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Podpoint 3kW EVSE Repair using Viridian Controller & Contactor

1953 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  HandyAndy
Posted on behalf of a friend of mine, who had his Podpoint broken by a builder who jiggled the incoming cables while it was powered on. There was a "funny noise" and it died. I replaced a couple of capacitors which had been knocked off (just below that yellow transformer on LHS), and rewired around the PCB trace that had been ripped up, but this didn't fix it sadly. Podpoint quoted >£400 for a repair. He sent it off to an independent who repaired it for £160 by removing the original PCB, and replacing it with a new Viridian Controller, 20A 2-pole Kasan CT-1 Contactor, and a thermal self-resetting cutout, all mounted on a standard 35mm DIN rail. Here are some pics.

Original PCB

Repaired Podpoint

FWIW this is the Entry-level Viridian Controller, been around for at least 4 years to my knowledge. AFAIK there's no PEN-loss detection on this unit, and no DC-leakage detection.

Viridian do a more modern EPC 2.0 Controller, which comes with Earth loss protection by use of a Current Transformer round the Earth wire to the car, and there's an optional DC-leakage detection module you can also get as apparently a steady DC leak can "blind" AC RCDs and RCBOs (by saturating their transformers); a v low risk, but one that can be protected against. Here's a link to the Rolec upgrade I did, using latest Viridian with the optional DC sensing module as well. I have no idea whether brand new EVSEs are required to have either of these 2 new features that Viridian now support; anyone know for sure?
Rolec Dumb Charger upgraded with DC Leakage Protection...
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Very interesting. Has your friend experimented with changing the controller resistor to charge at a very slow rate?
No. But I have on mine. My Ampera will actually charge as low as 5.5A, I guess there's a margin-of-error in there somewhere.
You could fit a potentiometer & vary it dynamically from 6A to 16A (or 32A, depending). Am in the (slow) process of coding a digitally controlled potentiometer to do smart solar variation. Any change in current level has to be obeyed by the car in <5 seconds. If you wanted rotary multi-position click-switch, you might want to think carefully about whether it's make-before-break, or not, as you click round the settings. You don't want the EVSE suddenly terminating a charge completely 'coz it saw infinite (or illegally low) resistance as the switch was between clicks, so maybe you have a single large-value resistor always on, then switch in successive others in parallel to reduce R to what you now want.
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