EV Question Time: Part 1 – CTEK answers some key questions about EV charge point installations

EV Question Time: Part 1 – CTEK answers some key questions about EV charge point installations

In this first of a two-part article, Viktors Nikolajevs, CTEK’s Skillbase Manager in the UK, answers some of the key questions that installers are commonly raising around EV charge point installations.

Installers at our UK training sessions will ask a lot of questions when they’re learning how to best install EV charge points. But, there are certain topics that will crop up time and again at training events up and down the country.

In my experience, installers are keen to find out all about EV charging, how the charging units work and the steps to effective installations. They’re an inquisitive lot and ask some very good questions at each session. Here I’ll cover three of them, with further questions to come in the next issue:

Q. What RCD protection is there in EV charge points?

BS (IEC) EN 61851-1 Section 8.5 stipulates that all charging points must have RCD protection. Where the EV supply equipment (EVSE) has only one connection point to the vehicle, or multiple connection points but only one can be active at any point, a single RCD can be used. The RCD device can be integrated into the EVSE or external.

If multiple connection points are available on a single piece of EVSE, then each connection point must have its own RCD protection incorporated into the EVSE.

The RCD used must be compliant with either BS (IEC) EN 61008-1 (RCCBs), BS (IEC) EN 61009-1 (RCBOs), BS (IEC) EN 60947-2 (Modular RCD) or BS (IEC) EN 62423 (Type B RCCBs/RCBOs) standards.

The RCD must have AC rating not exceeding 30mA. Additionally, protection against smooth DC currents must be provided. The standard states that a Type B device can be used or Type A if explicit protection against smooth DC greater than 6mA is integrated into the EVSE, such as Residual Direct Current Detection Device (RDC-DD) as defined by BS (IEC) EN 62955:2018.

Q. What is the minimum IK impact rating a charging unit must have?

According to BS 7671:2018+A2:2022 Section 722.512.2.203, charging points installed in public areas or car parks should have AG3 – impact of high severity rating.

In practice that means that the charging points should be installed at heights and in positions where they’re least likely to be damaged in day-to-day use, adequate mechanical protection should be provided where there is risk of direct impact (such as bollards or barriers), and the charging equipment itself should have minimum IK08 rating.

The IK rating indicates the degree of physical protection that applies to the complete enclosure of equipment. In simple terms, it indicates how hard the equipment can be hit before the enclosure can be expected to break.

IK rating is described in BS (IEC) EN 62262:2002+A1:2021, where 12 ratings are defined – from IK00 having no protection to IK11 being able to withstand 50 Joules of force applied. IK08 requires the equipment to be able to withstand five Joules of force.

Q. In what situations are AC chargers best and when are DC chargers more suitable?

DC chargers are great where the dwell time is shorter, such as motorway services and other roadside facilities on highways, where the driver only wants to pause their journey for half an hour or so.

If the installation site host expects its visitors to stay for longer, such as shopping centres, car parks, workplaces or cinemas, AC destination charging is better as each charge can be for more than a couple of hours. You can also install several AC chargers for the price of one DC charger.

Tap into training

The appetite for EV installation training is growing all the time as more installers want to expand their knowledge of what is a huge growth market.

A City & Guilds survey of installers found 45% of employers only recruit electricians who are already qualified or competent to install EV chargers. So, here at CTEK we’re committed to providing our Skillbase training to many more installers.

Installers are invited to free online CTEK training events to learn more about installing EV charging infrastructure.

Get more details about CTEK’s training events and secure a place here

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