Key considerations for installing charging points in homes

Circutor | 25 de March de 2022

Five years ago, few people believed that by 2021, electric mobility would provide a present and future alternative to traditional internal combustion vehicles.

Manufacturers, spurred on in many cases by European guidelines and potential sanctions, have changed their attitude towards electric vehicles, announcing more and more electric versions of their models. You just need to watch TV to realize that no brand wants to be left behind. There are countless car ads and virtually all of them include electric models, which always go to great lengths to showcase how clean, silent and ecological they are.

For increasingly eco-friendly consumers, the biggest drawback of sustainable products is their price. Which is why the Spanish government launched the MOVES Assistance Plan, which is in its third edition this year. Thanks to these grants, an individual can save between €4500 and €7000 when purchasing a vehicle as well as 70% to 80% of the total cost of installing a charging point.

The questions people have about charging these vehicles are another factor that has limited their adoption, especially in places like residential communities.

Vehicle manufacturers are increasingly choosing to offer and promote electrical models. But people still have a lot of questions. Below, we'll answer some FAQ.

 

How will I charge my car?

First, we have to know the mechanics of charging your vehicle. Most commonly, vehicles have a standard type-2 connector, which allows single-phase charging at 32 amperes (7.4 kW), which is probably more power than you have in your home. In this case, you need a single-phase charger and, if possible, one that already has a type-2 connector cable to avoid using an external cable. Since this is a standard connector, it should not need to be replaced if you change cars.

If you purchase a vehicle with three-phase charging capacity and you have a home with a three-phase connection available, you can use higher power charging, and thus make sure that the car is always ready to go when you need it.

eNext recarga doméstica VE

eNext, smart charging box for domestic installations allowing any user to charge their electric vehicle, regardless of the manufacturer.

How long will it take to charge my car?

Someone with a 5.75 kW (25 amperes) connection would be able to use most of this power to charge the vehicle at night, giving it approximately 300 km of range in 8 hours. The best way to make the most of your home's power would be a device like CirBEON, which routes any excess power in the home to the vehicle in real time.

CirBEON sensor

eHome CirBEON Sensor, installed in the main circuit breaker, it detects the power consumed and acts on eHome Wallbox to not exceed the maximum contracted power.

Another option, thanks to the change in rates published in the BOE in Circular 3/2020, is to contract a higher power at night (off-peak hours) than during the day (peak and standard periods). This way you can get the most from the conditions for the new rates, such as 2.0TD, which not only offers cheaper energy during off-peak hours, but also a much lower power rate.

Tramos horarios nueva tarifa eléctrica

To get an idea, the following table shows the charging speed (expressed in kilometers of range for each hour charged) you get depending on the power set in your charger.

Single-phase AC (230 V)
   Maximum     10 A     16 A     20 A     25 A     32 A
   Power     2.3 kW     3.7 kW     4.6 kW     5.75 kW     7.4 kW
   Speed*     15 km/h     25 km/h     30 km/h     40 km/h     50 km/h
Table 1. AC charging speed

 

During long trips that require you to charge your vehicle while on the road, these charging speeds may prove insufficient, and you should use the higher charging power that is available from a DC charging station. Depending on your vehicle, you can charge at a power of 50 to 150 kW. Some models even allow charging peaks of up to 350 kW.

Following the same analogy as with night-time charging, this is the range you would get for every minute of DC charging:

DC
   Power     50 kW     100 kW     150 kW     350 kW
   Speed*     5 km/min     100 km/min     15 km/min     35 km/min
Table 2. DC charging speed

What if someone tries to steal the energy?

Another common concern, especially in residential communities, is being able to restrict the use of the charger when the car is not in its parking space. At Circutor, our chargers feature various authentication methods, the most common being authentication via a smartphone app and the use of RFID cards. Both systems are easy to use, and you can install whichever one you prefer.

tarjeta RFID recarga autenticación

RFID card for user authentication on electric vehicle chargers

Is the charging process safe?

Electrical safety is the most decisive factor when legislating the implementation of electric mobility. Whether as a result of European guidelines or the resulting national regulations, any installation used to charge electric vehicles is required to have the appropriate safety devices.

In keeping with Complementary Technical Instruction ITC-BT-52 of Spain's Low-Voltage Electrotechnical Regulation, overcurrent protection must be provided, the magnitude of which is determined by the power that the charging point can supply. Each charging outlet must also provide protection against direct and indirect contact, which translates into at least a type-A RCCB, although a device should also be added to disconnect the load in the presence of a 6 mA DC leakage current. Finally, the installation must have permanent and transient surge protectors.

A good way to easily install all these elements is to have a pre-assembled electrical panel, such as the COFRET offered by Circutor:

Cofret RVE protección recarga

COFRET, protection box for single-phase recharging points

Who can install the charging point for me?

A work permit is not usually required to install a household charging point, with a technical report written by the installer being sufficient. As a result, it is usually best to check with a trusted installer or any certified installer who offers an installation service and can quote you a price to get your system up and running.

Some car manufacturers work with local installation companies to offer the installation of the charging point at the same time that the vehicle is purchased. Another option is to contact your electric utility, since they also usually offer their customers a charging point installation service.

In short, although there are still many questions that users have about EVs and how to charge them, their advantages are clear.

WRITTEN BY CIRCUTOR

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