EV Charging at Work: Do I Need a PEN Fault Device?

EV Charging at Work: Do I Need a PEN Fault Device?

It’s not exactly a minefield, but some degree of consideration is required when selecting the most suitable electric vehicle charger for your workplace.  Let’s consider a term here, and that is “Pen Fault Device”. Electric vehicles are really coming into their own this year, as more manufacturers pledge to phase out combustion engines altogether, releasing better electric vehicles to market, with greater reliability, impressive specifications, and much farther ranges.  With this market shift comes the demand for more EV charge points.  And like electric vehicles, they are also evolving.  

EV chargers tend to come in 3.6kW, 7kW formats, with 22kW chargers providing the fastest charge times.  However, the latter requires three-phase electrical sockets, which tend to be more readily available in workplaces.  All EV charge points must have an adequate earthing option though.  This is to ensure that the EV charger user doesn’t come into contact with electricity.  Installing Earth electrodes (earth rods) is one option.  This choice can be bypassed by both standalone O-PEN devices though, with the EV chargers that are supplied and installed complete with their own O-PEN device.  The purpose of these?  The Earth electrode is installed to provide a fault path to the earth in the event that the PEN (protective Earth and Neutral) conductor is broken or damaged.  In other words, specifically for the safety of EV charger users. 

Open PEN fault devices don’t prevent the Open PEN fault, but they detect it and cut off ALL conductors (live, neutral and earth), in order to avoid electric shocks.  Incidentally, the worst-case scenario electric shock would be where the other protection devices are unable to trip or cut off the supply, something that could result if the PEN conductor happened to be broken.

Here at Stator Electrical Solution Ltd, we’ve evolved over the years along with EV chargers and devices, and we have experience with all charge points, spanning all configurations.  Most EV charger manufacturers are beginning to upgrade their units to include PEN fault devices, requiring fewer ‘add on’ options and additional products, providing very safe charge points for your business and all who visit and charge their electric vehicles there.  

A popular EV Open PEN Conductor protection device is the Matt:E which can be configured with its own Type A RCD protection and overload protection for the new circuit.  As the EV market really matures over the next year to 18 months, we can expect more and more manufacturers to develop their EV charge points complete with built-in PEN fault devices too.

So to learn more about providing EV charge points at work, ensuring that they are unquestionably safe, efficient and future-proof, the Stator Electrical EV team is here to take any questions you might have.  We’re fully conversant and ready and able to install all leading brands of EV charge points, where necessary, in conjunction with the installation of Earth Rods, O-PEN and PEN fault devices.  Click here now!