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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I'm shortly to become the owner of a Leaf 62kWh and looking to get a home chargepoint installed. I'd like something safe, well-made, and reliable. Smart features are nice to have, especially in order to get the gov grant, but the main use will probably be to plug in the car and charge either straight away or using the car's scheduler. Space, specifically width, is a bit limited in my preferred wall location.

I like the look of the Indra Smart Pro or the soon-to-be-released Viridian Classic 2.0.

I live just north of Oxford. Can anyone recommend a nearby installer?

Kind regards
- Garry
 

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I live in North Oxfordshire. I used Smart Home Charge to install an Ohme for me earlier this year. I was very happy with the service both before and during installation. The installer discussed the whole thing with me and made sure it was being fitted where and how I wanted it rather than just going on what he'd been told by the office.
 

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I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Sam at Elecology - very professional, very knowledgeable and very reassuring through the whole process. His installer was prompt, polite, competent and conscientious.

I did also get a quote from SmartHomeCharge but I found them pushy, less knowledgeable and more expensive - and I was also concerned about their insistence that my Ohme did NOT need an earth rod or PEN. (Plus it took ages to get them to remove me from their mailing lists - a minor thing, I know, but it's a pet hate of mine when a company is unresponsive like that!)
 

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I did also get a quote from SmartHomeCharge but I found them pushy, less knowledgeable and more expensive - and I was also concerned about their insistence that my Ohme did NOT need an earth rod or PEN. (Plus it took ages to get them to remove me from their mailing lists - a minor thing, I know, but it's a pet hate of mine when a company is unresponsive like that!)
That's worrying, given that it absolutely must have open PEN fault protection if the installation is anything other than TT. Definitely an installer to steer clear of, if they do not understand fundamental electrical safety requirement,s especially as this is nothing at all knew, it's a requirement that has been around since we first started using PME decades ago.
 

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I was told (not just by Smart Home Charge) that I wouldn't need an earth rod because my charger was being installed inside my garage. The installer fitted one anyway.
 

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I was told (not just by Smart Home Charge) that I wouldn't need an earth rod because my charger was being installed inside my garage. The installer fitted one anyway.

That's probably correct. If your garage is within the equipotential zone, and there are exposed conductive parts in there (screws on outlets, metal cased appliances, etc) that are connected to the PEN conductor, and if any of those items are within about 2m of the car body when it's being charged, then you must not fit a separate earthing system for car charging, or you much convert everything else within that garage to be on the same earthing system as the charge point.

The regs are clear about the need to separate two different earthing systems, because if the PME develops a PEN fault, allowing that PE to float to a high voltage, then there will be a shock risk from that to the other earthing system that is connected to the local earth.

This is why open PEN fault protection is a requirement for outdoor installations, that are outwith the equipotential zone provided within the house and any attached buildings on the same earthing system.

If it's a detached garage, well away from the house equipotential zone, then wiring it as TT with an electrode is fine, and is in some ways preferable, as it avoids exporting the PME earth along the sub-main to the garage.
 

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Hi,
I'm shortly to become the owner of a Leaf 62kWh and looking to get a home chargepoint installed. I'd like something safe, well-made, and reliable. Smart features are nice to have, especially in order to get the gov grant, but the main use will probably be to plug in the car and charge either straight away or using the car's scheduler. Space, specifically width, is a bit limited in my preferred wall location.

I like the look of the Indra Smart Pro or the soon-to-be-released Viridian Classic 2.0.

I live just north of Oxford. Can anyone recommend a nearby installer?

Kind regards
- Garry
We had both of ours installed by AESPV. They were a lot more interested in seeing what could be done than the big installers.

I would recommend you give them a call and see what they say.

 
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That's probably correct. If your garage is within the equipotential zone, and there are exposed conductive parts in there (screws on outlets, metal cased appliances, etc) that are connected to the PEN conductor, and if any of those items are within about 2m of the car body when it's being charged, then you must not fit a separate earthing system for car charging, or you much convert everything else within that garage to be on the same earthing system as the charge point.

The regs are clear about the need to separate two different earthing systems, because if the PME develops a PEN fault, allowing that PE to float to a high voltage, then there will be a shock risk from that to the other earthing system that is connected to the local earth.

This is why open PEN fault protection is a requirement for outdoor installations, that are outwith the equipotential zone provided within the house and any attached buildings on the same earthing system.

If it's a detached garage, well away from the house equipotential zone, then wiring it as TT with an electrode is fine, and is in some ways preferable, as it avoids exporting the PME earth along the sub-main to the garage.
I understand about half of what you wrote. :unsure:

The garage is detached and well away from the house. The earthing rod is embedded in the drive, just outside the meter box (which is attached to the side of the house), approximately 15m away from the charger.
 

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If you are looking at Smart PRO then we have a sign up link at the bottom of this page:


Happy to answer any questions.

Sent from my SM-N976B using Tapatalk
 

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If you car can do scheduled charging, I’d go for the dumbest charger possible!

At work we have 3 very “smart” chargers and one “dumb” outlet. Frequently we have problems with the smart chargers not working, going offline”, refusing to respond to the rfid cars and so on... the dumb one, you plug in, it works - end of.

You only need a smart one if your car can’t do timed charging itself...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you car can do scheduled charging, I’d go for the dumbest charger possible!

At work we have 3 very “smart” chargers and one “dumb” outlet. Frequently we have problems with the smart chargers not working, going offline”, refusing to respond to the rfid cars and so on... the dumb one, you plug in, it works - end of.

You only need a smart one if your car can’t do timed charging itself...
Reliability and longevity of smart electronics is definitely an issue. My 'smart' TV, for example, was never really that smart and, at 8 years old, has now lost most of the smart features it originally had, due to lack of ongoing software support. Otherwise, it works fine, and I would hope to get many more years from it. (In this case, the solution is simple: an Amazon FireTV stick or similar.)

I would hope an EV charge point would last for at least 10 years, preferably a lot more: all of the electrical wiring installation in my house is older than that, and a lot is original, over 40 years old. It would be optimistic to expect the smart features to be supported for that long. So, what happens when a smart thing becomes a dumb thing?

One solution is to get a dumb charge point, as you suggest. Another is to get a smart charge point that can still work in a dumb mode so should, when the inevitable happens, degrade gracefully and remain functional. The Viridian Classic unit is dumb. The Indra Smart Pro is, as the name suggests, smart, but has a 'Boost' button on the unit that, as I understand it, will override any smart settings and start charging immediately.

Of course, only smart charge points get the gov grant nowadays so that's a factor too.

Kind regards
- Garry
 

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Reliability and longevity of smart electronics is definitely an issue. My 'smart' TV, for example, was never really that smart and, at 8 years old, has now lost most of the smart features it originally had, due to lack of ongoing software support. Otherwise, it works fine, and I would hope to get many more years from it. (In this case, the solution is simple: an Amazon FireTV stick or similar.)

I would hope an EV charge point would last for at least 10 years, preferably a lot more: all of the electrical wiring installation in my house is older than that, and a lot is original, over 40 years old. It would be optimistic to expect the smart features to be supported for that long. So, what happens when a smart thing becomes a dumb thing?

One solution is to get a dumb charge point, as you suggest. Another is to get a smart charge point that can still work in a dumb mode so should, when the inevitable happens, degrade gracefully and remain functional. The Viridian Classic unit is dumb. The Indra Smart Pro is, as the name suggests, smart, but has a 'Boost' button on the unit that, as I understand it, will override any smart settings and start charging immediately.

Of course, only smart charge points get the gov grant nowadays so that's a factor too.

Kind regards
- Garry
Garry - correct. boost will charge at the maximum available power (considering the house need too).

We also have a 'home alone' feature so if for whatever reason the device is not connected to the internet, or isn't being controlled for any reason it will still charge at the maximum available power.

Sent from my SM-N976B using Tapatalk
 

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I understand about half of what you wrote. :unsure:

The garage is detached and well away from the house. The earthing rod is embedded in the drive, just outside the meter box (which is attached to the side of the house), approximately 15m away from the charger.

Sorry. It gets a bit complicated.

Essentially, the way that earthing provides safety in a modern house isn't to make sure that everything inside the house that could be touched is really earthed, as in connected to the earth outside, but to make sure it's all connected together, so it's at the same potential, what's called the equipotential zone. Imagine that all the pipes and metal stuff in the house are connected together, as they should be, using equipotential bonding wires that are connected to the incoming combined protective earth and neutral wire (the PEN). Next imagine there is a PEN fault, so that the voltage of all those metal parts rises to, say, 100 V above the earth outside. There's no electric shock risk, even though there is a very serious fault, because all the metal bits will be at the same voltage - there needs to be a difference in voltage to cause a current to flow, and it's current that causes harm. This is how open PEN fault protection works inside the house, by making sure everything is at the same voltage if a fault occurs. If a garage is attached to a house, then it can usually be treated as a part of the house, and so no additional PEN fault protection is needed.

Now step outside the house and imagine what happens with a car plugged in. There's the same PEN fault and the voltage on the "earth" wire rises to, say, 100 V. The car body is connected to that earth. Now there is a very real risk that someone standing on the conductive, perhaps wet, ground (which is at 0 V) can get a shock, as there is a voltage difference of 100 V between the car body and true earth. A detached garage needs to be considered to be outside the house equipotential zone normally, especially if some distance from the house. The rule is that there has to be sufficient space between exposed conductive parts that are connected to two different earthing systems that someone cannot easily touch both at the same time. A couple of metres is usually enough, in my view. Most likely culprits are things like exposed metal pipes and outside taps.

It sounds like your guy did the right thing, in the circumstances. The rule is to get the earth electrode as close to where the car will be parked when charging as is practical, taking account of the influence of other buried services (metal pips and cable).
 

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Of course, only smart charge points get the gov grant nowadays so that's a factor too.
The government have announced they plan to legislate to require all new private and public chargers less than 50kW be smart from early 2022, so if you want a dumb charger best get a move on.
 
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