Plenty has been going on at the Operations Centre site in Kerzers. A steel scaffold with a sheet metal roof turned into an innovation that is the only one of its kind in the world. A vision became reality.
Our charging infrastructure was installed during the year in a step-by-step process that involved various divisions of the Group. As well as the Telecommunications Division, the participants also included Weiss+Appetito SEM AG, our building refurbishment specialists, and the Floors+Flooring and Suction+Pressure Blowing Divisions who levelled the surface for the installations and did a professional job of installing the lining under the photovoltaic system on the roof.
The installation took place in March 2021. A total area of 35 square metres is used to produce up to 6.6 kilowatts of power. But the unique selling point of this system was installed later on, underneath the roof structure with the solar modules: the busbars, which simultaneously transport the voltage to the wallboxes and act as a fastening for the boxes, were installed at the beginning of June. They can transport up to 400 amperes of power, so they can cope with any charging demand that can be expected on site. The busbars are installed in a few easy steps and can be extended on a modular basis, so it only took one day to set them up. Shortly afterwards, on 16 June, the first function test could also be carried out.
After all nine charging points had passed the test run without problems, the charging boxes were finally installed in August. We were also able to exploit one of the advantages offered by our system that is open to all types of technology: alongside three fully integrated LiveChargers manufactured by ourselves, we could also install two boxes from other manufacturers (with whom we have partially cooperated on technology in the past) as adapted versions of the LiveChargers. It is the adapter boxes that make this flexibility possible. They are placed on the busbar and – as well as an external residual current circuit breaker for protection purposes – they include a powerline module that allows the data communication required between the power meter and the charging stations to be handled wirelessly, like the charging process itself. Thanks to this, the powerline module also enables the wallboxes to ensure automated intelligent control of the charging processes in relation to one another. The entire system therefore operates as efficiently as possible at all times.
The charging infrastructure was fully ready to operate in good time for the Weiss+Appetito Group's summer party on 27 August. Employees and guests could learn about the convincing advantages and simple operation of the system at two presentations. At the same time, this event was effectively the starting shot for regular use of the charging stations.
The easiest method of direct operation is via smartphone with the free eCarUp app. This allows users to locate the charging stations intuitively on a map and launch the charging process. Information about the costs of charging and the system's maximum power is also available. Access is still limited to employees of the Weiss+Appetito Group. In the near future, however, it is planned to allow access to the LiveChargers for everyone – including customers, partners and any other drivers of electric vehicles.