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How does a wallbox work?

How does a wallbox work?

What do you need wallboxes for?

If you can charge your e-car at home or in the company parking lot thanks to a wallbox, you save time and money. The advantages are obvious: Charging takes place while the vehicle is idle, when the vehicle is not needed anyway. Ideally, a cheap electricity tariff comes into effect, which costs significantly less per kilowatt hour than at public charging stations.

Wait a minute, e-mobility beginners will now ask: "Can't I just plug my e-car into the socket at home?" The answer: You can, but charging takes a long time and connection cables can overheat. Therefore it is not recommended.

Household sockets are not designed for e-cars

Normal household sockets are not designed for a continuous load of the maximum possible 3.7 kW. Here it can get too hot in the cables and on connecting elements such as sockets or switches (with switchable sockets, another weak point that you should be warned about ...). In the worst case, there is a risk of fire.

A wallbox reduces charging losses

Slow charging at a normal garage socket is also not particularly efficient: when charging via a household socket, the charging losses are greater than when using a wallbox. Anyone who primarily charges their e-car without a wallbox pays a little more to the electricity provider for each charging process than when using a wallbox.

Sounds surprising, but it is easy to explain: This is simply because the charging process as such consumes electricity for the necessary control processes, partial cooling and much more. The shorter the charging process takes, and the wallbox significantly shortens it, the less energy is wasted unused.

A so-called wallbox ensures more security, speed and efficiency.

But what is a wallbox, why do you need it and how does it work? Put simply, you can think of a wallbox as a control device for charging e-car batteries. It ensures that as much current as possible is charged into the battery as quickly as possible, but not too quickly. The wallbox also contains protective devices against fault currents and overloads.

Wallboxes with permanently attached cables increase convenience

The wallbox is either mounted on a wall or on a column. On the one hand, it is permanently connected to the household electricity network, on the other hand, to the electric car. Some wall boxes allow a charging cable to be plugged in using a socket. Then you need a separate charging cable, which you can carry with you in the vehicle for charging on the go. Other wall boxes have permanently attached charging cables that can be connected to the corresponding socket on the vehicle. This increases convenience, because you don't have to take the cable out of the trunk every time you charge it.

Wallboxes that are connected to the Internet offer additional convenience functions. In some cases, they enable consumption data and charging history to be called up via an Internet browser or a special app.

The wallbox communicates, controls and monitors

When charging, the electric cars that are common today rely on external technology to constantly monitor and regulate the flow of electricity. On the one hand, the wallbox communicates with the charging electronics in the car. On the other hand, it monitors the flow of electricity.

An integrated residual current circuit breaker (FI protection) ensures that no dangerous overvoltages or residual currents occur. This prevents overloading of the house network and ensures that the charging process is aborted in the event of malfunctions before damage can occur.

The wallbox also ensures that high-voltage current is only applied to the charging connection when the connection between the car and the charging cable is actually in place. No charging process, no high-voltage current on the wallbox plug. This is an indispensable contribution to avoiding conceivable electricity accidents.

Access protection with key or wireless access card

But a wallbox not only protects against overload and electric shock. She also takes care of our electricity. Because access security is also one of their tasks. After all, unauthorized persons should not charge at our expense.

Numerous wallbox models make it possible to couple the power output to a previous activation. Depending on the wallbox, this is done using a key or a contactless access card that must be held in front of a certain point on the wallbox. Sometimes a chip in the form of a small plastic coin is used instead of a card, which is also recognized wirelessly by the wallbox.

A wallbox for the home currently offers up to 22 kW of power

A very important feature is the charging capacity. Wallboxes with an output of up to 22 kW are currently widespread; however, many models only manage 11 kW, which is half, or even less. The charging time is proportional to this. You can read more about performance, charging speed and charging time in our guide “How to handle your electric car battery correctly”.

Inform yourself well before purchasing a wallbox

But be careful: It is essential to find out about several factors in advance. On the one hand, e-car drivers should find out what charging power their vehicle can be charged with at a wallbox. It largely depends on whether the charging process is single-phase or three-phase. It differs from model to model.

Those who do not only consider the charging capacity of their current vehicle are well advised. After all, the next electric car could be faster to charge. Then it is good if the selected wallbox can keep up. It is therefore worthwhile to invest in a high-performance wallbox and to find out about funding opportunities.

Before installing a wallbox, an electrician must confirm that the house installation can actually handle the power required by the wallbox. Very old electrical installations may have to be modernized here. In practice, however, the electrician will often be able to give the green light. You can find more information about the installation of a wallbox in the article "How is a wallbox installed?"

The important thing is: competent advice and professional installation are absolute prerequisites for safe and satisfactory operation. The Ladehero team will be happy to assist you.

Investing in a modern wallbox pays off

So the bottom line is: Charging at home or on company premises is not only significantly faster, but also safer, thanks to the Wallbox. An investment in a modern, fast and secure wallbox will definitely pay off over time.