How to charge an electric car in the condominium garage

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Condominium meetings can be a lot of people’s worst nightmare and it is not always easy to get an understanding between people who, even though they share the same space, have no common point. So, before you park your electric car in the place reserved for you in the garage, which is everyone’s space, and decide to connect the plug to the socket, avoid problems and follow a good practice guide, with some tips in the mix. However, whatever you do, resist the temptation to place cables outside the building’s windows: in addition to the façade being a common asset, this solution, which is widely seen on the streets of national cities, can jeopardize the safety of all who inhabit your building.

Start by informing your neighbors

It can happen that you buy the car and leave the issue of charging in the garage at home for later – either because you can charge it during the day at work, or because there is a public pay station near the places where it stops during the day, or because simply the investment proves to be an effort after having acquired a mobility solution that does not excel at low prices. But the sidelong glances won’t be long as the neighbors see a car plugging into the common space. To avoid conversations, inform your neighbors about purchasing an electric car and talk about what you plan to do when it comes to charging.

Prepare the installation

It is possible to install charging points or electrical outlets even in spaces that are in common use. However, before doing so, it is necessary to observe the technical requirements, established by the General Directorate of Energy and Geology (DGEG), for common areas of the building. The Technical Guide for Electrical Installations for Powering Electric Vehicles is available online and contains information on all the parameters necessary to proceed with the installation of a charging point. It is certain that the installation can be facilitated in buildings whose construction takes place after 2010; in buildings built prior to that date, the installation of a charging point will require approval by the joint owners.

Inform the condominium

Is it time to start thinking about charging the car during the night? In this case, start by gathering the necessary information and, as soon as you have guaranteed the possibility of seeing a charging point installed, make a communication to the condominium administration about your intentions – the information must be in writing, preferably by registered letter, at least thirty days prior to the date of future installation.

Who pays for the installation?

If you choose an individual charging point, please note that all expenses will come out of your pocket. In the event that the condominium chooses to oppose its installation, as opposed to a collective solution, the payment for the work will be the responsibility of the condominium.

And who pays for the shipments?

The ideal is to associate a charging point with an autonomous meter relating to the fraction in which the owner of the electric vehicle resides. Energy providers have solutions for these specific cases. In the case of EDP, for example, there is the possibility of installing a wall box, which allows charging for between two and five hours. As for common condominium solutions, with mounted charger, the same company provides a module that identifies and controls access to the charger, allowing quick and easy settlement of accounts between the resident and the condominium. Do as you do, don’t let anyone think you’re also paying for your car load – it’s probably going to be discussed at the next meeting.

ELECTRIC CAR CHARGER – INSTALLATION

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Learn in practice how to correctly install an electric vehicle charger within the standards, in addition to carrying out charging simulations, and learn more about outlet models and their protections.

The Electric Car Charger – Installer course introduces you to the practical step-by-step installation of an electric car charger to ensure maximum efficiency and safety, including technical assessment for installation.

Specific topics such as electric car chargers, necessary protections, standards, safety, tests and simulations necessary for the installation of chargers are covered to make the student aware of the world of infrastructure installation for electric vehicles.

In addition, a practical part of installing the charger for residential use is done, followed by a demonstration of the operation of the public electric car charger, together with the configuration and use of the electric vehicle charger simulator.

This course is aimed at installers who have already taken the first Electric Car course, also offered by NeoSolar, in addition to higher-level professionals or technicians specialized in the areas of maintenance, technical assistance, electro-electronic workshops, design and activities related to electrical systems -electronics from the automotive industry and the auto parts sector.

Instructors

Felipe Martins Francisco

He has over 10 years of experience in solar energy and electric mobility, in addition to vast knowledge in low voltage electrical protection, integration of On Grid and Off Grid solar systems, energy management and supply solutions for electric vehicles.

He worked at Schneider Electric for 8 years, was the Product Manager responsible for creating the offer of chargers for electric car (EVlink) in Brazil and participated in the execution of the project between Schneider Electric Brazil & BMW do Brasil carrying out the supply solution for the first electric vehicles (EV) sold to final consumers in Brazil.

He is currently responsible for the Business area of ​​Neo Charge, a company that offers solutions in charging infrastructure for electric vehicles through the distribution of equipment, courses, technical services and shared operation of charging stations.

Electric vehicle chargers require few building changes

Device manufacturers recommend using a dedicated extension. “It is a good practice, although it is not mandatory”, says Pintão, indicating that the separation prevents other electronics from being connected to the circuit and interfering with the power. “Often, the designer measures the total load of the building well, but does not distribute it properly. The result is the overload of some branches”, he adds. According to the engineer, this failure is not that uncommon. With the necessary adjustments in the electrical project and an eventual increase in the load capacity, any type of project is able to receive the supply equipment .

CHARGER TYPES

The market offers different models of charger, classified according to their charging capacity. The products are divided into three groups: plug or slow charge, fixed or medium charge and fast charge. “In the first category are the most used in emergencies, which is why they are not so recommended”, explains the Neosolar engineer. In homes, businesses and other establishments, the most suitable solution is the medium load. Fast chargers are perfect for roads. Serve so that vehicles can quickly recharge the battery and continue on long journeys.

INSTALLATION CARE

The installation of the device, although simple, requires specialized labor. This is because the procedure has technical details that most engineers are unaware of. “Attention must be on the dimensioning of cables and electrical protections (for equipment and people), grounding and protection against surges”, enumerates Pintão, stating that some chargers will not even work if the grounding is not adequate.

“It is also not smart to save on protection, as there will be risks to vehicles and even the possibility of fire”, warns the professional. After installation, some tests need to be done using special tools. Connecting the equipment to the vehicle before evaluating the operation is not indicated.

The installation of the equipment counted on specialized assistance, which ensured protection for the vehicles. “Nobody would like to leave their car charging and, due to a problem in the electrical network or a torrential rain, they have the investment lost”, he points out. The procedure followed the guidelines of European technical standards, which regulate the installation and maintenance of this type of device.

The equipment chosen for Spaces has a power of 7 kW/hour and is capable of charging a vehicle without any energy in up to 4 hours. During the months of use, no operational problems related to the quality of the products were registered. “What has already happened, and is part of the culture of coworking spaces , is a user having to wait for another user to finish energizing their vehicle in order to charge theirs. But, in this case, a logistical work solves the situation”

Safety in electric vehicle charging facilities

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When we think about electric cars, the first thing we think about is where are we going to charge them?

The answer to this question is simpler than many imagine, our cars will be recharged in our own homes. That’s right, every owner of an electric vehicle, when he buys a car, is also the owner of his own “fuel station”!

To recharge at home, we only need to use a charger, which can be supplied with the car by automakers, usually of low power, commonly called emergency charger, or we can find more powerful chargers on the market, with functions such as demand control, user identification by RFID card and/or password, energy apportionment reports, etc… But the key point of all this is that no matter how simple or technological the charger you want to use, in the end your car will be supplied with electricity.

Recharging at home, in addition to being extremely convenient, practical and economical, is also very safe, when the relevant technical standards and manufacturers’ installation recommendations are met.

And this article brings some basic information for both the equipment and the installation so that you can safely fuel up your car, without putting your electrical installation, safety of your family or property at risk.

Choosing the right charger

There are several chargers and suppliers on the market, and choosing a suitable charger goes far beyond the features and features it may have, this is the application and taste of each user, here in this article, we will focus on what is mandatory or recommended for ensure safety.

IEC 61851 or NBR IEC 61851 Certification : The certification is your guarantee that the charger has been developed and tested with extremely strict criteria of reliability, performance and, above all, safety.

Degree of Protection: Chargers, as a rule for use in covered environments, must have a minimum degree of protection IP 41 and, for use in uncovered environments, they must meet at least IP 44, but we consider that for greater safety and robustness, the equipment must have at least IP 54, thus, the charging station is protected against the ingress of dust, in an amount that could compromise the equipment and protected against water splashes.

Emission of Electromagnetic Noise: Electronic equipment can emit electromagnetic noise and this can be extremely dangerous, because electromagnetic noise can interfere with the functioning of other equipment, including extremely important devices to correct heart problems, such as the pacemaker.

In the case of a person with a pacemaker exposed to certain levels of electromagnetic noise, that person may suffer from discomfort, palpitations, dizziness and reduced physical capacity, even serious risk of life due to changes in the device’s operating characteristics.

Therefore, it is important to know the classification of the Special International Committee on Radio Frequency (CISPR) regarding the emission of electromagnetic noise: Class A are devices for use in an industrial environment, controlled and restricted access; Class B are devices for public, commercial, industrial environments where anyone can operate the device.

Thus, it is extremely important to verify that the device is certified and which class it belongs to.

Installation

As for the installation of chargers, it is important to highlight that it is not only NBR 5410 that must be met, but also other standards such as ABNT NBR 5419, ABNT NBR IEC 61851, among others. Errors in the installation, although they do not cause problems in the short term, they can have a high potential for risk, an overload over time can become a short circuit and this can be responsible for a fire, a proper, correct installation should never be neglected and safe.

Charges may require currents from 6 to 32 A for applications in homes, residential buildings and/or commercial buildings, and require 2 hours to 45 hours for a full recharge, depending on vehicle model and charger charging power. Thus, it is clear that the electrical installation must be in perfect condition and allow a load with considerable power to remain on for relatively long times.

Hiring a qualified professional: It is extremely important that you hire a professional, not only to prepare the power circuit of the charging point, but also to verify that the electrical installation meets your needs, such as adequate current leakage protection, surge protection voltage, if the electrical installation has the capacity to meet the current that the vehicle will demand for the time it will require, among other characteristics.

Overcharging: The charger is equipment that can supply power between 1.7 kW up to 22 kW, it is important to note that the vehicle is the one who controls the consumed power, and this only informs the car what the maximum power can be provided by the installation, having as a reference the amount of power that the vehicle can demand, we already realized that an important point to be considered is the need for an exclusive circuit for the charger.

This circuit needs to be sized to meet the needs of the vehicle and charger so that it is not overloaded by a load that will demand high levels of current for times, generally not less than 8 hours, when a full recharge is required.

An important point of attention is to pay attention to the overloading of circuits and also upstream circuits, something that is often neglected. The upstream circuits need to be prepared and adequate to supply this new load demand that will be added to the installation, which ends up causing the activation of protection devices, overheating of the conductors, reduction of their useful life, risk of loss of insulation and, consequently , increased probability of a short circuit and risk of fire.

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