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Are the european and american superchargers different? Why?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by zbarni, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. zbarni

    zbarni Member

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    I've heard from many places that european and american teslas can't use the same Supercharger. Why? As I know Superchargers were developed by Tesla, so they should be identical. If they're different does that mean that the charging time is different as well?
     
  2. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    The difference is not the Supercharger itself, but the car's power connector. In North America and Japan, the connector is a single phase connector, and in the rest of the world, it is a 3-phase connector. Superchargers in each region use the correct connector for the local cars.
     
  3. zbarni

    zbarni Member

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    One more question: Are 3-phase connectors better? Or why is the US and Japan using single phase electricity/connectors?
     
  4. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    If North America used 3-phase connectors, no one would be able to charge their car at home. Three phase power is used for industrial connections only over here.
     
  5. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    It's mostly history. See Mains electricity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. North America and Japan only send single (split) phase to most homes. Most of the rest of the world sends three phase to homes.

    For large motors and equipment, 3-phase is better. For most home use, it does not matter much. 3-phase is a little more efficient in wiring.
     
  6. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    Just to be clear, the US style connector can ONLY do single phase, while the non-US style connector supports BOTH single phase and three phase charging.

    The US style connector is proprietary to Tesla, and very compact and neat. The non-US connector is an industry standard IEC 62196 type II connector, larger than the US connector. There are many third-party charging stations and cables available for the IEC 62196 type II standard (although Tesla internal wiring arrangement can be challenging for this), but in general you are limited to Tesla-only accessories for the US style connector.

    Which is better? The answer is the one that works with the majority of charging stations in your country (or, more accurately, the subset of those charging stations that you personally need to use).
     
  7. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    Since every US car ships with an included J1772 adapter, the proprietary plug doesn't really limit one to Tesla accessories - one could install any J1772 EVSE and use the adapter (J1772 is the U.S. single phase equivalent of the three phase Mennekes type 2 connector Europe has.)Walter
     
  8. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    I believe that using the 3-phase charger on single phase limits you to 1/3 the power that is offered with 3 phases. The 3-phase charger is 3, single phase chargers inside and there is no means to use them all on a single phase.
     
  9. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    Correct. On a single phase system, the EU model with dual chargers is limited to 7-8 kW (32A per phase).
     
  10. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure that's the case. I was watching Bjorn's recent video on all his Norwegian charging adapters and cables, and he has one that uses normal 220v single phase household current that plugs into his car.
     
  11. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    Not quite true. Tesla have committed to offering an 80A single phase charger for existing dual-charger equipped Model S in Hong Kong (at least). Even today they deliver 40A single phase wall connectors (which exceed the 32A per phase limit).

    The way they do it is with unusual wiring arrangements. The Tesla single phase wall connectors provide the single phase power over all three phase lines going to the car. Something like a '3 pronged fork' internally - one incoming line forking to three going to the car.
     
  12. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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  13. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    I hesitated and did not post this earlier, because I couldn't confirm that it would work (I wasn't sure if Tesla did any checks on the 3-phase power coming into the car. Another question that I have is whether US mains could be connected to this as well. The complexity is that US has 240V L-L, and if the car required its N to be near zero volts relative to ground (as is found in most countries with 230V nominal power), then it would not work in the US.

    That also continues to support what we know about European chargers.
    This is what I wrote way back when:
    Europe: Future Charging for Model S 1-phase or 3-phase? (Part 2) - Page 47
     
  14. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    Now onto blind conspiracy theory / speculation.

    I guess that Tesla released the US style socket first because (a) they needed something, (b) they wanted DC support, and (c) they thought the US-style frankenplug was just too horrible (This Monstrosity Will Be Your Next Electric-Car Charging Plug).

    Then, a year later and along came the need for a European socket and three phase support. The obvious choice was IEC 62196 type II, which supported both three phase and DC charging. A little bit bigger than the US-style plug, but acceptable and nowhere near as bad as that SAE monstrosity. However, three phase was an issue, solved by the use of sub-chargers.

    But, then they had an issue with single-phase in Europe. Three phase support was great, but the early cars were current-limited when charging from a single phase supply. Supposedly some internal wiring changes were made to resolve that, and everything is now standard. 16A per sub-charger phase, 48A per charger (three phase), and 96A for a dual-charger equipped car.

    If you've ever charged at 32A three phase, it is pretty impressive. Not supercharging, but still pretty damn quick. At least where I live, more and more of these are going in.

    The only issue with IEC62196 type II in Tesla, as I see it, is the 16A per-sub-charger limit. Unless the cable from the EVSE to the car is modified (joining the single phase incoming line into the three phase wires going to the car), that 16A per-sub-charger limit becomes a 16A per-charger limit. Getting only 16A at a 32A single phase public charging station is not fun for single-charger cars. It also brings along inter-connect issues with Tesla cars on non-Tesla EVSEs, and non-Tesla EVs on Tesla EVSEs.
     
  15. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    I suspect you're right. For what it's worth, the US connector is elegant and SIMPLE. With J1772 (round connector), getting the connector to plug in the car requires attention to connector alignment. The US connector is foolproof, it only fits one way, and easily slides into the car. You don't have to line up the connector, because the tapered edges of the socket naturally align the connector.

    The IEC 62196 level 2 connector solved the problem of the connector being round with its flat edge, but it still requires fine-motor alignment that the US connector doesn't need to plug it in.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I doubt it's internal wiring to the car. Rather, I believe it's more in the cables that are supplied with the car. If you use a single-phase adapter on the UMC, then the UMC distributes it across all three inputs.
     
  16. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    The European UMC does exactly that, one end of the single phase Blue adapter plugs into the wall socket and the UMC end of the adapter has the single hot connected to all three phases. However, in every market launched after the USA UMC adapter melting issue came to light, Tesla has not offered the UMC. In the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, China and Australia, Tesla does not offer a Tesla engineered mobile charging device. In China, HK and Australia they provide a "Wall Connector" that looks like a HPWC but is limited to 40A single phase. In fact, for UK and HK that use the BS1363 plug (huge 3-prong connector), they simply re-sell (at additional cost) the very well engineered Mennekes mobile EVSE that has thermal monitoring in the plug and vehicle connector, but is limited to 10A. In most of the above markets that do not have the UMC included with the car, they include a 32A 3-phase Type-2 to Type-2 cable to use with the common charging stations that do not have a captive cable.
     
  17. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    Nope, it was wiring in the car.

    EU spec and US spec are very very different. For example, Tesla don't even sell the UMC here. But, as miimura says, the blue Mennekes stuff they do provide is pretty good quality.
     
  18. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    Right on!

    And as in Hong Kong, the supplied 3-phase type-2 cable comes with the car, it enables up to typical range 95 km/h charging (59 mph) being around 22 kW (exact limit depends mainly on the actual voltage). This is if you have the dual charger installed, while single charger is half that, so around 11 kW. To clarify it, I made a table to depict the various limitations. Same thread as the one marks links to, but it's a bit lengthy so here is a direct link: #372

    Like previous wars over standards, I predict one here as well. DOS won over CP/M, VHS won over Betamax and video2000, Windows (for the time being) over OS/2 and OS X. As in the outcome of those wars, it's not always the best standard that wins but often the best financially and/or advertisement backed standard that wins.

    220 vs 110 V AC, PAL vs SECAM, km vs miles ... there are still standards to this day that are different in various regions of the world - for the only reason that it's too hard to change, or people don't want to change, while other standards that are less region specific have died.

    As for data storage CDs and DVDs standards ("+" and "-" versions), we can also see that often, technology develops that allow for compatibility across platforms. We can only hope that future electric cars, as well as charging stations, will develop towards being more flexible from both ends - with a little help of adapters!

    Now, when is that Tesla ChaDeMo adapter "coming soon" release!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Too bad it's so expensive that many owners don't get it. Tesla Motors should have secured a good deal with Mennekes, branded it Tesla Motors and included it with all cars. YES it makes charging seem dead slow and YES it could in some weird scenario spark a fire if plugging into a poorly installed socket, but at least, cars could be charged almost everywhere.
     
  19. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    I'm trying to imagine how that is possible. Unless a contactor was used, using wiring in the car to connect L1+L2+L3 together would create a short when 3-phase power is applied. I can understand if the power input cable to the UMC did this, or the wall-connector could be wired as such, because it would be dependent upon power source.
     
  20. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    3 into 1 at the wall connector. This should illustrate (blue is N, then gray, black and brown and the Ls):

    IMG_4243.JPG
     

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