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Charging the Roadster - EU Style

Discussion in 'Europe' started by EV_de, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. EV_de

    EV_de Model SP10/XP9 EU ZOE#47

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    according TM's "General information about charging" the Roadster can take 70A but only 240V.
    .. 63A on 1 phase (15KW) can be used, but the other 2 phase's are unused.

    63A on 400V (43KW) would charge the Roadster in a bit more than a hour ...
     
  2. Alpine Driver

    Alpine Driver Member

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    You cant use 400V to charge the roadster, nor cant you use 3 phase. (US)Roadsters input range is 108V to 120V and 208V to 240V, 1 phase.
    In continental middle europe (DACH), you are not allowed to draw 63A on one phase. There is a regulation which prevents this. Its because of the "Schieflast" (dont know the english word) on a 3-phase system when drawing out that much power on one phase; although it might work.
    We europeans stuck officially with 230V/32A one phase, which will never allow us to reach the charging numbers officially advertised in all Tesla papers, including the european ones.
    For my information Tesla will not use the blue 7pin Mennekes plug at the moment; RWE is providing an adapter for the roadster. The plug on the car will remain the same as on the US cars.
     
  3. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Probably "Schieflast" relates to "Unbalanced Loads":
    WikiAnswers - What if in 3-phase connection load is not balance in three phases ie RYB
    .
     
  4. EV_de

    EV_de Model SP10/XP9 EU ZOE#47

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    sooner or later the Euro-spec Roadster should have a 3-phase charger,
    a "must have" for the EU-spec Model S.

    should't be a problem running a 3phase charger with only 1phase, connected in Y by a third
    of max performance.

    .. nice Page "NU-KU-LAR Power Fundamentals", very dry stuff, need more Pictures ...
     
  5. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    As TEG says, it translates as "unbalanced load" (thanks Google :wink:)

    You are allowed to pull 63A on one phase in the UK, but it's not something that would normally happen for hours at a time, which may be an issue. As I mentioned in another thread, utilities in the UK try to balance customers across the three phases at the street level. However they do install three phase supplies for loads that pull a lot of power for long times (such as overnight storage heaters).

    Additionally, I asked a couple of colleagues from France about their system and was told that apart from one with a three phase swimming pool pump, they typically have single phase at home, with breakers rated from 15-25kVA for apartments to houses respectively.

    So we are not yet at the point where we can talk about "this is how we do it in Europe".


    This is definitely something that Tesla should be looking at.

    Also, TEG pointed out those two red connectors in this photo:

    [​IMG]

    They are relatively common in industrial locations, so a solid state 3 phase to single phase converter box or HPC would be a big benefit. Even the smaller of the two sockets would easily allow an overnight charge. The question is, can one be made light and small enough? (*Goes off to freshen up on big diodes, IGBTs and transformer theory.)


    100% agreed. If necessary, I'd sacrifice space in the "front trunk" of the Model S to have the ability to hook up to any size of the three phase connectors shown above (say, up to the 125A version). If the car makes it as simple as possible for locations to install a "fast charger" (e.g. an off the shelf connector), then maybe this will encourage a faster roll-out.


    So to keep this kind of on topic, I may well be the case that the charging systems between US and EU cars diverge to make best use of the available infrastructure.
     
  6. Alpine Driver

    Alpine Driver Member

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    #6 Alpine Driver, Aug 16, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
    dpeilow,

    I do agree 100%. What I dislike is the way Tesla handled the issue.
    There was NO support of the manufacturer in this case.
    As my cars expected delivery was long said for July, I went to the grid company somewhere in May/June. The guy there was very nice, and we had nice talks. He liked the car; but when I told him casually that the cars charging is single power, he nearly fell from his chair. "Imagine there are 3 in your street, and by accident they are on the same phase - when then have more than 100amp unbalaced loads!".
    But, for everything there is a procedure. It is not impossible to operate a device on the grid with more than the officially allowed amount of single phase power. I got a form to be filled out by the manufacturer of the device (a lot of technical issues) and signed by the manufacturer, and when they get it back they can judge the device, and give me an exemption to allow me draw 32A single phase. (they denied there is even an official exemption for more then 32A by going this way).
    So I mailed the form to Tesla and waited. Nothing happened. When I called them, they told me they do not understand the form, they will not fill it out, and why I do make everything so complicated? I just would have to ask an electric company to install a 32A 3-phase power outlet in my garage. Thats an easy task. And yes, the roadster will draw its power single phase on this outlet, but noone will notice.
    Well, in theoretical, Tesla is right. This would have been the silent, easy way. (unfortunately I have talked honestly to the grid provider already).
    But is this the support you can expect from a premium manufacturer? No filling out a form, no talking to the grid provider for help, just suggesting a "grey" workaround.
    This is what I dislike.
    I then talked to the grid provider, and told them that the manufacturer will not fill out the form. They were very supportive. They said they will judge it without the form. They knew they cant prevent it. When you are the first in town with an electric car, even in a large area, it would give a lot of negative PR when the do not allow you to charge it in time. So they calculated it based on the physical location of my garage, and I got a verbally exeption to draw 32A single phase if the harmonic overwaves of the device are max 24%.
    (they added: "try it, should work". and when you have the car, please visit us. How many kW? 185? wow. We just have a 10 year old electric car here, forget it. But we are very interested in seeing it. So just try it. If we can help further, just call).
    So in the meantime, I have a device installed in my garage, which looks similar to the two RWE devices, even bigger. (I hope I can post photos soon), Its 3-phase, connected with a cable 5x 16mm2, and has a 63A power-Twist industrial connector. Breaker at the moment is 3-phase 50A. So 32A no problem, scalable up to 63A (3-phase) if necessary/possible/allowed sometimes.

    Conclusio:
    Goal acchieved. Power installation done. But -NO- support from Tesla on this issue.
    To bring this post back to topic a little bit: one difference is support. In the EU, the do not officially allow you to talk to more than one guy, your rep. This one guy is responsible for several countries, all sales, deliveries (theoretical), all media work, fair presentations, demo rides, etc. This cant work. And when you then have questions and need help, you might get lost. Thats a difference.
    And on a technical way:
    HPC is an option for US customers only. It dissapeared in the EU option list around may 09; at the moment HPC is not a valid option for EU customers.
     
  7. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    I'm surprised you need permission to draw only 32A. Even electric showers can require over 9kW here, so they would break that threshold. How are showers wired over there?


    It's clear that there is a need for two classes of three phase to single phase device in this case:

    1) A home/garage converter for which size and weight isn't an issue.

    2) A portable solution (as mentioned above).


    Version 1 exists now. A 15kw (63A output) device can be found here: ATS Three phase in single phase out constant frequency constant voltage transformer

    It looks expensive.

    Now, for 2, shrink that into a portable unit...


    On the other hand, the PEM is doing the opposite of this and at even higher powers. Therefore, I'm certain the best answer is to modify it to rectify 3 phase straight to DC and cut out the single phase "middleman".
     
  8. raymond

    raymond Member

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    Man, that sounds scary! Has nobody ever been electrocuted? The Dutch answer is "gas". We use gas to heat everything.

    Electric showers... :confused:

    I must say I have wondered about that 3-phase to 1-phase convertor thingy. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Very much OT: I've been offered a test-ride next week. Any hints on what to do (and what not to)?
     
  9. raymond

    raymond Member

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    But a 400V -> 230V converter (transformer) is an easily built low-tech solution giving you 1.73 [sqrt(3)] more power (or it reduces the single-phase power requirements by a factor of 1.73 which in the Netherlands means it's cheaper). It doesn't remove the Schieflast (I like that word) alltogether but it does mitigate the problem.
     
  10. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Apparently so, although I'd never heard of it until you asked.

    On the other hand - allowing an invisible, explosive substance into your house...


    It occurred to me a three phase UPS with single phase output could work as a garage converter. Perhaps looking out for one whose batteries are old and is being replaced could be a cheap solution. You could probably remove the batteries all together.
     
  11. AndrewBissell

    AndrewBissell Member

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    I want to be able to road-trip around Europe in my Roadster with as low recharge times as possible. Hence this topic is of intense interest to me, and I have been thinking these issues through and researching them for some time.

    I am deeply appreciative of the various insights about local regulations and practice in different countries.

    I have been looking for a portable 3-to-1 phase device, and knew that it had to be electronic (to paraphrase Wikipedia's entry for "single phase": "no system of transformers can convert multiphase power to single phase". (of course you can strip out a single phase by simple wiring, but then you get all the schliefast unbalanced load problems)

    I deeply appreciate dpeilow finding the ATS device. I will investigate it further.

    I wonder if raymond can elaborate further on his point as I don't understand it, and sqrt(3) more power (and less schliefast) sounds good!

    Finally, I am trying to find out more about what the RWE-sponsored "Mennekes" standard actually supports on single phase. My reading is that it gives up to 63A 400V 3-phase or up to 63A 230V single phase. If that is correct, maybe the utility is expecting to balance loads for single phase vehicles behind the socket. The fact that RWE have bought several euro-spec Teslas suggests that there may be a good solution - would they limit themselves to 32A single phase? What are RWE doing in practice? Please can any german speakers shed more light on this?

    Thanks

    Andrew
     
  12. AndrewBissell

    AndrewBissell Member

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    I just called the company. The ATS device is no longed available. (apart from being a little large for carrying round in a Roadster!)
     
  13. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Shame.

    But this problem is not that hard. Making a dual conversion that goes from three phase to DC and then immediately to single phase is conceptually easy - the circuits for both stages can be found online - and I've found most of the components needed (with sufficient power handling capability) already. I think heat dissipation is going to be the main issue here.

    Or you can try the UPS route. I think I know where one might be getting stripped out, so I will ask...
     
  14. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    ...If you had three Roadsters you could charge all 3 at once off of different phases to keep everything in balance... :redface:

    Note, "unbalanced" can apparently be literal. Turbine generators at power generating stations can start to wobble (and break) if the phases are not kept in balance. Generally things even themselves out, but if there is a major short on one of the lines it can damage the generator. A single Roadster isn't going to do this, but they do have a general desire to keep everything as balanced as possible.

     
  15. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    That would only be the case if the Roadster was directly connected to the generator.

    Three-phase electric power - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

     
  16. EV_de

    EV_de Model SP10/XP9 EU ZOE#47

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    The BRUSA Company made some Paperwork (highly recommended) to read:

    "Definition and implementation of a global EV charging infrastructure"
    PDF-download

    Point 5.3 "considering the 208V system for US public charging stations" show's how to
    build a charger for both systems 1 (2) Phase and EU 3 Phase.

    more Dokuments here

    ---

    I send a Mail to RWE "[email protected]" asking about the [email protected] thing ....
     
  17. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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  18. Alpine Driver

    Alpine Driver Member

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    Some time ago, I talked to a very well educated technician about this problem. He told me, that technically, of course there is a solution. One way of having 3-phase converted to single-phase (with balanced loads on the 3-phase end) is power electronics converters. (not directly the same approach as dpeilows ATS device with UPS inside; but have you seen its dimensions? and 288kg? puh!).
    But in this case, he sayed that here we are in the part of industrial power electronics, no "playground items", and for 15kVA with european certifications, he expected this in the price-range between 8k EUR and 10k EUR, likely more....

    Another solution is a theoretical one. Use a 3-phase motor, and the motor shaft connect to an alternator. There, use only one phase of the alternator. You will have your single phase, and the primary load on the 3-phase motor is balanced. Well, efficiency isnt the thing of that solution. And the lack of sound of EVs you wont experience - because you then will have it in your garage while charging ...

    So, solution seems to be as simple to as to live with the unbalaced loads.

    One important thing is: power is not power. There is a wide variation of how power can be drawn out of the grid. And this variations have different "Netzrückwirkungen" (grid retroactive effects? grid feedback?).
    So with variant A, you might be allowed to draw the amount of x kVA out of the grid. But with variant B, you might not be allowed.

    Here is the link of the (in austria at least, in germany and switzerland also what I have understood) responsible regulation, the TOR:
    A&B - Strom
    scroll down till the files beginn with "TOR". unfortunately, its hundreds of pdfs in german language.
    From what I have understood:
    This thing is based on law from the european legislative. Each country then puts this in its national law.
    For me, its seems they devide into different devices based on the technics, and on this different technics, a device can draw different power amount out of the grid. But when you are manufacturer of a device and within that limits, nothing can "happen" to you, you can sell this device - you have legal certainty.
    This amounts are very low, on one part there were only 1.5kVA, the maximum I found was 4.7kVA.
    When you and your device do exeed this, then there is a procedure. Its in "Hauptabschnitt D2, page 146" - the form you have to fill out and submit to your grid provider. Then they will judge it if -the way you are drawing out the power of their grid- will influence their grid; and therefore they will allow you or not.
    I do my best to translate some kind of things they are asking here:

    • Power/max.Power
    • 230V/400V/3x400V/others
    • alternation of load often yes/no
    • Stromrichter ("power converter? line-commutated power converter?") yes/no
    • Energy back to the grid yes/no
    • Power factor correction yes/no; if yes, which type, kvar
    • Direktanlauf(direct start?)/Anlaufhilfe(?)/Leistungssteuerung(power control?)
    • Phase controlled modulator yes/no
    • Schwingungspaketsteuerung (?) yes/no
    • Pulssteuerung (? pulse controlled?) yes/no
    • Drehstromsteller (AC power controller? regulator?) yes/no
    • Frequenzumrichter (frequency converter / inverter?) yes/no, if yes, from Hz to Hz
    • Stern-Dreieck-Anlauf (star-delta connection ?) yes/no
    • Starting under load yes/no
    • how often starting in which time period
    • proportion of starting current vs. regular current
    Based on this technical data, they may calculate and allow you to use or not use the device, and make additional suggestions. But "device has xy kW / kVA" is not enough for their judging.

    Hmm. You see its very complicated. I have my exemption :cool:

    But overall, dpeilow is right. The most cheapest and easiest solution is to change the charging electronics. I have talked to the same technician on this issue, and told him about the ACP licence technics using the motor for charging, etc.; but he said nice, but however the car "internally" works, it is not that complicated to design a device to accept 3-phase input at an of course balanced load. (he explained somthing from a few diodes here, some bridge rectifier circuit there; but I am not that kind of technician to understand this ;-), over all minimal costs).
    But it would need some time to make an own EU-PEM accepting 3-phase from the grid, and a new connector (5pin at least, when not taking the blue Mennekes one which would be the only useful solution); this would lead in a new Mobile connector, etc.
    But time is the only thing Tesla does NOT have when it comes on deliveries of european cars; its a pitty that they have overseen this completely, like other things on the european homologation.
     
  19. raymond

    raymond Member

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    That *is* of course the best solution!

    A cheaper solution could be to use a 400V->230V transformer (300 euro for a 10kVA model; I just found a supplier) and then charge from two phases. Someone with more knowledge on this will surely be able to tell how (and if) the 120-degree phase difference translates to sqrt(3) saving.

    I'd say 400V/36A = 230V/63A (roughly).
     

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