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Model S charging to 16 or 32 KVA in AC?

CeSinge

Member
May 26, 2013
60
18
Overijse, Belgium
Hello all,

I'm moving to Portugal, to an appartment building that is being finalized. I'm told by the electrician of the building that they can easily provide 16KVA in my garage box there, or 32KVA if pulling a wire (current wire is 6mm2). This is single phase 240V - 3 phase is not allowed in the building (except for the elevator).

Currently, I have 3 phase 16A 240V, and that gives me 11.4KVA, if I'm not mistaken, allowing me to fully charge my good old batterygated, rangegated, regengated Model S 85D (11/2015) in about 6 hours.

So what about 16 or 32KVA? Will the car end up in flames and smoke? Or will it throttle the current to whatever it can handle? I read the maximum is 11KW or about 16KW for the more recent models (13.75, resp. 20 KVA, I think).

If they put a Blue Type II outlet on the wall, and I use my existing Type II cable, do I need anything else, like a charge box (in fact, I wonder if these are needed for single phase current)? Is there a point in asking for 32 KVA (proabably not, as it reduces the charging time to more than what I need - but would that even work?)
 

beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,025
493
Springfield, VA
Not sure what the non-US cars are capable of as 3 phase is not really available in most US residential areas, and even commercial chargers are often single phase 240v or 208v. I believe the earlier cars like our 2015s had chargers that could operate at a maximum of 240v @ 40A, or just shy of 10kw. I forget when they stopped offering dual chargers, but those would allow for 240x @ 80A.

You won't blow up the car by plugging it into a more powerful receptacle - the car will restrict itself into only taking what it is capable of using. That means it also won't charge any faster. I suppose there's a possibility you could charge faster if your car has dual chargers, however.
 

CeSinge

Member
May 26, 2013
60
18
Overijse, Belgium
Mine doesn't have a dual charger option, and I don't think it is still possible to buy one.
As I then understand, no wall charger is needed if the power is single phase? It's only needed to convert the 3-phases into one, what the car's internal charger can handle, I suppose.
 

beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,025
493
Springfield, VA
Technically all AC charging is done in the car. The connectors (wall or mobile) are effectively just a relay to allow the electricity to flow into the car's onboard charger. I think the onboard charger in non-US cars allows for 3 phase input; the UMC does not convert 3 phase to single phase.
 
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Reactions: Rocky_H

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,097
7,069
Boise, ID
You will always need some kind of connector device, whether that's a mobile charging cable or the wall connector, but they do the same thing, as @beatle was mentioning.
New Mine doesn't have a dual charger option, and I don't think it is still possible to buy one.
I had thought that all of the European cars were built with the dual chargers onboard, but maybe that's not right. If yours just has the one, then it's limited to using about 10-11 kW. So getting the 16 kW connection is fine, and the car will limit itself to whatever it can use--no need to worry about that. But the 32 kW connection would be a waste, since you can't use power that high.
 

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