Rolec 32A EV Car Charger

Power to the Garage

20160220_140751We have been in our new house now for about 5 months ( well, I suppose I should stop calling it new!) and during that time I have had only limited power to the garage from the house. This has meant that it wasn’t possible to install a 32A electric car charger until I upgraded the power supply. Finally, yesterday, I did just that.

The decision to put in a proper power supply to the garage was not just driven by electric car charging. At some point we may install solar PV and even battery storage so the supply needed to be robust and of sufficient capacity to handle our future needs. So rather than just put in a modest supply we decided to go for the works… 80A!

20160220_140705An 80A supply would require a chunky 16mm cable and as it had to go underground between the house and the garage we decided on armoured. That also gave us more electrical resilience and as it cost only a bit more it seemed like a good choice.

So yesterday our electrician did the install.

He simply tapped into the tails from the meter to the house distribution board (DB) using Henley blocks, put an isolating switch by the original DB and then run the cable up the side of the house, through the loft and down the other side. They then dug a trench to the garage and then into the garage.

New Distribution Board in Garage
New Distribution Board in Garage

In the garage they installed a new 15 way DB which should serve all out needs.

Once the supply was in it was just a simple matter to run a 4mm cable from the new DB as a radial circuit to install the charger.

The job took them about 8 hours and I have to say that under the circumstances they did a pretty good job. Yes, we could have done it is a way that was less visible but I wanted it in without any complications and this did the trick.

So, now we have 32A charging and the ability to start to do some of the other things we want to do in the garage like replace the doors with electric ones, replace the security system and lighting and prepare for battery storage which may come this year or next.

New Distribution Board in Garage
New Distribution Board in Garage

Next I want to get the garage lighting and sockets off the house DB and onto the garage DB and install the new radial for the garage doors.

There was a slight hiccup though… after the installation was complete I plugged in the car to charge and checked on our Open Energy Monitor to check that it was charging at 32A only to not see it charging at all. It was charging but the OEM wasn’t seeing it.

I had forgotten that the OEM only monitors the load on the house DB. Now that the the garage isn’t being fed by the house DB so the monitor can’t see it. I will have to add a second current transformer clip to the new feed. A minor matter but it caught me out.

Onwards and upwards  😉

One thought on “Power to the Garage”

  1. Hi Paul

    Do you really think solar power is a viable option for anyone now that the government has slashed the Feed in Tariff and Export payments? We installed solar pv a couple of years back when the tariff payments were worthwhile but the expense set against the return now makes it hardly seem worth it. Frankly I think its scandalous. More pressure should be put on the government to continue to subsidise carbon free renewable power supplies. It seems to me much more appropriate that they fund the backing to solar and wind than the millions they are willing to put into environmentally unpopular choices such as fracking.

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