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My outdoor charging box

Discussion in 'Model 3: Battery & Charging' started by GregRF, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. GregRF

    GregRF Squirrel Power

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    Finished up my outdoor charging box this weekend. I used a "Temporary Outlet Panel" for my 14-50 plug which allows me to have a circuit breaker disconnect right at the station as well as a 120V outlet for other uses in my driveway where I would have to run a long extension cord before. With the panel I also only had to run one set of wires to get both outlets.

    For longevity of the box and UMC as well as a bit of driveway decor I fashioned a wooden box to house it from the elements and 3D printed a receiver for the UMC plug. I think it turned out pretty well:
    IMG_20180610_104215.jpg IMG_20180610_104252.jpg IMG_20180610_104308.jpg
     
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  2. ThosEM

    ThosEM Space Weatherman

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    What everyone needs outside a rental with no garage!
     
  3. davewill

    davewill Member

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    Very nicely done.
     
  4. Derek Kessler

    Derek Kessler Member

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    I'm digging it! My only improvement would be a brush or rubber flap style passthrough to limit the amount of critters and dirt that get up inside. Maybe a pair of segments cut from a tall door sweep?
     
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  5. GregRF

    GregRF Squirrel Power

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    Ha! That is a battle that can't be won. But I'll probably use some bug/spider spray to deter most critters from taking up residence and the persistent ones will occasionally meet the leaf blower.
     
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  6. eprosenx

    eprosenx Active Member

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    Classy! Nicely done!

    Does someone sell a box with a 14-50 plug by default? Like for construction trailers or something? Or I guess that is probably more of an RV box (just weird not to have a TT-30).

    I take it you have no concerns with someone stealing the UMC? ;-) Or I guess you can lock that with the latch eh?

    I do agree with the critters concern. Any reason not to block off the entire bottom effectively?

    What size circuit breaker feeds that and what kind/size of wire did you use? (conduit is pretty small which is why I ask - 6 awg copper? Does that meet load calcs with a NEMA 14-50 and a 120v 20a?)

    Edit: Just realized you linked to the box you purchased. Nice!
     
  7. GregRF

    GregRF Squirrel Power

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    Thanks.

    Not too concerned with someone stealing the UMC. Mostly out of sight out of mind security. But I could put a lock on the tiny latch that holds the door closed and could even add a lock to the panel at the bottom corners which would make it nearly impossible to unplug. Beyond all that the burglar will have to thwart the super strong velcro holding the UMC in place!

    I had thought of ways to close up the bottom, but will soon be changing up our parking area so needed to be able to switch between a long run/short run and left/right access. So I chose the simple solution of leaving it mostly open, but routed a nice radius along that lower edge to keep from chaffing the cord. If it becomes an issue I can always add an insert in the bottom later.

    Good eye on the conduit (1"). Ran it with 6 gauge copper since its prime purpose is the 32 amp charging with occasional 15 amp 120V use. But in case anyone tries to rack up more use it is protected upstream by a 50 amp breaker.
     
  8. AviP

    AviP Member

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    Looks country cool! :cool:
     
  9. eprosenx

    eprosenx Active Member

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    Question: What size ground wire did you run?

    My reading of the table in 2017 NEC 310.15(B)(16) would allow you to use #6 AWG copper at 65 amps assuming the entire run is in conduit (ok for 75c rating - terminals on both ends need to support this too - which most do).

    You could definitely then swap the 50a breaker at the main panel feeding this with a 60a one which would give you a little more headroom for simultaneous use of the 20a 120v plug. Actually, you might be able to do a 70a breaker due to the "next size up" rule - but don't quote me on that. I am not sure if it is applicable to feeders to a subpanel? I have not read that section of the code in depth yet...

    P.S. I am not sure what the NEC load calculations say about feeding that application with only a 50a breaker. From a practical standpoint I am sure it will not be an issue for your use cases, but I wonder what the official designation would be? Not sure if you calculate the 50a plug with the intended load (a 32a car charger), or if you need to calculate it at worst case scenario of 40a continuous / 50a intermittent and then add the 20a circuit on top of that (not sure if that is calculated at 1500va like a small appliance branch circuit or not). Also, it might be able to fall under the non-coincident loads rule so you only have to calculate for the higher of the two circuits.
     
  10. GregRF

    GregRF Squirrel Power

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    I ran an 8 gauge ground wire in the conduit. For half of the run from the main panel under the house I ran 6/3 romex style cable, I believe that only had a 10 gauge ground in it.

    My main service panel is already maxed out with the 50amp breaker so I have no desire to increase that.
     
  11. Charcoal

    Charcoal Member

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    That is fabulous. Well done!
     
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  12. LittleHobo

    LittleHobo Member

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    Maybe old phone booths could be repurposed to make cool charging stands. Just don't answer the call of 40A.
     
  13. eprosenx

    eprosenx Active Member

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    Ahh, gotcha. Yeah, the 6/3 romex will limit you to 60c insulation rating so max of 50a breaker.

    Though FWIW, if you did have it all in conduit and could do a 60a breaker that would have no impact on your main panel "load". The load calcs are based on the end branch circuits (and the things connected to them) regardless of the feeder (conductors to the subpanel) capacity. So if the wire was of sufficient capacity I would install the larger breaker just because it provides more flexibility.

    Really nice job though!
     
  14. hmmm

    hmmm Member

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    Now you're just showing off! :)

    Nice work!
     
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  15. Duffer

    Duffer TSLA Long

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    Nicely done! Great project, the "little" touches (receiver for the plug, engraved trim/design) really takes it up a notch.
     
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  16. ezevphl

    ezevphl Member

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    I love the design. It would be the perfect upgrade to our current charger whenever we get the car. Our current setup is just 120 on a 20amp breaker. The wire is is heavy enough to be upgraded to 50amp breaker with a 14-50 outlet at the end.

    Do you feel that the exterior wooden box is necessary? Isn't the temporary panel supposed to be weatherpoof?

    charger.jpg
     
  17. ai4px

    ai4px Member

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    Very nice job.... Maybe a little window screen on the bottom? The wasps and dirt dobbers would have a field day with that here.
     
  18. GregRF

    GregRF Squirrel Power

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    A 14-50 would require an extra wire than a 120V setup, though not necessary if you go with a HPWC.

    About as necessary as a $50k car.
     
  19. ezevphl

    ezevphl Member

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    Ours is wired for it. Just a 120 at the end since thats the charger the current PHEV came with.
    Good point about the box. I'll think about it more once we get our actual connector.

    There was a bit of a fight with the city when they wanted to remove the EV parking objecting to large chargers in 'right of way'.
     
  20. davewill

    davewill Member

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    @ezevphl, I"d certainly be inclined to add some security and protection from the elements to that setup, if you decide to use a UMC there. I'd even worry a bit about that 120v EVSE, they can be expensive to replace. A Wall Connector I would feel comfortable just mounting securely on the existing post.

    Maybe it's just the angle the picture is taken from, but that post DOES seem rather in the way on that sidewalk. Wouldn't it have been better closer to the street, like the sign is?. It also seems a bit odd that the equipment isn't on the street side of the post.

    That said, it's very cool that you were able to do a curbside install like that.
     

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