Important steps before installing a charging station.

When installing a charging station for your electric car or bike we need to consider a few important safety checks.

We have compiled a checklist that you can refer to before starting the installation process.

Let’s look at the main components that you will need to install a safe charging station.

1. RCD

An RCD, or residual current device, is a life-saving device that is designed to prevent you from getting a fatal electric shock if you touch something live, for instance, from a bare wire. It can also provide some protection against electrical fires when installing a charging station. Thus, RCDs offer a level of personal protection that ordinary fuses and circuit-breakers cannot provide.

charging station RCD

2. Circuit breaker

A circuit breaker is a device that will automatically protect a circuit from damage caused by excess current or a short circuit.

Here is a list of the type of components that you will need depending on your charging station

Charging station TypeRCDCircuit breaker
Charging station without integrated RCD or DC fault current sensor RCD type A EVCharacteristic C
Charging station with integrated DC fault current sensor RCD type ACharacteristic C
Charging station with RCD type A and DC fault current sensor—-Characteristic C

For a better understanding of all the necessary components, you can go through the guidelines and documents created by ARAI: Click here to download

Now that we know what components are needed, let’s move on to getting our safety checks ready.

Make sure all steps are followed accordingly for maximum safety.

  1. The Charging Station Must Be Connected Via Its Own Cable.

    You should not connect any additional appliances to the cable leading from the fuse box to the charging station. examples for additional appliances can be “Washing machines”, “water pumps” etc

  2. The Cables Must Be Of Appropriate Dimensions For The Connected Load Required.

    1. If the charging current is of 16 A or above we recommend you to use a cable diameter of 2.5 mm2 or more to avoid cables burning. In order that the vehicle can be charged with a charging power of 11-22 kW

    2. We also recommend you prepare the cables in such a way that it is possible for a 3 phase connection so that your charging station is future proof

  3. When Installing a Charging Station with a Charging Power of Over 12 kW, You or Your Electrician will need to Obtain Approval from the Grid Operator (Ex BESCOM).

    If you have an electric car and has fast charging capabilities, you might want to install a Fast charger for your car at home.

    This charger will take in a lot of power, usually over 12kW, so When charging power is over 12 kW, an electric car will draw an unusually large amount of power at one time from the power grid. Therefore the grid operator should be informed, in order to avoid power outages. The approval process varies from operator to operator.

Why do i need an RCD for a Charging station?

The Residual Current Device (RCD) prevents you from getting an Electric Shock and needs to be able to handle the current required by your charger.

The RCD works by balancing the electric current in the live and neutral wires to/from the charging station.

Thus, If the current is not balanced, the RCD will get triggered and break the circuit. Protecting you from any electric shocks.

Which Types of Residual Current Devices Are There?

You will need an RCD of type A at least for each charging station, The Type A RCD is pretty common in the industry and can be found in most electrical shops.

Some electric cars may generate smooth DC fault currents during charging. If you don’t know if your vehicle has this feature. Then you should install an appropriate DC residual current protection system. There are various options for this:

DC fault current sensor / DC fault current recognition:

Charging station manufacturers are increasingly building DC fault current sensors into their charging stations. Therefore it offers you protection from smooth DC residual currents. You then only need the cheaper Type A RCD mentioned above in the distribution. Charging stations with integrated fault current sensors are a little more expensive, but they then cost less to install. As a result, the total package is significantly cheaper.

RCD Type A EV:

A Type A EV RCD is a cheaper alternative to an RCD Type B and has been specially developed for the demands of electric mobility. It also reacts to smooth DC residual currents. Thus, We strongly recommend a Type A EV RCD, if no other DC residual current protection is in place in the charging station.

RCD Type B:

A Type B RCD is “sensitive to all currents”, therefore it recognises all types of AC and DC residual currents and is very well-suited for charging station installation. The disadvantage: A Type B RCD is very expensive.

What Do I Need a Circuit Breaker for?

The circuit breaker will break the circuit and protect you and the circuit when there is excess current flowing through the circuit. this will also stop the cables from heating up and damaging themselves

How Do I Choose the Right Circuit Breaker?

Manufacturers of charging stations recommend circuit breakers with the tripping characteristic C.

And also, they need to be able to handle the required charging power, therefore the circuit breaker needs to be rated for the nominal current of the charging station.

Now that we know how to ensure charging station safety, let’s look at how to set up a charger in an apartment. Click here to know more

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