EV charging Pillar -is a surge protection device required?

As a manufacturer of ac EV chargers, our pillar is an aluminium tube made for car parks.

Is a surge protection device a requirement or a recommendation?

  • As the maker, it is for you to decide if it needs more protection over and above that which you already have built in.

    What voltage surge do you (or if you are assembling other folk's modules rather than building, then the designers of the electronic giblets) test to when IEC 61000 testing for type approval?  wikepedia entry on the surge test part of the standard - as a guide 6kv surge withstand is usual for things like meters connected direct to an incoming line while 2.5kV or even 1.5kV is a more common level for things that are considered appliances. I'd suggest as a starting point, that if either of the latter two you recommend strongly to your customers that they install additional surge protection.

    Regs wise makers instructions trump all else in such a case.


  • BS 7671's current stance is that "protection against transient overvoltages shall be provided unless the owner of the installation declares it is not required due to any loss or damage being tolerable and they accept the risk of damage to equipment and any consequential loss" - so I guess that boils down to a recommendation as far as SPDs in the installation are concerned.

    I don't know if EVs could produce switching overvoltages (being relatively large current loads), if so SPDs might still need to be considered.

    If the charge points are connected to a different Earthing system from the main installation (e.g. on a TT island, from a TN main installation) then any SPDs in the main installation may not adequately protect the charge point/EV so might have to be repeated.

    I'm not sure if the equipment standard for charge points (BS EN 61851?) has any requirements for SPDs within the equipment itself.

         - Andy.

  • Surely a forum is not the place to ask such a question! 


  • Hold on, Martin might not have been asking as someone with the responsibility of a manufacturer. Perhaps he is an interested employee sitting in a canteen and just musing on the subject. Let’s not chase folk away from this forum, there already appears to be a dearth!

  • When I did the C&G EV course in July at NAPIT in Portishead, Bristol the tutor touched on the subject of SPDs, however he actually recommended doing their one day SPD course, because there’s a lot more to it than generally gets mentioned in short presentations.

    Since then I have been to the NAPIT Expo in Bristol and did the 18th edition amendment two update training, which included a session on the SPD requirements, prior to this I have attended sessions at Elex and other trade events.

    My understanding is if the EV manufacturer installs an SPD within the EVSE the installer should still install a Type 1 or 2 at the intake as the SPD in the EVSE may be a Type 3.

    I have taken part in face to face training sessions, webinars, read articles and watched online videos, but still I don’t feel confident that I can give a definitive answer to the question.