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Cheapest Low Amperage Charging Solution for Roadster?

Discussion in 'Roadster: Technical' started by smorgasbord, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    I'm renting a second place, away from home, and trying getting them to install a 240 line. I may end up with two 120 volt out of phase lines, which means I'd need something like the Quick 220.

    My choices are:
    1) Take my UMC to the second place, and buy a fixed 40 amp capable charger for home.
    2) Keep the UMC at home and buy a new charger for the new place.

    #2 will be cheaper since the new place won't have more than two 20 amp outlets (16 amp draw), and probably just two 15 amp outlets (12 amp draw). I have a J1772 CAN adapter. So, even something like the TurboCord would work, but that's still $600. It has the advantage that when I'm traveling I could take it instead of the UMC to save space (since hotels and such probably have AC outlets I would use, but don't have RV outlets (and I don't stay at RV parks), but it's still pretty pricey.


    I'm looking for the cheapest decent quality 240 volt, low-amperage, ESEV. What are your recommendations?

    Here are some choices(all 240 volts), other than than the TurboCord for $600

    Bosch 30Amp

    Clipper Creek 20Amp (draw limit at 15Amp)

    Juicebox

    HomeDepot has a few

    Seems like there really isn't anything under $600. For that price I might as well get a Model S HPWC and modify the cord end.

    Any other ideas?
     
  2. TonyWilliams

    TonyWilliams Active Member

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    Build an OpenEVSE, if you are handy and want to save money. You could probably do a cheap China relay ($20), the OpenEVSE circuit card (I think about $70), you don't need any display or program ability for just a 12 or 16 amp station, but you need a box to put it all in ($10-$20), and finally the J1772 plug and cable ($150). You can cut some of the J1772 cable to make your power cord to hardware to the wall.

    I think you can do it for under $300.
     
  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Just for the record, OpenEVSE isn't UL rated. Use at own risk.
     
  4. TonyWilliams

    TonyWilliams Active Member

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    Just for the record, neither is any Tesla charge product. None of them.

    Use Tesla charge stations at own risk.
     
  5. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    That is incorrect. The Roadster HPC has UL certification. The Model S HPWC has UL certification.

    Neither UMC does, because automotive components fall under different regulations. That doesn't mean they are unsafe.
     
  6. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    I'm tempted to get the TurboCord, partly because it would be a reasonable carry with me emergency charger. They have a 240 volt version and a dual 240/120 volt version. Would the 120Volt version through J1772 and Henry Sharp's CAN work with Roadster? If it did, then I wouldn't need the Tesla Spare Mobile Connector, which would save some room since I always carry the CAN with me. Heck, I could sell my Spare Mobile Connector then.

    Thoughts? Anyone tried 120 volt charging through J1772 and an adapter?
     
  7. GSP

    GSP Member

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    I have seen and handeled AV's TurboCord and love its small size and 120/240 Volt versatility. It should work fine with hsharp's CAN with either supply voltage. The drawback is the 16 A limitation. Not fast enough for topping off during the day at 50 A RV park outlets, but should be fine for a second home or grandma's house.

    The beauty of this solution is that the rental (or grandma) only need install an inexpensive NEMA 6-20 outlet with a 20 A breaker. This provides 16 A, 240 V charging solution, very good for overnight charging.

    GSP
     
  8. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    The cheapest seems to be the Clipper Creek LCS-20, but that draws only 15 amps, not 16 (every amp matters at this level). Maybe that's a typo? Anyway, that's only $400, compared to TurboCord's $600-$650.

    The Clipper Creek 25 amp (20 draw) version (LCS-25) is available in portable versions with a plug, but it's not as compact. Clipper Creek's are made in the US.
     
  9. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Is vote ClipperCreek too. Good company and products. LCS-25 should work fine.
     
  10. TonyWilliams

    TonyWilliams Active Member

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    Well... yes, I'm referring to the UMC's that aren't UL listed. They don't really fall under different regulations; Tesla interpreted that the rules do not apply because it's a "car part" . Other manufacturers, like Nissan, absolutely UL list their "UMC" that's in the trunk of 60,000 Nissan LEAF's, as does virtually every single other manufacturer. Actually, off the top of my head, ONLY Tesla doesn't UL list their portable charge cable, née UMC.

    The real direction of my comment is overlooked, however. In one breath, the Tesla UMC isn't unsafe because it is not UL listed, but other equipment you label "use at own risk" for the lack of UL listing.

    Duplicity or non sequitur.
     
  11. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    CC chargers are excellent quality and they have great support. 15 is only about 6% less than 16.

    You really should consider OpenEVSE. If you don't want to do it yourself, there are lots of DIY types who would assemble the whole thing safely for a reasonable fee. Make sure it's set up to use both 120 and 240v and automatically limits current to 12A when plugged into a 15A circuit. This solution would be compact and allow you to ditch the SMC.
     
  12. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I would trust Tesla over a DIY kit that includes unlisted components. At least the Tesla unit has listed components.
     
  13. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    It depends on who builds the DIY unit, their experience, and what components they use. OpenEVSE has spent a lot of time paying attention to safety and as a whole it may not be listed but you certainly have the option to build it with all UL listed components. By comparison, many of Tesla's UMCs have been constructed very poorly. The failure rate is high. How many adapters melted? I have a UMC that gets so hot you can't touch it. At least with the DIY kit I have control over the quality.

    In the OP's case he needs custom features that aren't in Tesla's UMC such as 16A charging when using an adapter that can only be plugged into a 20A circuit. That's why it might be worth considering.
     
  14. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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  15. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    True, but I could always set the amperage via OVMS.
     
  16. Panicopticon

    Panicopticon Member

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    I purchased a the EVSEUpgrade modified Leaf charger (SPECIAL $649! Brand New high-power EVSE for all EV's [NN2R3H] - $649.00 : EVSE Upgrade, Low-Cost EV Charging Solutions) with the intent of using it with Henry's CAN adapter on my Roadster. The EVSEUpgrade folks apparently have a bunch of Model S customers who use them.

    After testing it, its a no-go. The charger itself appears to work fine (self test, etc), however the Roadster will not charge from it -- and I don't have another electric vehicle around to test it with.

    Setup:
    Roadster - HC Sharp CAN Roadster Adapter -> J1772 Adapter -> EVSEUpgrade Charger


    Summary of what happens:


    Car identifies a 240V 32A source connected.
    Charge ring lights turn blue.
    Charging contactors audibly close in the car.
    VDS registers a charging voltage.
    Charging cuts out, contactors audibly open.
    Charge ring lights blue, with periodic brief white flashes.
    Car gives up.

    Seems like the charger or the car were having issues with the pilot signal.

    They EVSEUpgrade folks have been very good about the whole thing, they'll take it back and give me a refund.

    That said, I'm sad that it didn't work. Its an appealing unit given the 120/240 flexibility and its relatively small size, as well as being able to charge "normal" =o) electric cars.
     
  17. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    Can you send me a video with clear sound so I can hear when the contactors close and open? I have other customers who are using this setup so you should be able to get it to work.
     
  18. Panicopticon

    Panicopticon Member

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    Damn. I almost took a video before I left. The car is in storage for the winter, and not terribly convenient to get to.

    Some more detail from memory,

    The contactors closed pretty quick after the initial connection. On the you'd see it starting to charge, it would show a 20A connection, but the voltage never came above 3 or 4. Then it would presumably reset and try again, voltage to "-". At that point the contactors would open and the charge light would be blue with occasional brief flashes of white.

    I tried a few different variations on connection order and things, but the result was consistent.

    Any thoughts?

    I tend to doubt I'll be back up there to test again prior to sending the charger back, though I may email the EVSEUpgrade folks and see if they're willing to let me hold off a while longer on sending it back.
     
  19. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    Your description is very confusing to me. Where did you see a 20A connection? If the voltage never got above 3 or 4 then it would never start drawing any current. Did you get any error codes from the charger when it stopped?
     
  20. Panicopticon

    Panicopticon Member

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    My apologies for the confusion -- correct, the car never pulled any current.

    For a brief period after initial connection, the VDS would show "0V 0/20A" over maybe the next 20 seconds it would go up to about "4V 0/20A" along the bottom of the charging screen. After that the voltage would drop back to 0 or - and the screen displays charging stopped or occasionally disconnected.

    20A is the maximum capacity of the EVSEUpgrade charger, and what I'd had it set to (the new version is adjustable).

    No error codes on the VDS, no fault lights on the charger, no red lights on the charging port light ring.

    Does that clarify things any?

    I'd go and test it on the car and get you some video, but its a 3 hour round trip, plus the time there for the testing -- the EVSEUpgrade folks are being very cool about taking the unit back, so I'm not sure how much I want to push my luck there.
     

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