Electric Vehicle Charging Station Cabinets Sheet Metal Fabrication

KDM is a professional manufacturer and supplier that provides functional and protective custom cabinets for charging equipment. These cabinets are used for an in-house power source, gauges, wires, meters, controllers, cords, the charging port itself, and other parts.

ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATION CABINETS

Our range of custom cabinets provides optimum protection to its content. It protects against exposure to moisture, ultraviolet light, extreme temperatures, dust, impact forces, debris, etc. These enclosures are NEMA-rated and manufactured with an IP rating.

We use various types of high-grade materials such as aluminum, hot-rolled carbon steel, stainless steel, cold-rolled carbon steel, galvanized, galvanneal, and more. Thus, you can guarantee lightweight, strong, and weather-resistant cabinets from KDM.

KDM custom various types of electric vehicle charging station cabinets & enclosures in unique shapes and designs. It can be finished with different elements, colors, and branding to skyrocket our business.

Improve the safety, and performance of your EV charging equipment with KDM! For specific requirements, contact us today! We will work with you closely from initial design, concept development, prototype production, and full-scale manufacturing.

Electric Vehicle Charging Station Cabinets

Every electric vehicle charging station requires a robust, durable and effective cabinet.

Read this guide to learn more about these cabinets and how they can benefit you or your business regarding protecting your electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE).

What Is Electric Vehicle Charging Station Cabinet?

Electric vehicle charging station cabinet

Electric vehicle charging station cabinet

An electric vehicle charging station cabinet is designed to enclose electric vehicle supply equipment.

This type of cabinet is also designed to prevent the electrocution of people using electric vehicle charging stations. In addition, it protects all electrical components enclosed in the cabinet from the environment.

The only visible component is the EV charging cabinet; this part hides all electrical supply equipment, keeping them out of the public’s reach and view.

Sometimes these cabinets are not only designed to meet your practical needs but are often designed to be aesthetically pleasing as well.

Cost Of Building Electric Vehicle Charging Station Cabinet

The cost of building an EV charging station cabinet can vary greatly depending on several factors, which include:

Regulatory Requirements

Different safety codes and requirements apply for different EV charging cabinets, depending on their application.

For example, if the cabinet is built for outdoor use or other harsh conditions, it must be tested to specific codes that eliminate the possibility of leaks and material deterioration.

These codes allow manufacturers to determine how many safety precautions must be considered during design, engineering, and manufacturing.

A cabinet which needs to be protected from moisture may require more expensive hinges, latches, gaskets and an overall sealing design. In contrast, a cabinet with minimal protection requirements requires less capital to build.

NEMA compliant enclosure

NEMA compliant enclosure

Material

EV charging cabinets are made from different materials depending on who’s paying for them and the needs of their application.

Manufacturers typically use stainless steel, carbon steel, galvanized steel and aluminium for EV charging cabinets.

Many options exist – usually at additional cost – for aesthetic and utilitarian requirements, including upgrading the steel grade and applying surface finishes to beautify the substrate and protect it for longer life.

Surface Finish

Some materials, such as galvanized steel, eliminate the need for a protective coating, thereby reducing the overall manufacturing cost.

But others, like untreated mild steel, require paint or other protective coatings to remain pristine and durable.

Various surface finishes are available for this; some cheap, some not.

For example, high-gloss finishes do not hide defects in steel manufacture. Therefore, more time and money is needed to improve the surface quality of the steel by additional grinding and/or polishing.

Other finishes are cheaper simply because of their thicker consistency, textured appearance and ability to cover scuffs and scratches.

Fabrication

Fabrication

The degree to which the cabinet needs to be fabricated can significantly affect its overall manufacturing cost.

Customization

Standard EV charging cabinets use existing approvals, processes, and hardware, making them cheaper in the long run.

However, custom electrical enclosures must be designed from scratch, which generally drives up costs.

Choosing Material For Outdoor EV Charger Enclosure

Outdoor EV charger enclosures

Outdoor EV charger enclosures

Outdoor EV charger enclosures need to be strong and durable.

They must be strong to stop anyone from breaking in to either steal the hardware or cause damage.

EV charger cabinets must also be very durable to withstand the elements. These include rare and extreme weather conditions such as snow, high humidity and high temperatures.

More importantly, they must be able to withstand regular weather patterns, not just extremes. This means they have to be able to hold out against rain and wind constantly battering against the enclosure.

Due to the need to protect vulnerable internal hardware from attackers, outdoor EV charger housings are typically made of solid and well-welded metals, typically steel and aluminium.

Both steel and aluminium are strong and durable. This means that they can last many years without replacement.

Steel can be stainless, carbon or galvanized steel. However, a more protective stainless steel is commonly preferred for outdoor applications. Aside from being strong and durable, stainless steel electrical enclosures are fire-resistant and function well in wet environments.

On the other hand, aluminium can withstand extremely high temperatures and thus functions well in hot climate areas. Additionally, aluminium alloys have incredible corrosion resistance and offer protection against electromagnetic interference.

But comparing the two, stainless steel is more expensive even compared to other materials for EV charger enclosures.

Apart from stainless steel and aluminium, EV charger cabinets can be made of other less protective materials to save on costs. But these will need to be painted or powder-coated to ensure they remain weather and corrosion resistant over time.

Uses Of EV Charger Enclosure

The primary function of an EV charger enclosure is to protect the EVSE from weather elements, environmental contaminations, tampering and vandalism.

EV chaging point cabinet

EV charging point cabinet

Other functions include:

  • Preventing incidental contact with live parts of the charger that can cause shocks
  • Housing secondary equipment (in the case of commercial applications) such as generators
  • Protect the surrounding property in case of an accident

An EV charger cabinet can also be designed in unique shapes and adorned with different elements to increase the visibility of a commercial electric vehicle charging point.

Electric Vehicle Charging Station Cabinet Fabrication

As you know, Electrical Vehicle charging station cabinets are made from steel and aluminium. These require metal fabrication and welding processes to create units of different shapes and sizes.

Techniques such as laser cutting, bending, punching, welding, polishing, welding, and stamping are typically used to create EV charger enclosures.

These fabrication processes contribute to the functional and aesthetic properties demanded of enclosures for EV chargers.

Laser cutting and punching manipulate metal sheets into smaller pieces that can be bent or welded into the finished product. It is also used to cut ventilation louvres and other extras.

Laser welding sheet metal for electrical enclosure

Laser welding sheet metal for electrical enclosure

Bending and stamping form the required shapes while seam welding joins the seams of the cabinets, making them waterproof and tamper-proof. Riveting, on the other is used to join panels and add extra features to the cabinets, such as mounts, knobs and hinges.

Electrical Vehicle Charging Station Cabinet Quality Standards And Certifications

As I had mentioned earlier, standards in EVSEs are used to guarantee users of the safety and quality of the cabinets.

These standards may differ from one country to another.

Here are the primary standards devised and certifications devised for electrical vehicle enclosures:

NEMA

In some countries, mainly in North America, EV charger enclosures must meet the NEMA standard. It includes corrosion resistance and the ability to protect internal components from submersion and rain.

When selecting these enclosures, whether for residential or commercial use, determine the correct NEMA rating for your equipment. Otherwise, you could end up with damaged components or overpay for the protection you don’t need.

NEMA ratings are classified as type 1 to type 13 for electrical enclosures. These ratings reflect the level of protection against elements.

IP

IP rating

Countries that do not conform to NEMA standards, i.e., Europe, require compliance with the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), defined as IP protection classes.

The IP rating system works the same as NEMA; only the former has different product approval requirements for pass/failure.

Also, unlike NEMA, the IP enclosures primarily focus on ingress protection, which is defined as two numbers for an EV charging cabinet.

The first number indicates protection against solids, while the second digit indicates protection against liquids.

Each number defines the level of protection the cabinet offers in that the higher the number, the better the protection provided. For example, an IP68 waterproof box for EV charger offers better protection against dust and water ingress than an IP54 cabinet.

Beware that both NEMA and IEC do not offer product testing. It is up to the manufacturer to perform these tests and provide certifications for them.

Also, both standards have been adopted globally. So it may not matter which country you intend to use the enclosure (s).

UL

Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL) requires that EV charging point enclosures be examined in a qualified, independent testing laboratory. It is to prove the performance for their intended application.

Therefore, a UL mark shows that the product has been tested, and found to comply with, the required standards.

CE

Quality and safety markings for EV charger enclosures

Quality and safety markings for EV charger enclosures

EV enclosures for the European market must conform to the European Union (EU) safety requirements. Compliance with these requirements is shown in the form of a CE mark on the cabinet.

RoHS

RoHS stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances.

Compliance with RoHS standards means that the cabinet has been tested and proven not to exceed the allowable amounts of the ten banned substances, i.e. lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium etc.

Surface Finishes For Outdoor EV Charger Enclosure

Like materials, surface finishes for outdoor EV charger enclosures offer different solutions for different applications.

This means that not all finishes are equally suitable to protect the substrate under various conditions.

Hence it is essential to consider several factors when choosing the suitable surface finishes for your outdoor EVSE cabinet, such as:

  • Weather conditions the finish is required to withstand, i.e. high temperatures, ice, humidity etc.
  • Environmental contaminations to protect against, i.e. dust and debris
  • Chemicals that might pose a threat to the finish
  • If UV resistance is a concern

Based on the requirements of your application, various metal surface treatments are available to supplement the substrate’s ability to hold out against multiple elements and contaminations.

The options include:

Powder Coating

Powder Coating

This type of finish provides rust and corrosion resistance, suitable for harsh outdoor applications. It also offers excellent protection against heat and chemical damage. As well, it is resistant to many solvent oils.

But it has a downside: the finish is highly susceptible to damage from prolonged exposure to UV rays.

Plating

Plating metal materials provide a unique combination of durability and corrosion resistance.

There are two kinds of metal plating for EV charger cabinets: electroplating (using electric current to coat metals) and electroless plating (not using electric current).

All of these plating processes use chemical baths to alter the surface of the metal with thin layers of zinc, copper, nickel, chromium or cadmium.

Anodizing

Anodizing is commonly used for aluminium EV charger cabinets.

It is a passivation process that increases the oxide layer on the surface to enhance protection and aesthetics. In this, aluminium is submerged in an acid bath, and an electric current passes through it, strengthening the protection level of the surface.

Polishing/Buffing

Polishing smooths out scuffs and scratches on the material’s surface, thereby enhancing its natural shine. In this process, manufacturers use an abrasive to buff away any flaws on the material’s surface.

Painting

Enclosures for EV chargers can be painted to your needs using conventional paint or something more aesthetically bold. Paint options are available in various colour options.

Electromagnetic Coating

This kind of finish aims to shield the underlying material from RFI/EMC interference.

This coating is usually sprayed on the metal surface using copper or nickel-based systems. The choice of coating will depend on your specific requirements.

Printing

Digital and screen printing techniques often give EV charger enclosures a professional look and feel.

Manufacturers use these techniques to label your cabinet, part or component by identifying switches, ports, connectors, etc.

Digital printing is also suitable for incorporating logos and other artwork into your enclosure.

Other finishing options are sandblasting, which gives the cabinet a matte finish and hot blackening.

If you’re unsure what type of finish is best for your EV charger enclosure (s), consult with your manufacturer/supplier.

They are experts whose experience in selecting EV charger enclosure materials and finishes is well established. So they are best placed to help you determine the best material and finish for a particular EV charging station cabinet application.

Components And Parts Of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Cabinets

EV charging station cabinets

EV charging station cabinets

Electric vehicle charging station cabinets comprise the following parts and components:

  • Frame
  • Front/rear door (s)
  • Cable management unit
  • Hinges
  • Locks
  • Latch
  • Fan hardware (thermal management unit)
  • Pull handles
  • Feet
  • Earthling wire
  • Dead front panels
  • Barriers (provide partial separation between various sections of the enclosure, i.e. between control and power sections)

Option parts and accessories include:

  • Castors; if the enclosure needs to be mobile
  • Cable and pipe seals
  • Hole seals
  • Swing handles for when you need additional security
  • Sun shield
  • Gland plate
  • Dip part

Please note that EV charger enclosures vary significantly in design, size and shape. This means that the type and number of parts and components will vary from one enclosure to another, based on the design and the customer’s preference.

EV Charger Enclosure Installation Options

EV charger enclosures come in three main installation designs:

Wall-mount EV Charger Enclosure

Wall-mount EV charger enclosures are designed to mount directly on a wall and house electrical vehicle supply equipment while protecting from contaminations like dust, dirt debris, oil and water.

This type of cabinet can be used for indoor and outdoor applications and is available for various NEMA/IP protection ratings.

Free-standing And Floor Mount EV Charger Enclosure

Free-standing EV charger cabinet

Free-standing EV charger cabinet

Freestanding and floor mounted cabinets, do not require a complicated installation process. These come with feet that support the cabinet so they can stand on any flat surface

Floor-mounted EV charger enclosure

Floor-mounted EV charger enclosure

However, floor standing cabinets must be secured/bolted for a permanent and secure installation.

On the other hand, free-standing enclosures can be mobile or immobile. Mobile options include casters to allow free movement to and from the operation area. In the case of immobile free-standing cabinets, they must be secured to the floor to prevent theft.

Flush-mount EV Charger Enclosure

Flush mount EV charger cabinet

Flush mount EV charger cabinet

Flush-mount enclosures follow the same design parameters as the wall-mounted enclosure.

The only difference is that the flush-mounted enclosure comes with an external frame that allows it to be recessed in the wall. This enclosure is suitable for applications where exterior space is limited or in very high traffic areas.

Safety Features Of Electric Vehicle Charging Station Cabinets

Electric vehicle charging point cabinets are designed with various standard and custom safety features such as:

  • Drip shields: provide additional safety to EV charger enclosure doors from dripping water, dust and debris
  • Locks and latches: provide extra security to internal components
  • Grounding (lugs and wires): provide proper grounding for the enclosure, keeping person and equipment safe from electrical shock hazards
  • Cable management unit ( includes cable entry systems, glands plates, cable connectors and wire duct and accessories): provides easy wire entry, grouping and protection
  • Cover stays for outdoor EV charger enclosures: provide a tight grip for cabinet doors when open, thus preventing the door (s) from hitting operators, for example, in windy weather.
  • Grommets: protect your enclosure from elements and vibrations
  • Fan guards: protect the thermal equipment from harmful particles
  • Door gaskets and seal: provide a compression seal for cabinet doors and other gaps, protecting against the effects of weather, environment and vibration shocks

For all your electric vehicle charging station cabinets from China, contact KDMFAB now.

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