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Home Charge Points Discussion and Suggestions [megathread]

Drew57

Active ember
Apr 4, 2020
1,063
1,261
Chester UK
  • My Zappi 2 was installed for £625 last May and included a new mini consumer unit (also relocated the FIT meter/breaker).
  • Next door neighbour had a Zappi 2 in the Autumn at a very slightly higher price.
  • The third neighbour already had a Zappi and has since added a second.
  • All of us use the same (excellent) installer

(More working chargers in our close than any Ecotricity site I've visited... in fact any single house could claim that accolade)
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,708
UK
Like I said, i'm getting mine done through my energy provider. Can't feel any safer than that.

Who will, of course, just sub-contract it to one of the many electricians out there that happen to have registered for leads from that particular energy supplier - that's how it works, as very few energy suppliers (none outside the very big ones I suspect) actually employ any electricians themselves.

I agree, finding a decent trades person (any trade) may not be easy. Lead selling services, like Check-a-Trade, and all the others, are no guarantee that anyone that buys a lead from them will do a good job, either. When building our house I got caught once by one of these lead-selling services, and learned quickly that personal recommendation, ideally from another trade, was far and away the best way to find good people.
 

seadog

Member
Feb 5, 2020
214
82
Scotland
Another charger available that I don't think has been mentioned yet.

Sync Ev

Apparently designed by installation electricians and has built in protections so no need for an earth road, also the smallest charger available roughly the same size as the EO mini, only negative is I don't see a tethered version available.
 
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Tranceporter

Member
Jan 4, 2021
52
15
United Kingdom
Another charger available that I don't think has been mentioned yet.

Sync Ev

Apparently designed by installation electricians and has built in protections so no need for an earth road, also the smallest charger available roughly the same size as the EO mini, only negative is I don't see a tethered version available.
Sync EV look good price wise. Going to call them now thanks.
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,708
UK
Be interesting to see inside this Sync EV charge point. My guess is that is may, like one or two others, use the Viridian Mk2 EVSE module. If so, then that seems a good choice. I built a charge point around the new Mk2 version of the Viridian module last year (still not got around to installing it as a replacement for one of our other DIY charge points yet, though) , and detailed it in this thread: DIY charge point

In the process of testing that unit I confirmed that the Viridian Mk2 EVSE module offered a pretty good level of protection. It has decent DC tolerant earth leakage protection, well within the spec and the open PEN detection method it uses seems to be better than any other unit on the market that I've seen. All told, I was pretty impressed with the performance and build quality of the Viridian module (I have no connection with them at all, BTW). As a consequence of that, I would also tend to place a lot of trust in any ready assembled charge point that uses that EVSE module, as long as it was properly assembled.
 

Tranceporter

Member
Jan 4, 2021
52
15
United Kingdom
Just got off a video call from SyncEv sales director. I am going ahead with the install with them. £595 plus a wall box next to electric meter. So £628 all in after OLEV grant for their 7.4 kW charger. They compare themselves with Zapii V2 as the benchmark. Have asked them if they use Viridian.

EDIT: Ok all I got from them was "Yes were tried oout Viridian (he typo'd it as Meridian) and a few other systems, but the one we have is a superior product". Take that for what you will @Glan gluaisne
 
Last edited:

aliasell

Member
Dec 10, 2020
11
2
Cheshire
Not a recommendation, but a do not use.

I had ordered an Andersen v2 through Brite Technical Service in Hillington, Glasgow back at the end of September with a 6-8 week timeframe.
Through various emails and calls through November (will be here in the next couple of days), December (delayed to January because of delays at the ports), through to yesterday when it I had a call to say that it will now be the end of March for the installation again because of parts getting delayed at the ports.

Finally it emerged that they may have not even placed the order for the charge point till earlier in that day. So 4 months of them having my money and doing nothing.

NOT HAPPY.

Cancelled the order with them so now I have the hassle of changing to another supplier and changing the grant info.

That sucks! I've just had an Andersen fitted, 5 week order to delivery time with good communication all of the way through.

It was fitted in a few hours, however the wifi chip is busted on it so they'll need to replace it.
 

Stuart1714

Member
May 27, 2020
141
84
Ashton-in-Makerfield
That sucks! I've just had an Andersen fitted, 5 week order to delivery time with good communication all of the way through.

It was fitted in a few hours, however the wifi chip is busted on it so they'll need to replace it.

Did you order it through the Andersen web site?

I’m looking to get one installed in the NW in next few months.
 

aliasell

Member
Dec 10, 2020
11
2
Cheshire
Yep!
  • Ordered on website 04/12/20
  • Had the order confirmation and installation date booked 12/12/20
  • The installation date was booked for 12/01/21 (I had to move it back)
They sent me an online form to fill out for the grant, all very simple and took about 5 mins. They were also very responsive to emails and questions. Very impressed with the quality to be honest!

upload_2021-1-20_10-24-39.png
 

Hurricane

Member
Jan 30, 2020
63
81
UK
I had a 22KW Andersen installed last November and am very happy with it. I’m looking to get a second 22KW one installed as we will shortly have four EVs in our household.
 

Tranceporter

Member
Jan 4, 2021
52
15
United Kingdom
I am looking at Zappi as being the best option but wondering why you went with SyncEV their website looks pretty weak information wise.
I had a Whatsapp video call with their sales director and he basically stated that their chargers are similar to Zappi and do not need earthing rod. Pluys it was cheaper. They are a smaller company. Give them a shout and see how you like it.

Having it installed today, so wil post pics once done.
 

kriscii

Member
Jan 19, 2021
72
32
Bucks
do not need earthing rod.
Most of them don't seem to need the earth rod now especially when it isn't a very consistent method. I think I'll go with one of the established option for now as I have enough complexity around the house. I will be interested to hear how it goes for next time.
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,708
UK
Most of them don't seem to need the earth rod now especially when it isn't a very consistent method. I think I'll go with one of the established option for now as I have enough complexity around the house. I will be interested to hear how it goes for next time.

Just to clarify that, if an earth electrode can be installed, within the constraints imposed by the location, then it will undoubtedly provide the very best form of protection from an open PEN fault (which is the requirement in the regs). There are some locations where an earth electrode cannot be installed, either because of the proximity of conductive parts that are protected by a different earthing system (outside taps, exposed metal pipes, etc) or because no safe location is available for the earth electrode, due to the proximity of underground services, either directly or within the influence zone of the electrode.

If an earth electrode cannot be installed, then using an alternative form of open PEN protection is now permitted, either built-in to the charge point, or contained within a connection box, such as the matt:e or ecoharmony products. This is always a second-best solution, in terms of absolute safety, but is allowable within the regs. Some forms of open PEN protection devices are definitely better than others, though. In general, any open PEN protection device that works by only measuring the phase voltage is a far less safe solution than one that monitors both phase voltage and current within the charge point protective earth conductor, IMHO.

Both the charge points I have installed have earth electrodes, because this is the safest option and because I'm lucky enough to have sufficient distance between their location and any other services or conductive parts connected to the house PME earth system to make this option viable.
 
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kriscii

Member
Jan 19, 2021
72
32
Bucks
I have installed have earth electrodes, because this is the safest option
I did read somewhere a badly installed earth rod could be dangerous as well, as it is possible to get a false safe reading when installing. Given my electrics has some peculiarities the electrician told me, I put my trust in him as he has done my electrics for the solar. It would not be a regs approved install option if it wasn't deemed safe and with electricity we all want safe as you said. As with anything with electrical installation it is only as safe as the installer and the equipment connected and made harder by the householder who always does the unexpected :eek: but that's why we have the Darwin awards. We are hoping to have a new build in the future and then would be the best time to get a belt and braces safe install, along with 3 phase to power all of this kit.
 

Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
3,801
2,909
Scotland
Does anyone have a Scottish Power Wallbox? I like the look of the Anderson, but the wallbox is only (from) £549 - more than half the price and doesn't look too bad in black. Worst case scenario, I would happily make my own wooden box and cover it.

At the end of the day they all do the same thing. (Unless you need/want bells and whistles or special features and/or a particular appearance.)
 

Tranceporter

Member
Jan 4, 2021
52
15
United Kingdom
Ok all installed and charging. Installation took couple of hours. I have zero knowledge about electrical stuff, so I will post a pic of the electric meter unit and the SyncEV wall charger.
77E79F90-9160-4FD1-B9FE-037E653317AE.jpeg


 

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Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,708
UK
I did read somewhere a badly installed earth rod could be dangerous as well, as it is possible to get a false safe reading when installing. Given my electrics has some peculiarities the electrician told me, I put my trust in him as he has done my electrics for the solar. It would not be a regs approved install option if it wasn't deemed safe and with electricity we all want safe as you said. As with anything with electrical installation it is only as safe as the installer and the equipment connected and made harder by the householder who always does the unexpected :eek: but that's why we have the Darwin awards. We are hoping to have a new build in the future and then would be the best time to get a belt and braces safe install, along with 3 phase to power all of this kit.

The main risks associated with installing an earth electrode are obvious ones, like banging the thing through an underground service, failing to keep it and the equipment it's connected to adequately spaced away from any exposed conductive part that's earthed using a different earthing scheme, failure to use the correct type of RCD protection (for an EV charge point this needs to be a Type B RCD, or a Type A RCD/RCBO plus DC tolerant earth leakage detection within the charge point itself), failure to ensure that the PE conductor is properly connected and failure to ensure that the resistance of the earth electrode to ground is adequately low.

The resistance of the earth electrode through the ground should be less than 200Ω, and generally it's not hard to get down to this figure in most UK soils. The exception is mainly very free draining sand, that can be a bit of a problem, especially because the resistance is likely to vary a great deal with the weather, more than for most other soils.

The limiting factor for electrode resistance, Ra, is the trip current of the RCD and the maximum allowable touch voltage of exposed conductive parts in the event of a fault. The max allowable touch voltage is 50 VAC normally (25 VAC by a swimming pool or hot tub, both of which require their pumps, heaters etc to have the same sort of open PEN protection as an EV charge point). RCDs have a maximum trip current of 30 mA, so the maximum electrode resistance that will still ensure that an RCD trips before 50 VAC is reached is way over 200Ω, it's 50 VAC / 30 mA = 1,666Ω, so there is a massive safety margin built in to the 200Ω maximum recommendation for Ra.

As an indication of real world Ra values, I have two earth electrodes, one going through a drilled hole in a concrete detached garage floor, through the sub-base underneath and down into compacted clay. Because of the stuff above, I screwed two 4ft rods together and drove them down until the top rod was just above garage floor level (just enough space to get a box on it). That one measures between 35 and 45Ω all year around. The other one is just a single rod driven directly into hard clay, yet gives a value of Ra that's lower, between 25Ω and 35Ω (which is very much on the low side of normal).

Converting those electrode Ra values into the maximum touch voltage that would appear on any exposed conductive part before the RCDs were to trip, assuming worst case conditions, gives a value of 1.35 VAC for the garage and 1.05 VAC for the one by the stand-alone charge point, voltages that are both less than that from a single AA battery, so plenty safe enough.

Only other thing to watch, and this applies to any RCD protected installation (which will be all UK installations done in the past decade or so, and all outdoor power outlets since 1981), is that the RCDs are regularly tested. There's a mandatory test label that should be on the RCD itself or on its enclosure, stating the test interval, normally not less than every 6 months for the user self-test button, and not less than every 10 years for normal domestic installations, as a part of the required EICR. During the EICR the tests conducted will not only check that RCDs trip, but that they trip within the required maximum time limit and current, and that they trip when subjected to a slowly increasing leakage current, rather than one suddenly imposed (as with the self-test button).
 

kriscii

Member
Jan 19, 2021
72
32
Bucks
which will be all UK installations done in the past decade
If only the main electrics were that new, the fuse box (can't really call it a consumer unit) is an old style with no RCD just MCBs. The solar is separate in its own RCD protected unit and the EV charger will connect to that. I lost interest in electric installations when they stopped us from doing them, I rewired my whole house 30 years ago when it was allowed but given I'm not allowed to touch anything my interest in researching and keep up with the regs has gone on that side instead it is 6 gang extensions into 6 gang extensions into 6 gang extensions etc into the one double socket in the office whereas in the past I would have wired it all properly into the ring. Looking forward to moving to a new house with a proper amount of sockets in the rooms sometime soon.
 

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