Surge protection for electric vehicle charging stations - AT3w

Surge protection for electric vehicle charging stations: ATCOMPACT INFINITY

Electric vehicles depend on charging stations to refuel and operate throughout the day. Any failure in these installations, such as those caused by transient and permanent overvoltages, can cause the vehicle to fail and even cause damage to both the station and the car itself. The ATCOMPACT INFINITY series protects charging stations when two panels are connected to the same meter.

While emissions from road transport continue to rebound towards pre-pandemic levels, sales of electric cars, which accounted for 14% of total car sales in 2023, are almost doubling yearly. If this pace is maintained, electric car deployment will exceed what is needed in a net zero emissions scenario, reaching 65% of new sales by 2030. Electrification of other types of vehicles will also be needed, as well as policies to reduce car use.

Increasing restrictions on traditional vehicles in large city centres, with the implementation of low-emission zones to reduce pollution levels in areas with high traffic flow, are also behind the reasons for this increase.

The vast majority of charging stations are linked to the electricity grid, which implies the need to carefully examine the danger of surges that can arise during electrical storms or switching manoeuvres. When transient voltages are transferred to the vehicle via this electrical connection, they represent a significant threat that must be taken seriously, as they can cause damage to both the station and the vehicle itself.

Surge protection for electric vehicle charging stations: what do the regulations say?

The technical regulation in Spain known as Instrucción Técnica Complementaria de Baja Tensión (ITC BT-52) establishes the requirements for installing electric vehicle charging infrastructure in buildings and car parks. Its main purpose is to guarantee the safety of electrical installations, promote charging efficiency and facilitate interoperability between different charging systems. According to ITC-BT 52 of the Low Voltage Electrotechnical Regulation (RBT), published in November 2017, it states:

– Temporary surge protectors must comply with UNE-EN 50550 (current IEC 63052).
– A type 1 transient overvoltage protection must be installed upstream of the main meter or next to the main switch located at the entrance of the central meter station.
– When the distance between the charging station and the upstream transient overvoltage protection device is 10 metres or more, it is recommended to install an additional transient overvoltage protection device, type 2, next to or inside the charging station.

ATCOMPACT INFINITY: surge protection for electric vehicle charging stations

In compliance with the specifications of the ITC-BT-52 of the RBT, Aplicaciones Tecnológicas S.A. has created the ATCOMPACT INFINITY series to protect electric vehicle charging stations in cases where the same meter supplies two panels, for example, in the home and in the garage.

Their main features are as follows:

  • The protectors in the KIT ATCONTROL series cut the line when they detect a permanent overvoltage (e.g. neutral failure), thus protecting the equipment installed downstream.
  • Protector with automatic reset: when the permanent overvoltage ceases, the protector reconnects the contactor included in the cabinet.
  • Protector with infinite impedance: when it detects there is no input voltage, it automatically disconnects, displaying an infinite impedance. When the input voltage returns, the protector reconnects. In addition, it also acts when it detects a transient overvoltage, shunting the current to earth and reducing the voltage to a level that is not harmful to the connected equipment, and it is tested and certified as a Type 2 protector in official and independent laboratories in compliance with the UNE-EN IEC 61643-11 standard.

You can contact us through the following link to learn more about the ATCOMPACT INFINITY series to protect electric vehicle charging stations.

You can also attend any of our free training courses on surge protection through our webinar page.

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