Net Zero Service Termination will test service cable terminations with Electric Vehicle (EV) charger demand profiles to understand whether existing arrangements in homes are sufficient or whether de-rating factors have to be applied that will facilitate the connection of domestic EV charge points while preventing terminations from becoming overloaded and damaged.
Traditionally homes have been provided with a service cable that can carry 60 Amps, 80 Amps or 100 Amps. Each service cable has a termination equivalent to the cable rating. Prior to Net Zero demands, domestic and street lighting demand profiles consisted of lighting, white goods and, in some cases, heating. This project is a collaboration between all the electricity distribution companies to investigate the impact of EV charger demand profiles on existing arrangements of service cable termination, for example, under the stairs or in a cavity wall box, to check that the service termination is still sufficient or whether a service upgrade is required.
EA Technology Ltd has been awarded a contract to build test rigs to simulate service cable terminations. Each service termination has had thermocouples attached to monitor the temperature rise when an EV charger demand profile flows to a charger. Each service termination test rig will either be subjected to simulated sunlight or thermally insulated (to simulate being covered with winter coats). The results will confirm whether the existing equipment continues to operate within its designed temperatures or whether de-rating factors need to be applied, or if larger service cables need to be installed.
Electricity distribution companies are visiting customers’ houses to conduct a survey to check whether the service termination has sufficient capacity to facilitate the connection of an EV charger. In many instances, if the size and design of the service cable and the type of service termination are known, then a site visit can be avoided. Each visit costs the company approximately £200. This project is expected to reduce the number of survey visits by 75%.
All the electricity distribution companies continue to use similar service cables and terminations, allowing this collaboration to take place. The test rigs will demonstrate what equipment can be accepted without a visit, allowing customers to install EV chargers without further delay. This project may form the basis of a new technical specification for service terminations, ensuring any new designs are suitable for Net Zero.