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Mobile charging for Australia

RichardMcN

Member
Mar 12, 2016
620
486
Sydney
Also, after thinking about this some more - the plug 'prongs' on the secondary and tertiary legs would be live the instant power was applied to the first one. Seeing as these are uncovered and extend from the plug it is lethally dangerous.
Yes that is one of the known issues. The legs would be wired thru contactors not just connected together. That way there can be a safe start up by push button or voltage sensor, and automatic current-sensing shut down if a plug comes out.
There is quite a bit of work to getting this right, including possibly a cross-phase lockout as per your previous post.
I'm envisaging a thorough design process here, with the wiring diagram properly reviewed up front.
 

raynewman

Active Member
Oct 11, 2014
1,509
512
Brisbane, Australia
Also, after thinking about this some more - the plug 'prongs' on the secondary and tertiary legs would be live the instant power was applied to the first one. Seeing as these are uncovered and extend from the plug it is lethally dangerous.
I don't believe that is correct. Tesla does not use three phase as three phase but as a series of discrete single phase supplies.
 

cashie

Member
Sep 21, 2013
102
15
Perth, Australia
I don't believe that is correct. Tesla does not use three phase as three phase but as a series of discrete single phase supplies.

He means due to the two inputs being wired in parallel that without a relay or similar the second plug would be live once the first was connected.

I think the idea sounds likely to be dangerous and I'd be very surprised if it met the wiring rules in Australia. (Two discrete supplies are not commonly tied together here)
 

Mark E

Member
Jun 27, 2012
860
176
Sydney NSW
He means due to the two inputs being wired in parallel that without a relay or similar the second plug would be live once the first was connected.

I think the idea sounds likely to be dangerous and I'd be very surprised if it met the wiring rules in Australia. (Two discrete supplies are not commonly tied together here)

Yep -that's what I meant. I suspect that connecting multiple circuits in parallel would be illegal as well as potentially lethal. It would be do-able and potentially legal with appropriate electronics in a junction box, however the cost involved probably negates the usefulness. I'd expect that it would be better to look for a place to plug into 3 phase than it would be to build this and then look for 2 or 3 separate circuits that must all be on the same phase and close enough to each other to plug into the octopus.
Once you start looking there are quite a few 3 phase sockets out there.
 

RichardMcN

Member
Mar 12, 2016
620
486
Sydney
Now the Octopus has been performance tested - and it works! Two 15A plugs feed in, and 28A+ feeds out to Tessie, enough to fully charge her overnight in a caravan park.

A big job with twin isolation step-down toroidal transformers (32kg each) in series. Everything done properly with competent people. Load is evenly split between the two 15 amp input circuits, and there is no damaging crossover between them. The box hardly gets warm.

20160730_151142.jpg 20160730_151340.jpg Sat Charging 19-52-57.jpg

Good safety too with current sensing cut-outs now being installed to protect against the live plug issue described by Mark E above, plus a safety switch on each leg.

Not a substitute for 3 phase (especially for daytime charging) but handy I think to know you can always start the day with a full charge.

Is this all worth it? Well we are planning a BIG trip
.
 
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Techno-phile

S100D, P3D- in garage
Nov 13, 2014
342
461
Perth, Australia
This sounds useful, Richard, but how much did your octopus set up cost?
I have been posting 3p+n sockets out to roadhouses on the Nullarbor and now to Broome, and these only cost $41 each. The roadhouses, who have 3p generators, are usually happy to install them without charge. 32amp 3p provides 100kms of range per hour as opposed to 30 kms per hour from your octopus.
 

Techno-phile

S100D, P3D- in garage
Nov 13, 2014
342
461
Perth, Australia
Ok, I have just seen your round Australia trip, Richard, so you will need your octopus from Cairns to Broome probably. What a great trip.

The Nullarbor sockets I sent out, fill in Perth to Adelaide in 3p apart from one gap Balladonia to Eucla (which may be partially filled by the new solar installation at Mundrabilla). The Broome sockets I sent out on 3/8/16 (for our trip in October) should complete to Broome in 3p if installed in time. The Nullarbor sockets were sponsored by AEVA, and I think they will do the same for the Broome sockets, so look out for the AEVA sign.
After your trip, we will just have to fill in the centre to Alice Springs.
 

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RichardMcN

Member
Mar 12, 2016
620
486
Sydney
This sounds useful, Richard, but how much did your octopus set up cost?
I have been posting 3p+n sockets out to roadhouses on the Nullarbor and now to Broome, and these only cost $41 each. The roadhouses, who have 3p generators, are usually happy to install them without charge. 32amp 3p provides 100kms of range per hour as opposed to 30 kms per hour from your octopus.
Definitely like your method Technophile!

I'm guessing that once you have given them the $41 socket, the roadhouse is not going to charge you for the power you use, which would probably cost about that amount (diesel generated), so the socket really costs you nothing, and you are making a great contribution to future fellow travellers. And as you say, the 3 phase charging rate (75km/h for our "upgraded" Model S with high rate charging option) is over twice the Octopus rate.

The Octopus costs around $3000 in materials (transformers 1000 ea + current sensors, contactors, start timer buttons, safety switches etc) plus you have to be lucky to know someone nice enough to wire it up. At 30km/h the Octopus is (apart from emergencies) an overnight (not day charging) solution.

However I really like the Octopus as an addition to rather than a substitute for 3 phase because:
  • We can stay with family and friends (5+ nights approx) and start off full (or full-ish) the next day.
  • I have had one traumatic experience relying on 3 phase only to find one phase missing and the car refusing to charge. I think there will be a bit of this sort of thing across the top.
  • We can change our plans, adjusting our day-length or doing side trips.
  • We have only 7 weeks and no-way I want to get stuck and lose a day (or several) charging at 10 or 15 amps.
Having said that we will record every 3 phase outlet we can, and that will make it easier for those that follow to do the trip without an octopus! We still have a lot of gaps and might end up sending a few outlets ahead. $41 is a great price. What outlet/supplier was that Technophile?
.
 
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Techno-phile

S100D, P3D- in garage
Nov 13, 2014
342
461
Perth, Australia
I have used this ebay supplier since he posts the outlets direct to the roadhouses 32 Amp Industrial weatherproof combination switch 5 pin socket 3 Phase SAA APRV.

Are you an AEVA member? If so I think they will probably sponsor any outlets you send out if they fill the Top End gap, and their sign can be affixed.
Are you in the Tesla Slack group? A member of this group has a map with a lot more charging options than appear on Plugshare, either because they haven't been tested (3p+n required obviously) or because the owner's permission has not been obtained yet.

I am just trying to find a roadhouse who is prepared to install 3p+n in the gap from 80 mile beach to Broome, but even my S85 should make this 385 kms if I go slow enough! There are a few 15amp single phase outlets if really necessary.
Billabong, Whim Creek and Nanutarra should be receiving their 3p+n outlets next week, and RACWA own resorts in Coral Bay, Exmouth and Cervantes and are applying for HPWCs for these.

I always try to give something for power costs, and some roadhouses charge up to $1/kwH (he had a pre-existing outlet!).
Good luck Richard - when will you be coming down the West Coast to Perth?
 

RichardMcN

Member
Mar 12, 2016
620
486
Sydney
Thanks Technophile, very much appreciated.

I definitely agree about giving something for power costs.

I did join the Slack group for a very short burst. Great, but a bit more fast moving and interactive than I have time for at this stage!

Currently the spreadsheet shows Perth around Sept 8, but who knows really? Would be great to catch up if you are free then.

Looking forward to trying out your Electric Highway. I had my last DC charging hit at UQ last night so it's all 3 phase and single phase from here!
 

RichardMcN

Member
Mar 12, 2016
620
486
Sydney
OCTOPUS SAVES THE DAY !

Today after leaving Gladsone with a less-than-full charge we headed for a planned rendezvous with a 3 phase Tesla charger 100km further on, only to find that it was actually a single phase charger limited by a 10A circuit breaker, and would have taken around 20 hours to charge!

What to do?

An exploratory trip to the Rockhampton Showgrounds revealed numerous 3 phase plugs, but the council said NO. (Important note: Showgrounds run by councils are much less Tesla-friendly than those run by local agricultural societies - that is unless you are dealing with a council person who can keep it all under-the-radar).

No luck with the local parklands and pool either.

Also tried Marlborough to no avail.

Solution: Find the most distant caravan park that Tessie can just make it to travelling 20km/h under the speed limit, book 2 powered tent sites, and limp in with only a few % charge to spare. Then plug the octopus in to the two 15A sockets.

Result 1: Tessie is happy and will be at 100% by 8am tomorrow.
20160810_161032.jpg


Result 2: We find a beachside paradise (Clairview Qld in this case) !
20160810_163725.jpg
 

RichardMcN

Member
Mar 12, 2016
620
486
Sydney
There is no doubt lots of 3 phase there, but driving stop-start around town looking for it with the aircon on on a 30 deg day starts to eat into precious remaining range and daylight hours, and the stress escalates, and the pressure mounts to cut your losses and get somewhere (always conscious of our 7 week timetable). We did find some 4 pin 3 phase which is common in workshops, but NG for Tessie sadly!
We skipped Mackay as we could easily make it to Bowen from Clairview.
Hoping to paint the picture a bit !
 
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Techno-phile

S100D, P3D- in garage
Nov 13, 2014
342
461
Perth, Australia
I have just put Cable Beach Club, Broome and Tesla together, so that they should be receiving their HPWCs within a couple of weeks.
AEVA WA voted to reimburse the 3p+n sockets I sent out, and even fund some electrical work for Sandfire. So Broome to Perth should all be 3p for your trip down, and my trip up in October!
Unfortunately I am over East until 14th September, so might miss you in Perth, Richard.
Good Luck, especially in the blank bit at the Top!
 

RichardMcN

Member
Mar 12, 2016
620
486
Sydney
Thanks Techno,

Looks like it will be a cruise for us from Broome - much appreciated
After the electric highway, we're intending to go via Esperance and Port Lincoln so might find some points there (that is if we don't get too lazy by then!)
 

Techno-phile

S100D, P3D- in garage
Nov 13, 2014
342
461
Perth, Australia
Brilliant, Richard - you'll be filling in a few more gaps.

Viterra and CBH Grain silos all have 3p and were very helpful, but need to book in with them in advance in case they have trains loading or are not working. Contact details in the Slack map.

Pity I'll miss you in Perth (we are back late on 11th September). If you get delayed it would be good to hear about your adventures.
 

RichardMcN

Member
Mar 12, 2016
620
486
Sydney
Was the DC at AXS? Is Mackay the same? I would have thought there would be a lot of 3 phase in Rocky, bummer about the Showgrounds.
Yes it is AXS (owner Peter Nelson and his team are really helpful) and we have got Tesla onto the problem. They have promised Peter proper 3 phase chargers in the past but nothing has happened. Hopefully this time.
 

RichardMcN

Member
Mar 12, 2016
620
486
Sydney
Hi @Techno-phile @Blue heaven @MDK and/or other AVEA members (regrettably not including myself, but I'll go online and fix that now).

Technophile and probably others have been supplying 3 phase outlets supported by AVEA. Does AVEA have a policy of supporting 32A 3ph as a long distance touring standard across Aust?

We're about to launch westward from Cairns tomorrow, I have a handful of 3 phase outlets in the boot, and we're going to have lots of conversations about 3 phase over the next week to Darwin (we have of course had a few conversations already including Mt Isa Showground who seem keen).

It would be really meaningful if I could say that 32A 3ph is AVEA's long distance touring standard, or is being promoted by AVEA or similar so it looks more beneficial to the property owner than just my own personal point of view.

Could one of you help advise me here?

Thanks and cheers Richard
.
 

RichardMcN

Member
Mar 12, 2016
620
486
Sydney
Brilliant, Richard - you'll be filling in a few more gaps.

Viterra and CBH Grain silos all have 3p and were very helpful, but need to book in with them in advance in case they have trains loading or are not working. Contact details in the Slack map.

Pity I'll miss you in Perth (we are back late on 11th September). If you get delayed it would be good to hear about your adventures.
Thanks Technophile - really helpful.

Wanting to avoid excessive expectations here, I think we'll be filling in some but most definitely not all missing points (top and bottom ends), as we are taking things pretty well as they come with just enough advance planning to get us round in our 7 weeks (however noted about Viterra and CBH Grain silos).

Hope to catch up at some point.
 

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