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Hotel Destination Chargers

Discussion in 'North America' started by SSonnentag, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. SSonnentag

    SSonnentag Supporting Member

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    So I stopped by a hotel this past weekend to add about 20 miles of range so that I could make it back home. I plugged into the destination charger, the light started flashing green. And after about 20 seconds I got an error message stating that there was a problem with the charger. I disconnected and reconnected, but the charger seemed to be dead now.

    Is it possible that the destination charger was on a 50A circuit and since my car has dual chargers with a maximum draw of 72A, I may have blown the breaker? Maybe they neglected to set the dip switches in the charger.

    It's the only idea I can come up with.
     
  2. Saghost

    Saghost Well-Known Member

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    I suppose it's possible, but it requires the installer to have failed at one of the most basic and important steps.

    I'm not sure how your error message plays into the scenario, either.
     
  3. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    It's a shame you couldn't notify the hotel about the problem, as you weren't a guest there so you shouldn't have plugged in to begin with (unless there's something you're not telling us). It's called a "destination charging station" for a reason.

    By the way you don't have dual chargers. You have a single 72A charger. The dual chargers were for the original Model S with a 40A charger, which could have a second 40A charger installed.
     
    • Informative x 1
  4. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    Not unless the charger was installed incorrectly. If the charger was on a 50 amp breaker then the charger pilot signal should be set to 40 amps (80% of breaker). The charger then tells the car to only pull 40 amps.
     
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  5. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    Yep, that does seem to indicate that the switch in the wall connector is set wrong. The way the communication works is that the wall connector sends a signal indicating to the car how many amps it has available, and then the car tries to use up to that much. If the wall connector is set to send a signal of more amps than its circuit, then car will try to take that high amount, and that is too much for the lower amp breaker.
     
  6. SSonnentag

    SSonnentag Supporting Member

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    I didn't think all the details were necessary, but to clear things up . . .

    Yes, I got permission before plugging in.
    Yes, I notified the desk clerk of the issue.
    She said she would "notify maintenance," but I didn't have time to wait around for that, so charged at a nearby J1772 station and paid the $1.50 fee for 3hrs of use, although I only stayed for 45 minutes.
     
    • Like x 3
  7. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    I've encountered a couple instances of EVSEs installed wrong. Once was a 48A clipper creek installed on a 50A circuit (that doesn't work for more than a couple hours...) Also a pair of HPWC installed on 100A independent circuits but the installer didn't even bother with the pilot. Both were at the default setting of 16A IIRC :( PITA because tamper-resistant T20 torx drivers aren't exactly something I carry with me. FYI: Auto Parts stores usually have them... If anyone charges at the Microtel in Monahans, TX... you're welcome ;)
     
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    • Love x 2
  8. eprosenx

    eprosenx Member

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    Hah, nice. I plan to keep the security Torx drivers that came with my HPWC in my electrical kit I will keep in the M3. I love fixing electrical stuff, so I figure a basic kit should always be in the car with me.

    I should note that there might have been other reasons for those chargers to be cranked down that were not readily obvious... Like the service did not have enough capacity, or a feeder did not have enough capacity, etc... They may also have wanted to limit their financial cost to provide power by lowering the rate at which it can be drawn.

    FWIW I would have a hard time choosing to change the settings on someones units without owner permission (though I am assuming you were working with the facility since you were able to get access to the breakers, etc...). ;-)
     
  9. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    While those may have been legitimate concerns, this is still entirely the wrong way to do this. This incorrect install has a smaller breaker, but the setting in the wall connector is advertising to the cars that plug in that it has a higher breaker. That's just never OK, and will result in this problem of cars tripping the circuit. It could be OK to do it the other way around, if you actually do have a larger circuit, but want to artificially limit the amps, then you could have the wall connector set for a lower value to limit it to a lesser rate.
     
  10. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    The breakers were mounted on the same pedestal as the HPWC so it was easy to see that it was a 100A circuit. I did ask the desk if it was ok for me to fix it since it was fairly obvious what happened. 16A is next to useless... you can't even charge overnight at that rate.
     
  11. eprosenx

    eprosenx Member

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    I think you read @nwdiver 's post backward. My understanding is that the chargers were on 100A circuits but they were set to tell the car that only 16a was available. So a totally safe and legit install, but just oversized wire and breaker. i.e. sounds like nobody changed the default setting from the factory when they were installed...
     
  12. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    Oh, context. I was still thinking of the original poster's situation where plugging in the car tripped the breaker. I didn't realize you were talking about @nwdiver 's comment.
     
    • Like x 1
  13. SIG0075

    SIG0075 New Member

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    I'm confused... Was your auto the 1st to ever use this destination charger? Most installs are checked before the installer leaves the job.
     

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