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Wallbox-/ charging station comparison

Are you looking for a wallbox or charging station? Our wallbox and charging station comparison will help you choose the right system. We have compared wallboxes and charging stations from EVBox, Hardy Barth, SMA, ABL, Mennekes, and Smartfox.

Why use a wallbox?

Nothing feels better: Filling up an electric car directly with electricity from your own solar power system results in 100% clean electricity. Also, household sockets are not designed for regular charging under high load. A wallbox also offers more safety than a normal socket because the manufacturers directly install protective devices against direct and alternating current faults. At the same time, a wallbox means more charging power and therefore less charging time. A wallbox can generate up to 22 kW.

Wallbox or charging station?

Wallboxes are made for private and semi-public areas and can easily be mounted to a wall. The charging power is between 3.7 kW and 22 kW.

Charging stations are mostly located in public, but also in semi-public areas. They are built with wind and weather protection as well as protection against vandalism. The equipment usually includes access control and 2 type 2 sockets. Therefore, two cars can charge at the same time. The charging power with 22 kW or 44 kW is higher than with a wallbox.

Wallbox-charging-station-comparison

The following characteristics were compared

  • Charging connection: Socket or cable? Cable length? How many charging points?
  • Phases
  • Maximum charging capacity
  • Point of use
  • RCD
  • Monitoring
  • Access control: RFID or key switch
  • PV-excess charging
  • Communication protocol OCPP
  • Network master / slave
  • Advantages / special features

The distinguishing features of the wallbox / charging station overview

Charging connection

Each electric charging station has a charging socket or charging cable, both with a type 2 socket. Depending on the supplier, the cables are between 4 m and 7.5 m long and are available in smooth or spiral design. Most wallboxes have one charging point, all charging stations have 2. The maximum available current is then divided between the two charging points.

Phases

Wallboxes can be connected to the household power network with 1 or 3 phases. 3-phase connected wallboxes have a higher charging capacity than 1-phase ones.

Charging capacity

The maximum charging capacity of the wallboxes depends on the number of phases and the rated current. It is calculated in the following way:

P = phase × 230V × nominal current

The maximum charging power of the on-board charger in the electric car influences the charging power. The weakest link always counts.

For example: A Tesla Model S can only charge with a maximum of 16.5 kW charging power, even with a 22 kW wallbox; the on-board charger does not allow any more.

Point of use

An electric charging station can be located in public space, semi-public space or on private ground. Charging stations on the street are in public space, a semi-public space is, for example, the parking lot of a hotel or a parking garage.

Protection

In contrast to the household socket, the wallbox offers additional protection. A DC residual current detection is built into all wallboxes offered by us; in some electric charging stations you will find an additional RCD circuit breaker for protection. If the RCD circuit breaker is not built into the wallbox, it has to be installed externally, which means additional costs. Together with the already installed DC residual current detection at least one RCD type A is necessary, but type A EV or type B are also allowed.

Monitoring

In most cases, the charging station can be monitored and controlled via smartphone app or web interface. For example, the charging process can then be paused in the app or the maximum charging power can be displayed.

Access control

Electric charging stations have various control measures. Those can be utilized to make the station accessible to only certain users. The simplest way is an integrated key switch, which can switch the wallbox on and off with a key. This key switch can also set additional functions on some wallboxes, such as quick charge or eco mode. Another possibility is access control via RFID system. Each user receives a card which can unlock the charging station or wallbox. The advantage over a key switch is that more people can use the wallbox and how much electricity everyone has used can be tracked.

PV-excess charging

By installing an energy management control system, some wallboxes and charging stations can directly charge with the solar power produced directly from the roof. In doing so, excess energy that is not used in the household is charged into the electric car.

Communication protocol Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP)

The OCPP enables communication between the charging station and a central management system, or backend system. This communication is the basis for a calculation in accordance with calibration laws - because the data is securely transmitted to a backend system. OCPP is independent of system suppliers and can therefore be easily and universally integrated.

Network master / slave

Some wallboxes and especially the charging stations can be connected in series and thus controlled and checked together. An advantage is that only one connection to the back-end is required and charging points can communicate with each other. An intelligent charging station (master / hub) is the gateway to the back-end, all other charging stations (satellite / slave) are connected to the master. The number of wallboxes that can be lined up depends on the manufacturer.

Important information for wallboxes:

  • Obligation to report to network operators: all wallboxes
  • Approval from network operators needed: wallboxes with maximum charging power > 12 kVA
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