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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Here goes! Hopefully this section can be used for permanent-reference type threads, so newcomers can have a quick & easy way to find out what's what with these things. To a layman they're black magic, like microwave ovens, and there's absolutely no way of knowing if they're getting a good one, or not.

EVSE - Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment. These are not in fact "chargers", it's the car that has the mains charger built in. They are just a fancy mains switch (the Contactor), plus some added logic (ECU/Controller-module/custom PCB/...) that tells the car how much current it's allowed to take. Add in some safety items, and that's it.

Actually, the dumb EVSEs, at least, are pretty simple things, and they don't come any simpler than the original Rolecs!

Bought mine rated 32A @240V (7kW) back in 2015, and ran it 4 years at gentle 16A rate, as that was all my Ampera took.

Plusses:

1) Cheap to buy, some 2nd hand ones on eBay etc.

2) Very easy to repair and maintain yourself. Rolec ECU can be diy replaced with Viridian ECU for around £80.

3) Uses standard DIN rail to mount standard RCBO, Contactor, and Rolec/Viridian ECU & Earth block. Rest of contents are the Type-2 Socket / Cable, and an LED unit on front cover. Couldn't be simpler.

4) Easy to upgrade to very latest PEN-loss protection and optional DC-leakage protection using Viridian ECU plus a 2nd Contactor. Cost appx £250 for the bits. Diy job, thread linked-to below.

5) Easy to add some "smarts" using remote-control on/off switch. Thread linked-to below.

6) Possible to reprogram the Rolec ECU to make it "smart". Possible to add other logic to make Viridian ECU "smart". If you fancy programming projects, this is one EVSE you can get to grips with easily.

Minuses:

1) RCBOs with Rolec branding are really bad. Ditch these, fit Garo/similar. £25 appx. Diy job, but do make sure properly tightened! Torque screwdriver advised, Garo have slightly higher torque than others I believe. Max is 3 Nm torque.

2) Case needs to be treated carefully. I now make a Rolec WallPod EVSE Charger Case Repair Kit, search on eBay. Link here:
Rolec WallPod EVSE Charger Case Repair Kit

Problems I & others have had:

1) This is the big one. The originalRolec branded RCBOs with blue text on are atrocious. These should be binned at once, and replaced with similar-rated Garo (or other good-quality mfr). Mine lasted 3 years only because it was being run at 1/2 power! But even then it was beginning to fail. Anyone running a Rolec at its full rated power should swap out the RCBO.
And for those with the newer green-text Rolec-branded RCBOs, these are also starting to show failures due to overheating, though in a different location. I would recommend binning those as well, for peace of mind.

2) Some owners have had the (plastic) case crack, or the mounting lugs inside snap, due to overtightening maybe? I have had no problems myself, but case was mounted on a very flat wall, and lives inside gge. If all 6 screws are not unscrewed completely, maybe taking the cover off at an angle snaps the thin pillars. Not the best design of fastening, should be beefier.

3) Ampera decided to short-circuit at car's socket, and blew up the ECU (Control module) in it! Not the Rolec's fault, but there's no short-circuit protection in it whatsoever.

Evidence of Problems:
1) Rolec-branded RCBOs burning out/overheating badly.
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2) Case damage
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Solutions to problems:

1) Garo RCBO for the 32A 7kW EVSE.
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2) Case damage can be repaired. I sell a kit on eBay to make this easy! Here it is:
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LINKS to other Solutions and Improvements
Fitting timer to Rolec system

Rolec charge controller pinout


Rolec Dumb Charger upgraded with DC Leakage Protection...
 

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Just buy a Viridian charger in the first place and get the advantages of the Rolex (discrete components) with none of the disadvantages like cheap and shoddy. The Viridian has an all metal casing and uses quality components!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, but prices new start around £500! For someone on a budget, a 2nd hand eBay one can now be repaired easily, using a Viridian ECU, GARO RCBO, my case-kit, other items like new socket/cables if needed from evbitz.uk .
No point in binning the existing stock, they can run ok for years if cared for.
Viridian parts available from ecoHarmony and maybe elsewhere.
 

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Is this the Garo unit?

Or is it this one?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Good question. I'm not a sparky. But I googled a bit, and got this info:
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The Type 'A' RCBOs respond to both AC and pulsating DC residual currents.
Type A RCDs are used for alternating sinusoidal residual current and for residual pulsating direct current up to 6 mA. electric vehicle charging equipment with smooth residual DC current less than 6 mA.

Type B devices are designed to trip at fault currents of 3-5 times rated current (In). For example a 10A device will trip at 30-50A.
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So I'd have to say that the Type A looks to be a bit more capable than the Type B. Similar price, so... ?
Any sparky plz confirm/deny/advise us? That Garo Type A has 30 mA sensitivity, not the 6mA google got me, and not the 6mA on the Western Automation RCM14-01 DC current detector I have wired into my EVSE as a recent upgrade I did.
So is a 30 mA Type A a genuine replacement for these 6 mA DC detectors being mentioned in here?
 

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Type A RCDs do not trip on DC currents, they are not blinded when upto 6mA DC leakage is present, they are also more immune to pulsed noise. Type AC RCDs can be trippy with this noise but also some will become less sensitive or even blinded if 6mA DC is leaking to ground resulting in failing what they are intended to do if needed!
type B RCDs have the same AC characteristics but will also trip if DC leakage is seen (max of 30mA). If the EVSE includes a module that can detect a DC fault in the vehicle then only the type A is required.

The introduction of the 6mA+typeA or TypeB protection was introduced after a serious incident using a type AC RCD, the standards now include this requirement for any vehicles that have an IEC62196 connector, although the offending vehicle that caused this in the 1st place didnt have an IEC62196 connector!.

I didnt realise the Rolec had issues with the housing also - that more or less makes it complete - Socket flap with a fake CE mark (thats undersized), RCBOs burning out, the cheap nasty sockets burning out, probably helped by the undersized door and the ability to be able to hot disconnect (missing the required locking mechanism) and their control module that doesnt meet the minimum safety requirements for creepage distances (Low Voltage Directive). Only the contactor seems to be OK when it isnt buzzing/humming where it touches the front of the casing.
 

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@HandyAndy I had my Rolec fitted January last year. Just had a look inside my unit and it seems to be a different layout? Maybe a new version? Model number EVHS2020.

My problem is that I can't get it to connect to the app. My roadblock to moving to Octopus.

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I had a tethered Rolec installed 6 years ago. At the time is thought that this was just like an expensive power socket that I could keep using. How wrong I was.
4 years ago I sold the EV and did not use the Rolec until last month....surprise it does not work any longer. No evidence of water ingress and the RCBO is fine but somewhere beyond the collector the setup must be broken. So I thought this would be a fairly easy fix for an electrician.
Not so!!! Nobody wants to repair an old Rolec, everybody advised they are unsafe and also that the setup at the distro board using Type C RCBOs is wrong and need to be changed. Now I am getting quoted around £1000 to install a new charger. Needless to say I am not happy, this should be a fairly easy process not a complete replacement job after that short period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Certainly a new version & model number. Mine predates the new regs.

The 32A ECU at bottom left is labelled ACSE0021 on yours, mine is ACES0020 so some update done there. At top right they've added a white kWh meter so you can see what's been used, nice to have. At very right there's a white DC current-transformer checking to see if there's a mismatch in current flow between L & N, and that seems to be connected to a grey adjustable voltage-checker or something at top middle. So the've upgraded the original dumb unit that had none of this DC checking stuff, to bring it up-to-date with latest regs. I can't see an extra contactor to isolate the N from the car, so presumably this unit is connected to an Earth Rod.

RCBO/RCD/MCB stuff is now presumably located in a mini CU upstream. Perhaps doesn't need an RCBO now, maybe the DC gizmo combined with RCD does enough between them.

I can't see any unit that obviously does comms stuff, so how the app connects I have no idea at all. Maybe built into the newer ECU & totally hidden from view? It does appear to be just a dumb unit to me at the moment.

Interesting the case is black, I'm going to have to make a black version of my Rolec Case Repair kit now, for when these cases start to creak at the seams! They've used the same design, which has some weaknesses in the design of how to support & reinforce the various lugs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I had a tethered Rolec installed 6 years ago. At the time is thought that this was just like an expensive power socket that I could keep using. How wrong I was.
4 years ago I sold the EV and did not use the Rolec until last month....surprise it does not work any longer. No evidence of water ingress and the RCBO is fine but somewhere beyond the collector the setup must be broken. So I thought this would be a fairly easy fix for an electrician.
Not so!!! Nobody wants to repair an old Rolec, everybody advised they are unsafe and also that the setup at the distro board using Type C RCBOs is wrong and need to be changed. Now I am getting quoted around £1000 to install a new charger. Needless to say I am not happy, this should be a fairly easy process not a complete replacement job after that short period.
I updated mine to the latest regs requirements, see here. Would be simpler & cheaper if I'd had an Earth Rod in place, but don't have one & not keen to have gge floor/driveway disturbed.
Rolec Dumb Charger upgraded with DC Leakage Protection...
Alternatively you could contact evbitz.uk & see if the guy there ?Martin? will repair it for you. He's repaired Podpoints, and basically strips out the guts & puts in a Viridian ECU just as I did, at a very reasonable price. If your Rolec case is ok, no need to bin it tbh.
 

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Thanks @HandyAndy , your setup sounds like what’s required. Unfortunately I am not an electrician and thus will need to rely on trades to setup the charger. Just seems nobody wants to fiddle with a Rolec.
 

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Good luck with that. Smart and Rolec are not words that should ever find themselves in the same sentence, either for their products or their service.
 
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