Domestic charging device selected per case
The EV charging device is selected individually case by case, according to the customer's needs, and to suit the property in question.
Factors influencing the choice of charging device, eg:
- the vehicle to be charged (single- or 3-phase charging)
- the suitability of the device to the existing electrical resources of the property (size of main fuse, heating system)
- the location of the device (outdoors or indoors)
The electrical resources of the property affect choice of device
The domestic EV charging device selected for installation in a fixed location should be suitable both for the vehicle and for the property. Before selecting the charger, the planned installation place is surveyed, to ascertain whether it will be positioned outdoors in all weathers, or in the shelter of a car port or garage. The size of the property's main fuses is checked, and it is determined as to whether there is any available fuse output capacity on the property's switchboard. The charger requires its own cable to be drawn direct from the main- or sub-switchboard. A domestic charging device always forms its own circuit, which is safe, since no other electric cables are burdened.
Schneider is one of the manufacturers of separate devices with a feature which halves the current used by the EV charging device, if for example another electrical appliance in the property starts up. This accessory could also prove useful in a property that is heated by electricity, when in winter it may be compulsory to reduce the charging current. Such load management devices are available for installation on other makes of chargers, too.
Most charging devices are fitted with a fault current guard for protection against personal injury. The fault current guard protects the user in cases where the cable or charging socket may be damaged for some reason. The fault current guard is compulsory in Finland, and it should be tested at least twice per year. If there is no fault current guard in the actual charging device, one should be fitted in the property or it should be installed separately.
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It's important to select a charging device with the right output
The vehicle to be charged is fundamental also to the choice of charging device. The vehicle can take a specific maximum output current, depending on the charger inside the vehicle. In some cases it can be a waste of money to purchase a more effective and costly charging device if the vehicle cannot take the output provided by the device. Certainly, the current output of the more powerful chargers can be adjusted at the installation stage, but in that case a less expensive, less powerful charger would suffice. It is, however, worth consideration when selecting a charger, as the devices last for the long term. For instance, if within a few years the EV is exchanged for another model which does require a powerful charger, it could be beneficial to purchase a powerful device from the start. The output of a device can always be adjusted to be smaller, but the maximum output cannot be increased.
With cars like Tesla, that can take output more efficiently, it however makes sense to charge up with a 3-phase charger. The capacity of the example Tesla car batteries is so great that they charge to full with a more efficient charging device several hours faster than with a device with lower efficiency. It is also worth selecting a charging device with a suitable capacity when charging other fully electric vehicles, such as the Nissan Leaf, so that there is always sufficient power for the next trip.
Another consideration to make in your choice of charging device is the length of cable, so that it easily reaches the vehicle charging socket. For example when driving into your car port, take note that on some vehicles, like Mitsubishi, the charging socket is at the side towards the rear of the car.
Which charger - encased model or fixed cable model?
Charging devices are available as encased models or equipped with fixed cables, and both have their own advantages. The difference in price between the two is negligible.
Encased-model charging devices are used with separate cables specific for the vehicle. This enables the charging of several cars in turn on the same charger. The owner of an encased charging device can change car without having to change to a new charger.
Charging devices equipped with fixed cables have proven to be easier to use. Chargers having fixed cables have readiness for a Type 1 or Type 2 charging cable, whereby the charger can be used only for charging cars of that particular type of charging socket.
When installing a charging device in a public place, for example, but specifically for the staff of a certain workplace, for example, it is worth selecting a charging device with RFID authentication, so that unauthorised use can be avoided.
Things to note about charging device accessories
The fault current guard switch is there to protect the users of the charger from hazardous electric shocks, and to prevent the occurrence of a fire. The fault current guard is compulsory and its operability should be checked at least twice every year. Installation of a fault current guard switch is case-specific: it can be installed in the electric switchboard, in the device itself or in its own encasement next to the device. A number of charging devices, such as the ABL Sursum, are ready fitted with a fault current guard.
EThe energy meter is a useful accessory if you want to ascertain the amount of energy consumed in charging a car. Energy meters are fitted in almost all charging devices installed for the use of residents of an apartment building, so that the residents can be invoiced according to the energy consumption used. An evergy meter can also be necessary when charging company cars, and is an interesting accessory for the individual home owner, as when the price of electricity is known, it is easy to calculate ad compare the cost of charging a car versus the price of a tank of fuel.
It is possible to integrate an energy meter integrated into some devices, for example into a GE WattStation. In other cases the energy meter can be installed in the electricity switchboard, or be encased next to the switchboard or charging device.
It is beneficial to include a surge guard in device installations which are dependent on an air supply line. It protects against surge peaks, for example during lightning strikes. Single-phase charging devices require two surge guards, and 3-phase chargers require four.
Some charging device installations require all the abovementioned accessories. However not all electricity switchboards have space for all of them. In these cases the accessories are installed in a casing mounted on the wall or other surface beside the switchboard or the charger. There are two sizes of installation cases, one is intended for the single-phase and the other for the 3-phase charger. This is due to the fact that the quantitative requirement for the surge protector varies.
Take note when selecting a charging device
There are three important things to take into consideration when purchasing a charging device:
2. Location of charging point and operating conditions (garage, car port, parking lot, office).
3. Suitability of the charging device to the existing electricity network of the property (checking of the charging method survey)
PlugIt's professionals are ready to help and advise in all matters concerning charging. Feel free to ask for more information!