Suggestions for Strengthening EV Charging Pile Site Safety Management

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In view of the rapid development of new energy electric vehicles, and its supporting charging pile in the use of some safety hazards, in a brief introduction to the definition and classification of the charging pile, pointing out and analyzing the charging pile site safety management problems based on the proposed to strengthen the electric vehicle charging pile site safety management recommendations: First, to deepen the hidden safety problems investigation; Second, the implementation of practical safety measures; Third, the safety publicity and education; Fourth, good emergency management. Do a good job of safety publicity and education; Fourth, do a good job of emergency management.

In recent years, China has been actively promoting the development of new energy vehicles, and electric vehicle charging piles, as a key supporting facility, have been gradually promoted and popularized. As of June 2020, the number of various types of charging piles nationwide reached 1.32 million, of which 550,800 are public charging piles. In 2020, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) released the draft of "New Energy Vehicle Industry Development Plan (2021-2035)" for public comment, proposing that China's new energy vehicle ownership will reach 60 million in the next ten years. According to the target of 1:1 ratio, there is a shortfall of 60 million charging piles in China. In order to improve the convenience and timeliness of users, charging piles generally adopt high voltage and high current working mode, which puts forward higher requirements for the safety management of charging piles. The standardized safety management of charging piles is the foundation and guarantee for the safe use of electric vehicle charging piles and the sustainable development of the industry.

Charging Pile

Definition and Classification of Charging Pile

Definition of Charging Pile

A charging post is a supporting device that provides power to realize the charging function of electric vehicles. Charging piles of various voltage levels provide electric energy for different models of electric vehicles. The input terminal of the charging post is connected to the alternating current grid, and the output terminal is equipped with a charging plug for charging electric vehicles.

Classification of Charging Piles

Charging piles are categorized according to the installation location, installation method and charging method as follows.

(1) According to the place of installation, it is divided into special charging pile, public charging pile and household charging pile. Dedicated charging pile is installed in the internal parking lot of the enterprise to provide charging service only for internal personnel; public charging pile is installed in the public parking lot to provide charging service for social vehicles; domestic charging pile is installed in private parking spaces for personal use, generally slow charging pile.

(2) According to the way of installation, it is divided into wall-mounted charging pile and floor-mounted charging pile. Wall-mounted charging pile is generally installed in the parking space near the wall, which is common in the installation of household charging pile. Floor-mounted charging pile is generally installed in the parking space not close to the wall, which is common in the installation of outdoor public charging pile.

(3) According to the charging method, it is divided into AC charging pile and DC charging pile. AC charging piles, also known as "slow charging", are installed in fixed charging places, connected to the AC power grid, and provide AC power for the charger on the vehicle for charging facilities. AC charging piles are only for power output, without charging function, and need to be additionally connected to the on-board charger for EV charging; DC charging piles, which is the so-called "fast charging", are installed in fixed charging places, connected to the AC power grid, and can provide DC power supply for non-vehicle-mounted EVs. Because the DC charging pile adopts the three-phase four-wire power supply mode, it is capable of outputting larger power, and the output voltage and current adjustment range is large enough to realize the requirement of fast charging, so the safety performance of the charging pile is required to be higher.

Safety Issues at the Charging Pile Site

Safety issues at the site of the charging pile

The operation and maintenance of charging piles is a long-term process. During this process, there are various aspects of hazardous factors at the charging site. One of the most common hazards is from the charging vehicles. Compared with traditional gasoline and diesel type vehicles, electric vehicles are characterized by sensitive throttle response and fast acceleration. Therefore, during the start-up phase of the vehicle, the driver may be negligent and hit other vehicles or charging piles. Especially at the charging site of a bus, the driver may be in a trance due to physical and mental fatigue caused by driving for a long period of time, coupled with the large blind spot of the bus, accidents are likely to occur at the charging site.

Since charging piles use high-voltage lines, once the relevant power cables or the insulation system of the charging pile fails, it is easy to have a breakdown phenomenon, which may cause casualties if it hits the human body. In addition, if water accumulates on the ground or in the cable trench at the charging site, and the charging piles and other related electrical equipment are short-circuited, electrocution accidents may also occur. In the charging site will also appear collision, impact, tripping, falling and other mechanical injuries, as well as electrical injuries, burns, current burns and other electrical injuries and other accidents.

Safety problems with charging pile site management

The safety of the charging pile is closely related to the seriousness of the management unit and the safety awareness of the vehicle owner. If the charging site is poorly managed, and safety management problems such as vehicles being parked at random, water on the ground being left unattended, charging guns being left unattended, no collision facilities around the charging piles, charging piles being left un-maintained, charging terminal shells being broken, charging guns being broken, and fire fighting facilities at the charging site being imperfectly installed continue to exist, then the safety risk at the charging site is even higher.

At the same time, the electric vehicles at the charging site itself is also a risk factor. Since the maintenance level of electric vehicles varies, if the temperature control system and battery overcharging protection system of electric vehicles are faulty, it is possible that the temperature of the battery will be too high during the charging process or even the vehicle will spontaneously combust. At the same time, the batteries used in EVs are of different models, and most of them will spontaneously combust upon impact. Therefore, a crash at the charging site may also cause a chain fire.

Analysis of the causes of charging pile safety accidents

Immature safety management model

For most cities, electric vehicles have only become popular in recent years. Due to the rapid development of the industry, the relevant norms are not perfect, especially the lack of corresponding safety standards for key components. Although the current industry standards issued by the state cover the technical standards for the operation of charging equipment such as charging piles, the safety of the charging site is not only a technical requirement, but also brought about by the management of the charging pile site. At present, the existing safety management regulations of charging sites are mainly prepared by the personnel of electric power systems, which often neglect other management problems of charging sites due to their professional limitations and management experience. Therefore, the safety management of charging sites still needs further exploration and gradual improvement.

Large environmental impact factors

Outdoor charging piles are greatly affected by the environment, heavy rain, typhoon, high temperature and biological factors will cause damage to the charging pile. The charging pile is related to high-voltage power equipment. Once the line protection measures fail, it is easy for people to solve safety problems.

Uneven level of safety management personnel

At present, for the public charging pile management personnel selection, mainly to see whether there is electric power system experience, and only after a short period of charging pile knowledge training before starting work, especially home charging pile is the main manager of the owner, many owners do not have the appropriate knowledge of electric power and charging pile of the daily maintenance of the experience of the equipment is not well managed, in the use of the process of safety accidents are prone to occur.

Difficulty in effective supervision

The regulation of outdoor charging piles is quite difficult in practice, and because outdoor charging sites are used more frequently, they are prone to man-made damage, including damage to charging piles, firefighting equipment and other equipment. Safety hazards can occur when these devices are damaged but not repaired in a timely manner. For example, damage to charging piles can result in electrocution, and damage to firefighting equipment can lead to small fires that, if they continue to fester, can lead to major accidents.

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Safety Management Recommendations for Charging Piles

Deepen the investigation of hidden safety hazards

Hidden danger inspection and management is the basic work of preventing safety accidents. Formulate a system of safety inspection, regular inspection and special inspection, so as to achieve an all-round inspection of safety and fire protection without any dead corner. The safety of equipment is the basis for ensuring the safety of charging piles. Strengthen the professional safety inspection of electrical equipment and charging piles by professionals to prevent safety accidents due to equipment problems.

Strengthen safety protection measures

First of all, we should equip relevant safety protection equipment, place insulated gloves in the working area of charging pile, and lay insulated blankets in the working area of charging pile; secondly, under the condition, we should install roofs for charging pile, and add cameras, establish visual safety monitoring system, and improve the informatization level of safety management; thirdly, according to the power of charging pile and the mode of alternating-current and direct-current charging, we should configure the corresponding safety protection function. Third, according to the charging pile power, AC and DC charging mode, etc., the charging pile should be equipped with leakage protection, lightning protection, input measurement protection, output measurement protection, and whole machine protection.

Do a good job of safety education

Firstly, organize management personnel to carry out relevant safety knowledge training; secondly, do a good job in safety education of company management personnel, equipment maintenance personnel, charging operation and maintenance personnel, popularize the knowledge of electrical and traffic emergencies, and personnel engaging in electrical operation must obtain the corresponding qualification certificates and be licensed; thirdly, carry out safety publicity by posting posters and hanging warning slogans in charging stations.

Fire management and other emergency work

The possibility of power battery fire accidents when charging electric vehicles is the greatest, and fire emergency response work should be taken as a priority: firstly, to formulate a fire safety management system, strengthen the inspection and maintenance of fire fighting equipment and fire fighting facilities in charging stations, and ensure that their performance is in perfect condition, so that they can quickly control the fire situation and extinguish the fire once it occurs; and secondly, to strengthen education and training of fire fighting skills for practitioners, so as to enable them to skillfully use the fire extinguishers to extinguish the early stage of the fire.

With the promotion and popularization of new energy vehicles, charging piles and other supporting facilities have gradually come into people's lives. Although people have become familiar with charging piles, their understanding of charging piles is still superficial. Although there are many technical safety locks on charging piles, safety at charging sites is not only a technical issue, but also a complex management issue, which is an important reason for the frequent occurrence of safety accidents at charging sites. Especially in the underground garage of shopping malls and bus charging sites where the electrical environment is more complicated, charging site safety accidents occur from time to time. Through the comprehensive analysis of these safety accidents, it is found that the safety problems of electric vehicle charging site can be divided into technical problems and management problems, technical problems need to be solved by the technical department, and these problems cannot be solved overnight. However, the management problems can be solved by strengthening supervision and standardizing operation, eliminating the safety hazards at the charging site, effectively avoiding the loss of people's lives and property, and ensuring the safe operation of electric vehicle charging piles.

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