New rules for electric vehicle charging

By Brent Wilson

Electrolink Issue: 135

Worksafe has recently released new changes to the safety guidelines for electric vehicle charging regarding alternatives to the RCD protection previously prescribed.

The principal technical advisor for Worksafes energy safety unit, Peter Morfee, advised the industry that the regulator had accepted the use of an alternative to a type B Residual Current Device (RCD) to provide protection on an electric vehicle charging installation.

The changes provide electrical workers with more clarity on how to deal with situations where the charging station or supply cord on a residential dwelling does not provide the required safety functions.

Type A RCDs have been commonly used for charging stations in residential dwellings in accordance with AS/NZS3000. A type A RCD is designed to isolate power when it detects alternating current (AC) and pulsating direct current (DC) leakage, however, it has been discovered that when over 6mA of smooth DC current flows it can prevent the RCD from operating correctly.

The safety guidelines now state that you must use a type B RCD on all new domestic installations.

Worsksafe have ensured they will not hold an installer accountable for installing a type B RCD when installing new charging stations which contradict AS/NZS3000 standard because it is effectively a type A RCD with additional protection.

If your charging station has a type B RCD incorporated inside the device, you do not need to protect the final subcircuit with a type B device in the switchboard – a Miniture Circuit Breaker (MCB) is acceptable.

For an indepth look in to Worksafes guidelines: link here

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