysis. They presented the results at an owners’ meeting and provided information about the costs. “Because the investment per owner was manageable, it also convinced many people who didn’t yet have an electric car,” reports property manager Wolfgang Felkl. “It wasn’t just that the more parties involved, the cheaper it would be for the individual. It is also crucial that the development in one go saves the individual a lot of time and organizational effort and increases the value of their own property in the long term.” In the end, 15 of the 18 owners decided to install the “LEW underground parking charging solution”. They share the costs for the communal charging infrastructure. The three parties who have no need pay nothing.

Joint basic installation

The technical basis for the “LEW underground car park charging solution” is the basic installation: first, busbar systems are laid throughout the underground car park up to the building’s meter room and the grid connection and metering equipment are installed. Depending on the local conditions, the busbars run either on the ceiling or on the walls. The basic installation also includes the necessary network technology to control the charging processes and bill the electricity consumption of each wallbox individually. The costs are shared. The owners of the individual parking spaces can either have their private wallbox installed at the same time or retrofit it at a later date.

Making optimum use of the capacity of the home connection

The shared basic installation saves costs because the work is carried out in one go and cables and components are not installed multiple times. It also has the advantage that all charging points in the communal garage can be intelligently controlled via the network technology. In existing buildings, the house connection is generally not designed for the additional requirements of electromobility. In most cases, the previously unused, free power capacity is sufficient to supply a few additional charging points. However, if more wallboxes are to be connected at the latest, it could become necessary to reinforce the grid connection of the residential complex at great expense. “With the LEW underground car park charging solution with dynamic load management, it is usually possible to supply the electric vehicles with sufficient power using the existing capacities and without having to convert the house connection by registering with the grid operator to increase the power,” explains Roland Aumiller, LEW specialist for charging solutions.

Intelligent load management

The load management system ensures that all apartments are supplied with sufficient energy at all times at the building’s connection point. The remaining free capacity is distributed evenly among the active charging processes in the underground garage. This means, for example, that many vehicles can be charged at the same time in the evening after work, albeit at a slightly lower capacity. As soon as the first ones are fully charged, the power at the remaining active charging points is automatically increased. Instead of dynamic load management, the shared charging infrastructure can also be operated with static load management. To do this, the LEW experts determine the safely available power capacity in advance and distribute it evenly across all wallboxes.

Feasibility analysis at a fixed price

“Before a community of owners decides on the installation of a charging solution in their common property, it is important to know the options and costs as precisely as possible,” says Roland Aumiller. This is why LEW offers a comprehensive assessment of the local conditions at a fixed price agreed in advance. This includes a site inspection, determination of the building data and coordination with the local electricity grid operator. Depending on the size and energy requirements of the property, the LEW experts also carry out a two-week power measurement on the electrical house connection. They then draw up an implementation proposal and calculate the price. If the residents decide to place an order, the costs for the feasibility analysis are taken into account.

Seizing individual opportunities together

The desire for charging solutions for electric vehicles at parking spaces in communal underground garages is increasingly on the agenda at owners’ and tenants’ meetings. “Condominiums, landlords and property managers should therefore actively address the topic of electromobility and bring the possibility of a communal charging infrastructure into the discussion,” says Aumiller. This way, communities of owners can avoid time-consuming and recurring coordination processes for individual installation projects. And they save costs. The LEW team of experts supports them with an all-round carefree service – from initial information and concept development through to installation, electricity supply and billing.

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08.11.2023   |  

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