5KV class distribution and EVs
- Jan 20, 2022 12:36 pm GMT
3600-to-5400-volt distribution primary voltage was the standard in much of the United States from 1934 to 1960. Many of these substations have been upgrades, and the distribution lines, upgrading the voltage did not happen many utilities.
On average, utilities that had significant amounts of 5KV class distribution in 1970, still have most of it. It is not unusual for utilities to still have 50% of their customers on 5KV circuits.
A 5KV class distribution circuit is designed to deliver about 3000 Kilowatts (KW) of energy. The conductor tends to be small, and so the circuit is restricted in the amperage that it can operate at continuously.
It is not unusual for a 5KV class suburban circuit to feed 1000 residences. It is more unusual to see 5,000 residences, it is not unheard of.
The typical US suburban household has just over 2 vehicles.
Previously the standard level 2 (garage charger) was between 7 and 8 KW, so 5Kv circuit, with no other load could handle about 800-1200 chargers, but many are at 80% of maximum on hot and cold nights, reducing that to about 300.
Now Ford, GM and others have introduced 20KW Level 2 chargers as standard. On that same circuit, with no other load that is 450 chargers, and with an 80% load, that drops to about 100.
For suburban charging, even with scheduled times to charge it does not.
Is it time to get serious about higher voltages?
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