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Charging questions

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Alexjfrost1969, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. Alexjfrost1969

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    After several months of debating, I've finally pulled the trigger on a P85. Blue with tan leather, 19", tech and parking. The pano roof was a real challenge, and I changed my mind twice. I've never liked sunroofs (I prefer the peace and quiet of a sealed air conditioned box) and anyway I live in England not San Diego and I reckon therefore the option cost would work out at approximately £500 per day of use over a year. Plus it's just another thing to go wrong, and I don't actually know anyone over 5'11" :rolleyes:

    One of the main attractions of the roof (and hence the debate) was that you could carry bikes on it. In the end I decided to spend half of the cost of it on an Ecohitch (I already have a really good 4 bike Thule towbar mounted carrier); I think that it will be slightly better in terms of reduction in range than carrying the bikes on the roof as well. Regarding the audio, again if the standard kit is disappointing I have contact with a really good local audio shop that can upgrade the bits I need (subwoofer etc) without me having to pay for things I don't want like DAB.

    Anyway I have posted this in charging as my questions are largely about that. I've got a Chargemaster (the 7kW version) on order and that should be more than enough given that most of my driving is the 55 mile round trip to work. There are some options for charging publicly near work (the Park and Rides in Cambridge have Source East charging points).

    I do occasionally have to make some longer journeys (by which I mean, return trips beyond the range of the car). So I am trying to work out my best back up charging options.

    (1) My parents spend part of the year in the UK (they live in Florida). They live 212 miles from my home. about 60% of the journey (by distance) is on 3-4 lane motorways, 20% is on major trunk roads (60mph speed limit but usually with traffic) and 20% is on minor roads (some of which are very narrow country lanes). From experience, will a fully charged (100%) P85 cover 212 miles IF DRIVEN NORMALLY? I know that I could get there if I drove no faster than 60mph but that's not how I want to use the car...


    (2) On the way down to visit last time I stopped at a service station on the M3 with an Ecotricity charging station. Apart from the ChaDeMo socket, there was a 43kW AC charge point as well. Despite lots of searching, I cannot find a straight answer: how fast will a Model S with a single charger fill from a 43kW charge point? I know that the car is current and voltage limited for AC so that I won't get the full 43kJ per second from the charge point, but what WILL I get? I'm wondering if a 30 minute food and comfort break here would give me enough additional charge then easily to reach Dorset.

    By the way, my delivery chap has now told me that they will be releasing the ChaDeMo adapter in the UK/Europe "in Q1 2015". So I shall hope to be able to buy one by Christmas next year given Tesla's notorious "overpromise, underdeliver" on dates!

    (3) UK cars now come with a type 2 to type 2 cable. Tesla's view that my friends and relatives should all install charge points (pointing out that they are free) is not realistic; in any case of the three people I spoke to, not one of them has a mobile data signal at home and one of the T&Cs for free installation is that the charge point must be able to transfer data using 2G or 3G.

    So my last question is, what do other owners do for those times when no dedicated charge point is to hand? The nearest one to my parents is a half hour drive away and I am not going to sit around whilst the car charges on a 7kW connection! In the US it seems that there are lots of different sockets for such times (various tumble dryer/welder/RV/Caravan/industrial unit connections) but here in the UK it is much rarer. I know you can buy 13A socket to type 2 cables (with thermal cutouts to prevent fires), but presumably you cannot draw the full 13A from these for continuous periods - or can you? To save me carrying 2 cables, is it possible to buy type 2 to 13A adapters (I cannot find any via Google)? I have a suspicion that I read somewhere on these forums that adapters like that may be illegal in the UK. The other option is a type 2 to blue commando connector - again are these available in Europe? Amazon sell Commando to 13A socket adapters so if I bought a type 2 to commando and a commando to 13A adaptor, that would give me the option to go and hook up at the local caravan park (there are plenty of those in Dorset) or to the mains if not.

    Sorry for the long ramble.

    Cheers

    Alex
     
  2. Ugliest1

    Ugliest1 S85: "Sparky"

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
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    889
    Location:
    Victoria BC Canada
    For question 2, was it a 43kW, or 43A charger? If 43kW, the Model S charger(s) only take 10kW each, so you'd top out at 20kW. For my S, that means 80A is the max it will take, and that will deliver a little less than 80km/hr depending on the voltage.
     
  3. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    Joined:
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    18,235
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    212 miles assuming no big elevation changes or horrible weather at 60mph shouldn't be much of a problem. It will likely be a little close with maybe a 20 mile buffer.
     
  4. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

    Joined:
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    5,062
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    Colorado
    Remember that the Model S has a really good aerodynamic design. This means that anything external will reduce range (sometimes dramatically). Do some tests with your external bike rack and see what the effect is, but if you are ever attempting a long range hop on a single charge, put the bikes inside; they fit very well.
     
  5. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    Los Altos, CA
    The UK cars have the 3-phase chargers and the 43kW stations he's talking about are also 3-phase. Hopefully the OP got dual chargers. In that case, the car will draw 22kW from that charge point. Tesla claims this is 68mi/hr charge rate.
     
  6. Alexjfrost1969

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    Thank you all for your replies. Yes that all makes sense now. I did NOT go for the second charger; I could not justify the additional cost for the number of times that I thought I would need to rely upon it.

    As far as I understand it, then, my absolute limit for AC charging is 11kW, either from a domestic 3 phase supply (which I don't have) or from one of the ecotricity 43kW chargers (which will just supply charge at a reduced current for the Model S). The other usual options will be 32A, 240V (7.6kW), 16A, 240V (3.8kW) or, as a last resort, whatever I can squeeze through a 13A socket (maybe a continuous 10A, so about 2.5kW).

    Looking at the Tesla website, I guess that means that I won't get more than about 30 mph even from the 11kW charger; I guess on that basis, driving slowly to increase the range is a better bet than 2 hours at a UK motorway service station....

    All of which means that, until the ChaDeMo adapter is available, or Mr Musk actually opens more than 1 supercharger in the UK (and this time in a vaguely useful location), my long distance journeys are going to be pretty limited. Ah well, I'll tell my parents that they will have to come and visit us :)

    Regarding the tow hitch, I had a really helpful email back from the guys at Torklift. Very impressed. It seems that UK towballs are a slightly different size to US towballs (of course they are!) and that I may need to do a bit of engineering to get my bike carrier to fit. Your points about aerodynamics are understood; in fact just the faff of getting bikes on and off a carrier (strapping them down) relative to throwing them in the back of the car means that I only use the carrier once or twice a year, when taking the whole family's bikes for a vacation or such.

    Thanks again.

    Alex

    Alex
     
  7. LMB

    LMB Member

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    (LMB spouse)

    @Alexjfrost1969 - I'm in the U.S. so the following may not be correct, but I seem to recall that in the U.K. there is no 80% derating for continuous current draw. In other words, the breakers and wiring are sized for continuous 100% draw. So, your 13 amp household 240 volt circuit may be good for around 3 kilowatts of charging power. This is much better than the U.S. where a standard household circuit is 15 amps at 120 volts and must be derated to 80% for continuous load, thus charging at 1.44 kilowatts.
     
  8. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    In UK, they use BS1363 sockets which are rated for 13A and their power is 230VAC. The problem is that they mostly use "ring circuits" which means that many sockets are supplied by the same breaker or fuse. So, unless you install a dedicated socket direct from the panel, charging on their sockets can be sketchy, even at 10A. Before Tesla pulled the UMC from the UK delivery plan, they were going to code that adapter for 10A. Now, no UMC for UK or Hong Kong, which also uses BS1363 sockets.
     
  9. Alexjfrost1969

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    Thanks both of you. That is really helpful info. My dad is a retired engineer and loves tinkering. Whilst persuading him to stick a "big ugly damn plastic box" on the side of his house (his words!) may be a longer term project, I reckon that I can get him to fit a dedicated socket in the garage which is fed directly into the fuseboard rather than spurred off a ringmain. From what you say, I may then be able to draw the full 13A continuous. I know another 3A @240V won't turn it into a supercharging point but it will still give me a few "free" extra miles of charge. Normally we visit for the weekend so - up to a point - the speed of charging is not critical.

    I still wonder why I cannot find a Type 2 to IEC 60309 (blue 16A single phase campground) plug adapter though. Perhaps there is some sort of regulation banning it.

    Alex
     
  10. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    You need an EVSE (portable Mode 2 charging station) to use a IEC Blue campground socket. The car needs to see a signal that indicates the allowable current it can pull from the mains. That is why you don't see straight Type-2 to wall socket cables. Tesla decided not to offer the Universal Mobile Connector (Tesla UMC) in the UK, which does support the blue (single phase) and red (three phase) sockets. Take a look at the EN_EU charging pages by selecting your region as "Other Europe".

    Another alternative for BS1363 or Schuko socket charging is EVconnectors.com. You could easily make your own adapter from IEC Blue to Schuko (or find a place to buy one - it should not be against code in continental Europe) and it will deliver 16A to the car. If you're going to fit your own dedicated socket in the garage, then maybe the Blue 16A is the way to go. The EVconnectors portable unit also has adjustable current, so you could safely use it with a BS1363 to Schuko adapter by turning down the allowable current.
     

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