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Future proofing new PEV charging station

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by jgkolt, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. jgkolt

    jgkolt New Member

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    I am looking to install PEV charging station in my garage but I want to be considerate of future changes and future proof what i can. Right now running a line in the basement from the panel to the garage is relatively simple since the basement is not finished yet. My current car is The Chevy Volt which requires the 20 amp line, (leaf requires the 40 amp line) and i want to future proof it so it is ready for the Tesla which i read could go up to 100 amp with the twin charger. Now we may have more than one down the line so I am trying to accommodate that. How much future proofing should i do now, and how much down the road when i get the Tesla?
     
  2. NoMoGas

    NoMoGas Member

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    My advice would be to would the maximum amount of power to a sub panel now. That way adding on down the road is a simple task. If you have the ability to run 200 amps then do it, or whatever other maximum number you can without incurring to much cost. You could then expand out quite easily with little cost.
     
  3. jgkolt

    jgkolt New Member

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    If they ran 2 100 amp power cables would they be fine for use as 30 amp in the meantime? The main fuse box is 200 amp so if a sub box was used for 200 amp would that mean the main fuse box would need to be upgraded?
     
  4. fcharland

    fcharland Member

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    Yes.

    If the main can give max 200 amps, than, most probably your house consumes a bit of that too.

    Charging 2 cars @ 100A ( 80A + 20%) would then trip the main breaker.
     
  5. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    I would have an electrician look at your main panel and tell you the largest breaker amperage he can install without doing a main panel upgrade. I would be surprised if it's more than 100A, but it depends on whether you have electric ovens, AC, pool pumps, solar, etc. If it is 80A or more, I would put a sub-panel in the garage. If it's only 50A or 60A, I would just put a single outlet on the left wall of the garage since the Volt, Model S, Focus Electric, Fusion Energi, RAV4 EV, etc. all have the charge port on the left side of the car. A 40A EVSE like the Leviton EVB40 is good for a 50A circuit while a Clipper Creek CS-60 is good for a 60A circuit. Since these have a J-1772 plug, they can be used with any plug-in and can fully charge a Model S overnight.
     
  6. jgkolt

    jgkolt New Member

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    I believe what we are going to do is run 2 pvc pipes from breaker in basement to garage. Then just get the breaker and cable we need for right now. Later on we can put higher amp cable in there. this allows the costs to be a little lower now, and easily run new wires later.
     
  7. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    Not future proof (except possibly the part about shooting for the largest breaker he can install). You are looking at current models of plug-ins along with the slowest charging Model S. The OP wants to future-proof it.

    I'm surprised you are doing that. The greatest cost is almost always the labor, most of which is pulling wires and hooking them up. Running small wires means you will have to replace the wiring some day, so you will have to pay for almost everything all over again when you upgrade. The incremental cost to run a heavy cable now is hardly anything, and will save you a lot of money in the big picture, probably saving you from any upgrade at all. I'm assuming your 200A service is adequate for the larger cables, which it probably is. I have 200A service and a load analysis indicated there was no problem installing the two 70A chargers that we have. One comes from a sub-panel and the other is wired directly off the main panel. Only the power co had to upgrade our transformer, which they did for free.
     
  8. David_Cary

    David_Cary Member

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    The other issue is that 2 inch pipe requires big holes. Depending what you are doing, this can be a pain. And depending on the curves, feeding a 4 or 6 gauge wire in could be an exercise in torture.

    And to the other point, copper gets expensive. If you are unfinished and live in a modest labor market, the wire can be more expensive than the labor.

    Why not just run the largest wire that your service can handle. If you have 200 amps available (unlikely), then run wire for 200 amps.

    I just did mine and ran 8 gauge - shockingly small. But I have a Leaf with charger on the front, not the left. And I have full unfinished (and not to be finished access) from breaker to garage. So I can run a 6 gauge to the other parking spot when the time comes.
     
  9. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    If you think running a large cable through 2" conduit is an exercise in torture while the walls are unfinished, how would you describe doing it after they are closed and finished? Years of Hell?:tongue:

    Good idea but probably can't do 200A sub-panel. He said his main panel is 200A so he can probably wire a 125A sub-panel, or 2 direct cables from his basement, or some combination of the two. The OP wanted to know what's best for the long-range future. Batteries will get more capacity. Charging rates will increase. Running 8 gauge now, then closing his walls is just foolish. My .02 coming from a household with 2 EVs.

    You're in a different situation than the OP. You're not about to finish the walls in your basement or garage, so you can easily add a 4 or 6 gauge cable in a few years without incurring any additional (wasted) expense.
     

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