The concept has taken off quickly and it is only a matter of time before EVs become a significant proportion of all vehicles. It is paramount to the industry that electric vehicles are safe when it comes to charging. Manufacturers and international standards bodies have considered the risks associated with EV charging and have introduced new requirements and practices.
Electrical vehicle charging provides an AC current to the vehicle to give it power. This will most likely be through a cable on an extension cord. In the event of an exposed live part between the vehicle charging unit and the power source, a shock risk will be present.
At Western Automation we provide EV charging protection technology to minimise the risk of electrical shock when charging an electric vehicle. Our technology provides RCD protection against electric shock for electric vehicle charging for both AC and DC currents. Both currents present serious shock risk.
In the event of a DC current flowing in an AC circuit, protection may be disabled on the AC operated RCD due to blinding of the RCD, and thereby removing the protection on the installation.
AC protection will be typically 30 milliamps and DC protection will typically be 6 milliamps. We are therefore challenged with detecting both 6 milliamps DC and 30 milliamps AC to ensure protection is at its highest under all circumstances when we are charging an electric vehicle.
Our technology is developed to be integrated into our customer’s electric vehicle charging products. There are primarily two main types of electric vehicle charging that include RCD protection, Mode Two and Mode Three. With Mode Two charging, the vehicle has its own cable that the user connects to an AC supply to obtain its charge. This cable has to incorporate both AC and DC protection against insulation breakdown.
Mode Three charging is where we use a charging station and the charging station itself will have a cable that is connected to the vehicle. In this instance, the charging unit will have built-in AC and DC protection and it will not be in the vehicle itself or in the connected cable.
Western Automation has developed a range of solutions for providing protection during electric vehicle charging.