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DIY Tesla 240V Charging | Quick220 Review

Discussion in 'Model X' started by K-MTG, Nov 29, 2016.

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  1. K-MTG

    K-MTG Sunshade Captain of TMC

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    My Review of the Quick220 Charging System:



    Quick220: 220 and 240 Voltage Converters for Everyday Use
    Tesla Adapter: Tesla — NEMA 6-15
    Extension Cord: US Wire 74050 12/3 50-Foot SJTW Yellow Heavy Duty Lighted Plug Extension Cord - - Amazon.com

    My sister came over during Thanksgiving and did the voiceover, much more professional as she is a journalist!

    The Quick 220 makes Tesla charging more feasible compared to a typical 120V outlet, which is significantly slower and inefficient. The Quick220 nearly triples the charge rate and does not require the need for a costly installation and the painstaking permitting process associated with it.
    [​IMG]

    The Quick220 is also perfect for road trips in the event the hotel lacks destination charging, allowing an overnight charge to be possible compared to several days. I also foresee numerous Model 3 owners using the Quick220 as a viable charging station alternative, especially for those that rent.
    The Quick220 itself is well built, lightweight, and portable. Unfortunately it is not weatherproof, thus prolonged outdoor exposure is not recommended. While this can be resolved with the use of an extension cord, I still hope they release an outdoor enclosure.
    The instructions are simple and easy to follow, the Quick220 is made in the U.S (Phoenix, Arizona) and the support team is responsive and familiar with Tesla. The device has all of the necessary regulatory qualifications (UL, etc...)

    [​IMG]

    It also has a built in circut-breaker, I have the 15 amp version so mine is rated for 15 amps (15 AMPS 3 hours, 12 AMPS continuous) . They also have a 20 amp version but that requires 3rd party adapters thus the Quick220 team recommend the 15 amp model for ease of setup.
    The wires are 14 gauge - 6 feet long, they are flexible and do not generate heat when charging at maximum amperage.

    [​IMG]

    They also include an outlet tester to make sure the outlet is wired correctly.
    The setup is simple, you merely connect each of the plugs into outlets located on opposite phases of the electrical panel. Residential homes receive 240V from the utility that is split into two 120V lines. This step is mostly trial and error, you try various outlets until the light illuminates on the Quick220. The Quick220 monitors the power input and doesn’t start the flow of power until everything is hooked up correctly.
    The included outlet tester verifies that the outlet is wired correctly by shining two amber lights. It also has a GFI tester, due to the nature of the Quick220, GFI outlets won’t work which can be an issue when looking for an outlet as you will primarily plug into a garage or outdoors.
    The older the house is, the better chance of success finding a standard non-GFI outlet in the garage. My house is fairly new, but I still found that both of my garage doors and force air units were not on GFI outlets, I used those to power the Quick220. The parking garages I went to also lacked GFI outlets which allowed the quick220 to function without an issue.

    [​IMG]

    Once you test both outlets, you simply connect the Quick220 and if everything is wired correctly the light on the unit will shine indicated 240 volts. The unit also has its own circuit breaker so you can shut off power easily.
    You will also need the Tesla NEMA 6-15 adapter, which can be picked up on the Tesla web store or local service center.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    With the Quick220, I am receiving triple the speed (compared to 120V charging). The charge time is feasible for overnight purposes. If you drive under 120 miles per day, the quick220 is sufficient.
    If you are looking for a fast charge solution while you are on the go or an alternative to installing a costly 240 volt outlet, the Quick220 is the perfect alternative. While it may not provide the full capable amperage associated with the 40 AMP outlet or Tesla wall connector, for most people the charging capacity of the Quick 220 is more than sufficient.
     
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  2. K-MTG

    K-MTG Sunshade Captain of TMC

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    I am currently working on a charging solution video, would appreciate any feedback.

    Thanks!
     
  3. CuriousG

    CuriousG Member

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    Whew! I was going to say that's some manly hands. Anyway, you may want to redub the two times she says gauge. Informative.
     
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  4. gaswalla

    gaswalla P4201/85/airsusp/pano/19i

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    For the quick 220, how's did you figure that its works if you drive 120 miles a day? That would require being plugged in 20 hours of the day.
     
  5. K-MTG

    K-MTG Sunshade Captain of TMC

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    I got 120 miles filled up in 15 hours and 28 minutes. I would figure if you plug in around 6-7PM and leave for work around 8-9. The charge should be sufficient.
     
  6. 2virgule5

    2virgule5 Member

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    #6 2virgule5, Nov 30, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
    I remember reading a lot of discussion around the feasibility but also the safety of such an alternative, which basically ask you to find two different plugs and combines two legs of 120VAC that are 180 degrees out of phase with one another to make a 240V.

    I used a similar system initially to charge my S with good results and less losses (was not a 6-5 but a NEMA 14-50 plug but otherwise similar), but this was for a couple of weeks as we were going to move to a new location that I equipped with NEMA 14-50.

    But it creates safety issues that not everyone would fully understand and that need to be acknowledged. For one I'm not sure you are supposed to do that - it may be out of code and therefore carries risks with your insurance should a fire emerge from that. You are also creating a 240V with something that looks like a 110V plug (because it is). Someone else comes and plug any regular stuff in there, the result won't be pretty at best, and often dangerous. I'm very surprised they are allowed to do that but I'm no code expert nor electrician. At least it should be a plug you cannot confuse with anything else.

    And while 110v is atrociously inefficient, it at least carries an advantage over Europe and its 220-240V: human safety ; you are likely not going to die from a direct contact with 110, it's a different story at 220V.

    Also, if any other appliance is drawing current out of the same line/leg (ie other plug in the house), it creates a dangerous imbalance which at the minimum will constantly trip it.

    I would then suggest to look at this side as well in the review - if you don't find the relevant thread in TMC I can try to relocate it for you.
     
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  7. K-MTG

    K-MTG Sunshade Captain of TMC

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    Thanks for discussing these points. Obviously installing a dedicated outlet or Tesla wall connector would be ideal, but that approach is not feasible for some Tesla owners.

    As far as regulatory approval, I am unsure if this is approved or not. The Quick220 is UL rated, includes a integrated circuit-breaker, and verifies power before passing it through. It has a 240V outlet, NEMA 6-15 so I don't understand the risk associated with using it as a 120V outlet as you mentioned?? It's not a regular outlet.

    The Quick220 pulls 12 amps, 120 V from each leg. I don't see it as being any different than charging the Tesla on 120 V?? It pulls the same amount from each leg of the breaker?

    I am not an expert, I would recommend contacting Quick220 directly as I am not affiliated with them. When I spoke with them, they were very familiar with the charging requirements and setup associated with charging the Tesla. And I couldn't find any incident where someone had an accident using a similar product.
     
  8. 2virgule5

    2virgule5 Member

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    Yes, when I read 6-15 I improperly pictured a 5-15 instead... so this removes a big risk. I'll try to find out the relevant part of what I read 3 years ago on this.
     
  9. 2virgule5

    2virgule5 Member

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    Actually was easy to find - it is covered in The Charge FAQ for Model S by @FlasherZ

    Here is the relevant sections. In short, better to know what electricity is, not NEC compliant and therefore insurances questions, and some risk of overload in one of the leg if current draw from another device on the other one.


    ALL I HAVE IS SMALLER OUTLETS AND I REALLY NEED A HIGHER RATE OF CHARGE. CAN I COMBINE MULTIPLE CONNECTIONS TO CHARGE MY CAR?

    NEC 2011 article 310.10(H)(1) prohibits connecting equipment using paralleled conductors less than size 1/0 AWG. Technically, you are not permitted to do this.

    Invariably, though, the next question that is asked is whether it is safe or not. The answer is that it is complicated and can be made safe to use, but there are many factors that come into play. For the most part, for the average user, you should not do this.

    First, the circuits must be entirely phase-aligned. This means that the two circuits used must be connected from the same legs of the same transformer. Some commercial & industrial areas, large multi-unit apartment buildings, and RV parks are fed with a three-phase power distribution, and multiple circuits are likely to be on different phases of the service.

    Second, the circuits must have the same length. A longer circuit has a higher resistance, which will create an imbalance of current. If circuit 2's resistance is twice as much as circuit 1, circuit 1 will receive 66% of the load and circuit 2 will receive 33% of the load. In this case, if we were charging at 80A, circuit 1 would try to pass 53A (which should trip the circuit breaker), and circuit 2 would only carry 27A.

    And then, you will likely require some intelligence to make sure that the charging can back off if one circuit is unavailable. In the example above, circuit 1 is likely to trip its 50A breaker after a short period, at which point circuit 2 will try to handle the full 80A draw, tripping its breaker, and resulting in no charging at all.

    Finally, if the circuits are protected with GFCI devices, it adds another complexity in that the current draw must be symmetrical across the legs of each circuit, or the GFCI detects a difference and trips.

    Anecdotal evidence suggests that while this does work occasionally, it does require a lot of knowledge, some intelligent devices that can handle multiple inputs, and there are many times when it simply will not work because two circuits cannot be found that can be paralleled easily.

    As mentioned, be sure to understand any insurance implications of using a non-compliant means to power a vehicle.

    I HAVE SEEN A DEVICE THAT COMBINES TWO 120V CIRCUITS TO CREATE A 240V CIRCUIT. IS THIS SAFE?

    This is similar to the question immediately above this one, and many of the same requirements apply. It adds a twist, though, in that it uses two opposing 120V legs to create a 240V connection.

    The NEC does not permit a device to be connected to multiple branch circuits at once, so this approach would be non-compliant. However, again many times the question is whether it is safe...

    First, you must find two receptacles that are located on opposite legs of the building's electrical service without needing to use very long, very expensive extension cords that prevent significant voltage drop. This can be difficult in some homes.

    An additional point with this type of equipment is that many times, the 120V receptacles that would be used are shared with other receptacles on the same circuit. For example, circuit 1 might be in the garage where a freezer is connected, while circuit 2 is just inside the door, in the laundry room, where the washer and gas dryer are plugged in. As the 240V load must be symmetrical, the existing load plus additional charging load cannot exceed either of the circuits, or a circuit breaker will trip and cut the charging completely.

    As above, this approach is certainly not recommended and may have insurance implications.
     
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