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Discussion Starter #1
We've had lots of debate here and on other forums about charging an EV on a 3 pin socket. I thought I would share BEAMAs (see below) comments;

"yes you can charge through a domestic outlet in your property provided it is charged and operated through a mode 2 cable..."

http://www.beama.org.uk/en/product-...ergy-management/electric-vehicle-charging.cfm

Start Watching At 2:35


"BEAMA is the independent expert knowledge base and forum for the electrotechnical industry for the UK and across Europe. Representing over 300 manufacturing companies in the electrotechnical sector, the organisation has significant influence over UK and international political, standardisation and commercial policy."
 

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If RCD protection is needed then it is highly likely that the vast majority of us are charging our cars via 3-pin sockets in breach of those requirements because how many of us use a 3-pin socket with a cable that has RCD protection?

I do when I am at my caravan but most of the time we just plug in the 3-pin into a standard socket... without RCD protection.

I am pretty sure that our standard EVSE cables are not RCD protected as there is no reset or test buttons.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I am pretty sure that our standard EVSE cables are not RCD protected as there is no reset or test buttons.
Both the IEC 61851-1 {ed2.0} Standard and the IET Code of Practice require RCD in the 'brick' for Mode 2 charging and I wonder if it's possible to have an RCD with automatic reset/test functionality... I'll ask one of the engineers in our lab when I get a moment.

Interestingly, both the Tesla 13A 'dumb' cable and the Tesla 32A 'brick' cable have built in RCD's with reset/test buttons. I guess the Model S UMC will be the same :confused:

Maybe some of the electricians here would like to comment about the RCD reset/test button requirement :) what do you think @Matt Beard, @Matthew Morgan, anyone else?
 

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In relation to the test/reset button, which charging modules don't have a reset/test button for the RCD?

EDIT: I've re-read the thread and realised I've gone off on an un-related tangent so deleted accordingly!
 
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I can't find the manufacturers datasheet for the nissan brick EVSE, unusual for one not to have a test function. I'll have a look when I pick my Leaf up on Monday and go armed with my IET CoP :D
 

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We've had lots of debate here and on other forums about charging an EV on a 3 pin socket. I thought I would share BEAMAs (see below) comments;

"yes you can charge through a domestic outlet in your property provided it is charged and operated through a mode 2 cable..."

http://www.beama.org.uk/en/product-...ergy-management/electric-vehicle-charging.cfm

Start Watching At 2:35


"BEAMA is the independent expert knowledge base and forum for the electrotechnical industry for the UK and across Europe. Representing over 300 manufacturing companies in the electrotechnical sector, the organisation has significant influence over UK and international political, standardisation and commercial policy."
I'm using the standard 13amp outlet in my garage. Our fuse box has RCD fuses fitted which is a legal requirement for homes as I understand. If the car shorted the RCD will pop out. It does, I tried it today !. Having the free home charger fitted this week but may pay the extra for the 7kw one as its £90 extra and worth it.
 

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All I have is a three pin in the garage. It's worked for thousands of miles so far.
I have to say that people often use this as some kind of proof that this is safe. It isn't proof of anything and I urge people not to use their experience as proof of safety. You might have a circuit in excellent condition with no other loads. Others may not.

You are not having an issue with your 3-pin socket because your's is in a good enough condition for you not to have a problem. Others may not be so lucky.

I am pleased you have not had a problem but can I say to anyone that is thinking about using a normal 3-pin socket to charge that they do it with caution. If you know the condition of your wiring is good, the sockets are wired properly and you haven't got other high loads on the circuit then it is quite likely you too may not have a problem either. But, and this is the important part... how certain are you of that? If it were me, for the sake of having a new circuit put in (cost me less than £100 by an electrician!), I wouldn't risk it except for occasional charges at friends or family and then with care. I certainly wouldn't charge my car regularly on a 3-pin socket of unknown condition and definitely not on a ring or spur. Have one installed on its own circuit by a qualified electrician and it should be perfectly safe.

On the point of RCDs... it is good they are there but the main danger when charging an EV is not overload, grounding or current leakage. Current leakage is the only protection the RCD will protect you from and if it is an RCBO then it also provides overload protection. An MCB will only offer overload protection (like a fuse).

The main danger is overheating due to old or bad condition wiring and bad connections on sockets, plugs and interconnects. An RCD/RCBO/MCB won't trip if the circuit is operating within the protection load and there is no leakage. The wiring or socket will just heat up and potentially catch fire. I haven't seen a fire but I have seen a plug and socket get hot.

I am no electrician but I have looked into this quite carefully because I don't want to be the first to burn down a house in the UK because of charging an EV on a circuit with faulty/old wiring.

It is your car, your house, your friend's and family's house... do what you think is best but it is also you that will have to live with the consequences if it goes wrong.
 

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Ok, so 8+ hours at 10 amps will make anything get a little warm, but @Paul_Churchley, do you think there is wiring out there that it bad enough it will get hot enough to cause a fire?

I suppose if you are talking Pre-war fabric covered or completely the wrong gauge cable it's possible?
 

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I'm using the standard 13amp outlet in my garage. Our fuse box has RCD fuses fitted which is a legal requirement for homes as I understand. If the car shorted the RCD will pop out. It does, I tried it today !. Having the free home charger fitted this week but may pay the extra for the 7kw one as its £90 extra and worth it.
That would be £90 well spent
 

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Ok, so 8+ hours at 10 amps will make anything get a little warm, but @Paul_Churchley, do you think there is wiring out there that it bad enough it will get hot enough to cause a fire?
Yes I do. It isn't just the wiring. I charged at 10A in my sister-in-law's garage and the socket got hot after about 20 mins! It was quite a shock I can tell you. I was pleased that I didn't just plug in and go to bed and I hate to think what might have happened if I had continued to charge. I stopped the charge and switched to another socket which was fine.

So yes, I am absolutely convinced that charging through normal 3-pin sockets is an accident waiting to happen somewhere but having said that, I am equally certain that, if done with care and consideration of the potential dangers, then it can be entirely and completely safe.

What is more surprising to me is that there hasn't yet been any serious fires as a result. Perhaps this is because the early adopters are quite technically savy and so would naturally take sensible precautions? I don't know. However, AFAIK the risks are real even if they are rare.

I suppose that as there hasn't yet been any major fires as a result of EV charging (yet) I suppose that at some point we will stop being concerned but for the time being I consider the risk of a disaster quite real and so I am going to continue to promote the taking of care.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
BEAMA are very clear;

"you can charge through a domestic outlet in your property provided it is charged and operated through a mode 2 cable"

However, If I understand correctly, this assumes that the socket is in YOUR property, has been professionally tested, and you are using an EVSE with RCD protection (not sure if that includes Nissan EVSE).

If you don't meet these requirements, or charge away from home, then IMO you are personally responsible if something goes wrong.

I think this is easy... make sure the sockets you use are regularly tested by a certified electrician and where possible use a Charging Station :)
 

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As Kevin says the property has to have a current electrical certificate. I have my house tested every 12 months also our renter (its the law on rented property) So ensure your wiring is up to scratch !. If in doubt check it out as it charges never assume its going to be OK as that's when life bites you on the bum !!!
 
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