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Help me figure out home charging options

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by BrettS, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. BrettS

    BrettS Member

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    I am quite excited right now as I just put down a deposit on a new (to me) 2015 Model S60. I'm scheduled to meet the seller on Monday to give him a lot of money and bring the car home, so right now I'm trying to figure out charging options.

    As I had been thinking about getting a Tesla my initial plan was to just install a NEMA 14-50 in the garage and be done with it. However, it turns out that the car I'm buying has dual chargers, so now I'm wondering if I should go all out and put in a 100 amp circuit and get the Tesla wall charger.

    Obviously there's a decent cost increase in the cost of the wire as well as the cost of the tesla charger over a NEMA 14-50 outlet, but for those of you with dual chargers and 100 amp circuits, is it worth the added expense? Thinking about my general driving habits I think that there will be very few (if any) days where I exceed the range of the car and need to charge during the day, so part of me thinks that if I'm just charging overnight anyway then it doesn't really matter if it charges in 3 hours or 6 hours. But part of me figures that since I have the capacity and I'm going to be running a wire anyway then I may as well just go for the big charger and be done with it.

    My second question is where should I install the charger? My breaker box is in the front of the garage very close to where the nose of the car will be when it's parked. Part of me just wants to run a foot and a half of wire and put the charger or outlet next to the breaker box. Obviously that would be considerably easier than running the wire up into the garage and then down the wall near where the back of the car will be parked, but running a wire down the length of the garage floor each time I want to charge doesn't seem terribly fun either. Additionally there have been a few times over the past year where I've had things in the garage that prevented me from parking my car in it and if I need to park the Tesla in the driveway then I'll need to make sure that the charging cable can reach it there and obviously if the charger or plug is near the outside garage door that would be much easier.

    So I guess I have two questions here... first, would you suggest going with just a NEMA 14-50 plug or the full blown tesla charger with a 100 amp circuit? I do have 200 amp service to the house and believe that it should be able to support 80 amps of charging.

    Second, will I regret being lazy and putting the charger by the nose of the car or will it not really matter much?

    Thanks much
     
  2. RichardD

    RichardD Supporting Member

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    I have dual chargers and commute approx 50 miles a day. I went with the 14-50 option (install price was $475)

    At 29 miles charged per hour, it was fast enough for me to recharge my commute without the need for the 100 amp option.
    The quote to install the 100 amp was ~2k because of extra materials and upgraded service etc. I did a load test and the 100amp service would not be easy for me without the upgrade.

    Of course your situation may be different.. But one of your factors should be your commute per day, and or will you supplement this with a supercharger in your area, or at your office charging.

    Hope that helps
     
  3. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    #3 Tam, Mar 31, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
    I prefer Tesla HPWC whether you choose a 50A or 100A circuit breaker.

    It's convenient because it's always on the wall waiting for you while Mobile Connector is meant for mobile purpose when you are on the road.

    Since you have 200A already, I would choose a 100A circuit breaker for your HPWC.

    Its location should be as near to your car's charge port as possible.

    I had mine located at the car's right front and the charge port is left rear so it has been a hassle for me to hook it up. The cable's length is 24 feet but it's quite stretched tightly.
     
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  4. BrettS

    BrettS Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts guys. I think you're very right about the tesla charger, TAM. I wouldn't want to pack up the cable every day to bring it with me and it looks like the cost of a portable cable that I could just leave plugged in is about the same as the whole tesla charger. I just ordered a tesla wall charger with overnight shipping (which was only $36, compared to $32 for standard shipping).

    This makes the decision to go up to 100 amps a little easier, since now it's just a bit extra for the heavier wire.

    I still need to decide if I'm going to be lazy and mount it by the nose or run it up through the attic to be close to the charge port.
     
  5. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    #5 Xenoilphobe, Mar 31, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
  6. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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  7. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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  8. BerTX

    BerTX Active Member

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    Mine is mounted fairly high (6'), about half way down the length of the car. The 24' cable is long enough to reach up to the ceiling, across the car, then back down to the charge point. If I decide to park the other way around, it has the flexibility to still reach.
     
  9. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    In over 7 years with my Roadster there has only been one time I needed to charge above 40 amps. So the need has been low and even that time I had a ready plan B. And I wired my HPC into a 14-50 since I normally charge at 24 amps.
     
  10. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    The "mobile" in UMC is a capability, not a requirement. There is no reason to pack it up and take it with you every day, only if you are driving on a long trip. Remember you only use it to plug into outlets, not for J1772 or supercharging. Mine has stayed on a hook on the garage wall for four years except for trips every month or so.
     
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  11. Btrflyl8e

    Btrflyl8e Supporting Member

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    Why would you pack up the UMC every day? That is totally unnecessary. I have never needed mine except on road trips at friend's or family's homes...in 4 years.

    I've never needed more than my 14-50.
     
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  12. gregd

    gregd Active Member

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    For what it's worth, I charged my Roadster from a 30 amp (breaker) dryer plug for several years. Just upgraded last Christmas to a 14-50 for the tax credit, but have just left the charging at 24 amps just to be gentle. As you noted, there's hardly an occasion that can't be handled with an over-night charge, and with some little planning, the exceptions can get handled too.

    That said, there was a recent research posting (sorry, can't remember the reference) where battery longevity research indicated that as long as the battery's thermal situation was handled (Tesla does this very well), a battery can actually last longer if it is charged at a higher rate. Not intuitive, but apparently the effect is that the shorter the time the cells spend actually being charged, the better. Charging at a lower rate takes longer, and that's apparently worse. So much for being gentle.

    The effect isn't huge, but if you have the higher rate available, you might as well use it.
     
  13. Plugsuvohio

    Plugsuvohio Member

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    Your assessment is spot-on. Here is my opinion and what I did for my Model X90D. I park the same way and panel is 10' from the front of the car.

    I installed 14-50 at the subpanel when we built the house and had no EV nor idea when we might have one. It just seemed smart and was pretty easy with walls open. I eventually fell in love with a Tesla and bought it. I've charged it using the supplied mobile cable for 6-8 months. The only issue has been 18' cord is barely long enough to reach. I don't want to stress plugs at either end, and I'm not wild about resting the stretched cable over my drivers side view mirror which is a compromise.

    I realized that if I got a HPWC, I would benefit from 24' heavier duty cable (ie it can do 72A); my standard charger could suck in 48A versus 40; I could keep the mobile cable in the car for travel range safety; I would not be plugging and unplugging any longer at the 14-50. A spare mobile cable is about $520, but HWPC is only $550. Easy decision - bought and installed the HWPC couple of weeks ago and am happy. I'm presently refining a method to hang the cord overhead and gracefully drop to the rear tail light to charge up. The length has turned out to be long enough for this. Bonus; I retained the 14-50 circuit and receptacle, so if we ever get a 2nd EV we have another way to plug in. (I realize in my case with 80A to my subpanel I can't run both at once).
     
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  14. SFOTurtle

    SFOTurtle Active Member

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    Ding ding ding. Ditto every word. My UMC has been on a hose reel/make shift charging cable hangar for 4 years for my MS 60. I have used it almost every day between our MS 60 and our MS 85. It only comes off the wall when I think we might need to charge off someone's wall, as otherwise there's no need to bring it. I also have dual chargers on my MS 60, but at home I only have a NEMA 14-50. Maybe one time in 4 years I would have liked 80A at home, but that was before charging options in the wild became much easier.
     
  15. BrettS

    BrettS Member

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    IMG_3965.JPG IMG_3966.JPG

    Looks like my charger shipped from Tesla today and fed ex is showing a Monday delivery, so that's very good because I'm scheduled to get the car on Monday. At least now I should be able to charge it:)

    After going back and forth a bit I decided to go ahead and do it "right" and put the charger in the garage near the charging port. It will also make it easier when I need to park the car outside the garage.

    I also decided to go ahead and do the 100 amp breaker and THHN-2 wire. Since I just plan to charge overnight I'm not sure if I really need it or not, but since the car supports it and the wall connector supports it and it's not going to be that much more expensive or difficult to pull the heavier wire I figure I may as well just go for it. If nothing else it will be good future proofing. A few years from now cars may be even more power hungry.

    I ran the conduit first, so I could measure exactly how much wire I need since I'm buying it by the foot. I'll head out to get the wire and the 100 amp breaker shortly and I should be ready for the wall connector when it arrives on Monday:)

    Thanks for all your thoughts on this thread.
     
  16. SMAlset

    SMAlset Member

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    Good decision on the location. As EVs become more prevalent I'm sure you will have company over who may need a charge and having access near the garage door/driveway will make that possible.
     
  17. BrettS

    BrettS Member

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    I would first like to go on record saying that foaming wire lubricant is my friend. I bought the wire, attached it to my fishing tape, started pulling and got about 2.5 feet before it refused to budge anymore. I think it made it to the first bend and that was it.

    Concerned that I might have serious issues trying to get this wire through 23 feet of conduit when I could barely go 2.5 feet I ran back to Home Depot and bought foaming wire lubricant. Gave the conduit about a 2 second spray and started pushing the wires up into the conduit to get them started. Only they were moving amazingly easy this time... I got past the first 2 feet and kept going. I figured when it started to get hard to push then I would go over to the other side and pull with my fishing tape. Only it never got hard. I wound up pushing the wires through the whole 23 foot conduit in about 2 minutes.

    That foaming lubricant made all the difference in the world.

    So now the breaker is in (and taped off) and the wires are run and I imagine that it should be a pretty quick job to mount and install the wall connector when it arrives on Monday.

    Now that I'm done I'm definitely glad I made the effort to put the charger near the charge port. It took the better part of a day, but in the end it was probably considerably less effort than running the charge cable down the length of the car and then coiling it all up again every day for years to come.
     
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  18. BrettS

    BrettS Member

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    IMG_3978.JPG There is now a wall connector on the end of that conduit. The wall connector is installed and I officially brought my new (to me) 2015 Model S home today
     
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  19. tpham07

    tpham07 Member

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    Technically speaking you don't need 100 amps, since the most ur tesla could charge at is 72Amps unless you have one of those older models with dual chargers than can do 80A. (so install the connector on a 90A circuit and you'll be fine). I dont think shaving my 3 hour charge time in half is worth spending all that extra money, but having a wall connector does look nice. I might buy one if it gets cheaper one of these days and put it on a 60A circuit since my car will only charge at 48A anyways.
     
  20. BrettS

    BrettS Member

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    The car I wound up with is in fact an older one that can do the full 80 amps. But even so, once I made the decision to get the tesla wall connector I decided that I may as well go with the 100 amp circuit and wiring as well. There wasn't a huge cost increase to upgrade to a 100 amp circuit breaker and 2 gauge wire. I figured that since I had to pull wire anyway I may as well go with the biggest I could so I wouldn't have to redo it later if I got another more power hungry car a few years down the line. Plus the car I have now can take advantage of it and it might not be something I need every day, but at least I know I'll have it if I do have a need to recharge quickly at home sometime.
     

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