As 2019 begins, the electrical industry is in a state of change with proposed changes to the 2017 NEC codes. As technologies have changed so have the needs to keep electrical safety current to these changes.
Areas that are sure to be addressed in the 2020 edition are:
Solar Installations, Data Communication installations, Electic Vehicle charging systems and installations,
Marine Safety (ESD electric shock drowning), as well as changes to load calculations and arc flash safety.
In the 2017 edition, much work has been done on the topic of auxiliary grounding requirements,
(section 690.47). We can expect new provisions in the areas of labeling and marking concerning rapid-
shutdown. We can also expect manufacturers involvement in safety features in the field of module –
level-rapid shut down.
Power over Ethernet (PoE) uses communication cables to supply power. With the ability to provide
power, comes safety concerns, with heat generated in bundles of cables. We can expect more
requirements based on the amount of power and the number of cables bundled.
Electric Vehicle Charging
Article 625 was entered into the NEC in 1996. It covers anything installed with either feeders or branch
circuits to charge the vehicle. With three levels of charging capabilities Level 1- 110-120 volts 15-20
Amps, Level 2 208 or 240 volts 20-100 Amps, and Level 3 480 Volts 60-400 Amps.
As batteries have changed so has the rate of charge to the batteries. We are not far away from rapid
charging under 30 min to a full charge. New code changes are expected in the areas of load calculations,
and protection. As solar becomes more of an option for car charging these two technologies will have
their own set of requirements.
We can expect more regulation in the use of GFCI and grounding at marinas and boat docks. While
much has been done already much more can and should be done. Many times the risk is not associated
with the dock but the boats themselves having leakage current due to faulty electrical insulation on
board. Testing of boats before they are allowed to dock may be one solution.