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National Electrical Code Articles and Information

Based on the 2011 NEC

by Mark Lamendola

National Electrical Code Top Ten Tips: Article 625, Electrical Vehicle Charging System

Coal-powered cars, commonly called "EV" or electric vehicles, are the dirtiest, most energy-consuming form of personal transportation in existence today. The common wisdom, or lack thereof, is that somehow electric power is free and is generated without any pollution whatsoever, if it's stored in toxic batteries (the lithium for which is energy-intensive to obtain) and then used to power a vehicle. Due to this utter nonsense, politicians are touting electric vehicles as some sort of solution to a host of problems they merely exacerbate.

So instead of using electric vehicles only in the limited applications for which they make sense, schemes are now underway to use them in place of internal combustion engine cars. This means more electrical vehicle charging system work for electricians. It also means faster depletion of worldwide oil reserves and more pollution, but that's a subject for a different Website. Here are your ten tips:

  1. Article 625 covers the charging equipment external to the vehicle. It covers anything you will install or wire up, if it's related to charging the vehicle [625.1].
     
  2. Article 625 is for on the road vehicles, not golf carts and the like for off road use. It does not cover hybrids, either [625.2].
     
  3. Don't "invent" or "design" connectors, enclosures, or other equipment or devices in this installation. It must be listed and labeled, or it can't be used [625.5].
     
  4. Part II addresses the permissible wiring methods. They are essentially the responsibility of the manufacturer. The installer needs to observe plug configurations and connector kit instructions to ensure compliance.
     
  5. Part III provides the equipment construction requirements. They are essentially the responsibility of the manufacturer. The installer needs to inspect the equipment for ratings, markings, ventilation requirements (if any), cable type requirements, and other aspects of Part III to ensure the equipment complies with Part III.
     
  6. Size the overcurrent protection for continuous duty. Ensure it has a rating of at least 125% of the maximum load of the EV supply equipment [625.21].
     
  7. If the charger is 60A or larger and more than 150V (to ground), you must install a disconnect in a readily accessible location. It must be capable of being locked in the open position [625.23].
     
  8. You must provide a means to prevent backfeed to the utility, in the event of loss of utility power. This should be included in the charger kit; ensure it's properly connected [625.25].
     
  9. For indoor installations, you'll find the minimum ventilation requirements in Table 625.29(D)(1).
     
  10. For outdoor installations, the coupling means must be stored or located at least 2 ft but not more than 4 ft above the parking surface [625.30].

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How the NEC is arranged

  1. The first four Chapters of the NEC apply to all installations.
  2. Article 90 precedes Chapter One, and establishes the authority of the NEC.
  3. Article 80 follows the body of the NEC; it exists as Annex H. It provides the requirements for administration.
  4. Chapters 5, 6, and 7 are the "special" chapters, covering special: occupancies, equipment, and conditions (in that order).
  5. Chapter 8 provides the requirements for communications systems.
  6. Chapter 9 provides tables.
  7. The appendices provide mostly reference information.
  8. Appendix D contains examples that every NEC user should study.

Try your NEC moxy:

  • Do you know the difference between bonding and grounding? Hint: Look in the NEC, Article 100.
  • Does the NEC refer to grounding incorrectly in any of its articles? Yes! So be careful to apply the Article 100 definitions. Don't ground where you should bond.
  • When doing motor load calculations, which Article covers hermetic motors? Answer: While Article 440 covers the application of hermetic motors, it does so only by amending Article 430 because hermetic motors are a special case of motors. For motor load calculations, refer to Article 430.
  • Does the NEC provide a voltage drop requirement? Yes! It does so in a special case, which is Article 648 Sensitive Electronic Equipment. But for general applications, it does not provide a requirement; it merely provides a recommendation in a couple of FPNs.
  • Take our Code Quizzes.

Remember other applicable codes, rules, standards, and references:

  • OSHA's electrical worker safety rules.
  • IEEE standards.
  • NETA standards.
  • NFPA standards.
  • International Codes (if applicable to the installation).
  • State Codes (if the state has them).
  • Local ordinances and permit requirements.
  • Local fire codes.
  • Manufacturer requirements or guidelines.
  • Customer security requirements.
  • Industry standards.
  • Your company's own internal standards, practices, and procedures.
  • Engineering drawing notes.

 

 

 

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