Considering all, whats the most cost effective way of installing a home charging station? Given that I have a good friend who is a fully qualified Electrician, Im struggling to pay the BG fee, when all i really want is the unit and have him install it.
Buy a unit directly from the manufacturer... Rolec are good, I have a Pod Point which is OK but I would have a Rolec if I were to buy it now, The GM one looks good value (not from BG but the one directly from GM)... there are others.
Have your friend install it. It is absolutely dead easy for an electrician. Our electrician took about an hour and charged us under £100.
The BG offer is not good value IMO unless you wanted the free Home cover that comes with it although I have heard good reports of BG providing a good backup/repair service. However, if it were me, I would avoid BG as buying direct and getting your friend to install is by far the cheapest and easiest way.
We had a European blogger send us this lead on a Scandinavian made unit which looks like it could be very useful over a wide variety of 220-240 volt outlets with some adaptation for each country. I've have no feedback on the company or its reliability.
Charge-Amps.com [email protected]
I'm awaiting a quote from the Electric centre for the 16 amp and 10 amp Rolec wall pods. Will let you know what it is, when I get it!
I'm also getting an electrician to connect them both up, but to save him hours of hasstle I'm going to run the cables myself and fix the units to the outside wall. Does anyone know what cable size I'd need for the 16 amp unit over a 30m run, mainly in the loft space and not covered by the loft insulation? I've looked on the web and 4mm2 or 6mm2 twin and earth seems to be what's mentioned.
I'd always recommend speaking to the electrician who will do your connect up, to make sure that he is happy with your spec before you start! after all if he is not happy with what you have done he will not connect it.
The simple rule is: It is always better to over rate your cable than to under rate it! also bear in mind that cables run hot at their maximum rating so it's advised to buy a greater rated cable if you are running a cable in air, on wood or in an insulated space.
In most DIY shops you'll find 1.5mm^2 rated as 20A and 4mm^2 rated as 37A these are the Maximums when installed under ideal conditions, to be safe for continuous draw the next sizes up would be preferable as a minimum, so for 16A a 2.5mm^2 (rated 27A) and for 32A a 6mm^2 (rate 47A) to give better thermal allowance.
If you are running longer cable runs then Voltage Drop can become an issue, again the advice is to avoid problems use larger cable diameters, if you already have used a larger cable for thermal reasons then you probably do not need to worry about voltage drop, as this is mainly a problem when a cable is operating near capacity.
Here is a handy guide http://aaelectricalservices.co.uk/cables.html
[You'll notice that if the cable is surrounded by insulation (method 103) then 4mm^2 (Sold as 37A) is only safe to 17.5A and you'll need 10mm^2(Sold as 64A) for 32Amp use.]
So for 16A draw if it's mounted to a wall then 2.5mm^2 would meet spec for shorter runs, but 4mm^2 would be preferable if it's not going to be run along brickwork, and for longer runs.
Finally Always make sure your 'trips' are lower rating than your cable!! if you use a 16A charger with 27 Amp cable make sure you are on a 16A trip at the consumer unit, so the cable is adequately protected. If you want to use a 32A Trip, use cable rated for a 32A install as a minimum.