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Nema 14-50 Wiring - US Spec Tesla in Europe

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by randvegeta, Dec 25, 2016.

  1. randvegeta

    randvegeta Member

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    Hello all.

    I recently purchased a Tesla Model S 60 in Lithuania, imported from the US.

    I have a whole bunch of charging cables and adapters but mostly are US specific and not very useful here in Lithuania.

    I am able to charge using a standard Euro outlet at around [email protected], but this only gives me 10kph charging speed. Luckily I have a CHAdeMo adapter and a 3 charging stations near my home where I can charge at 150kph.

    However, I am hoping to be able to get a bit more charging speed at home. I have a RED 3P+N+E outlet which should give me 3-phases at 32amps and 220v.

    As I understand, USA Tesla's can only handle single phase charging, meaning I can only use 1 of these phases. Still, charging at around 30kph would be preferably to 10kph.

    I also have a NEMA 14-50 plug that came with my charger. I have read that it has 2x Live/Hot wires, a neutral and a ground wire. Total 4 wires. I understand that 1 hot wire is supposed to be 110v and the other 208v. Does that mean these are 2 different phases or or they actually the same phase, but 1 with a stepped down voltage?

    I looking to build an adapter for me RED 3P+N+E outlet which has a true 3-Phase supply. Given the Tesla can only charge using a single phase, I assume that 1 hot wire is kind of redundant? Or does it use both hot wires as they are actually a single phase?

    In which case, when wiring the adapter do I just use a single phase from the RED 3P+N+E socket or 2? I assume I need to use 1.

    If using only a single phase, then do I connect to just 1 pin on the NEMA 14-50 socket or connect to both? In which case both 'live/hot' terminals would actually come from the same phase.

    Given the RED socket is rated at 32A, I am aware that I would need to lower the charging current in the car so to avoid tripping the trip switch or burning through the wires.

    Thanks for the help in advance!
     
  2. mblakele

    mblakele radial cross member

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    [​IMG]

    The Tesla 14-50 adapter doesn't use neutral. It wants single-phase 240V between X and Y.

    I think you want to combine two of your three phases, something like this: Combining two 120V into a 240V connector | Tesla Motors — but I think you'll need a converter, not just wiring.
     
  3. randvegeta

    randvegeta Member

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    You say it doesn't use neutral but that diagram shows the middle terminal as 'neutral'. Unless you just mean that Tesla doent use it, but the terminal should still be neutral.

    In Europe, we have 240v as standard, so there is no need to combine 2x120v.... In reality, are the 2 x 120v terminals actually the same phase?

    Do I take a single phase from an EU 3 phase outlet and connect to both X + Y terminals or do I take 2 phases and connect 1 phase to each? Making it a 2 phase socket. But given US models only support 1 phase, I suppose that really I need 1 phase connected to both X and Y terminals.

    No?
     
  4. randvegeta

    randvegeta Member

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    How do you combine 2 phases of 110v to make 220v?

    Does that mean you can combine 2 phases from an EU outlet to may 440v?
     
  5. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    The US grid standard that the 14-50 socket uses is called Split-Phase. The two 120V legs are 180 degrees out of phase, so they measure 240 Volts. For your purposes with European power, you only need your Neutral and one Hot wire (choose any one L1/L2/L3). You can ignore the middle pin on the 14-50 marked Neutral in the diagram above (leave it not connected) and connect your Neutral to the pin marked X and one of your hot wires to the pin marked Y. Connect your Ground to the Ground pin in the diagram. If the Mobile Connector does not light up with a Green light, switch the Neutral and Hot on the X and Y pins and try again.

    Good Luck.
     
    • Helpful x 1
  6. GSP

    GSP Member

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    ranvegeta,

    Tesla cars, and other EVs do not use the neutral pin on the 14-50. It is not connected. Home appliances (stoves) and Motor Homes in North America use the 14-50's neutral pin for 120 V loads, but you can ignore it.

    The "split-phase" power in the US is really just one phase. It is a confusing name. Transformers that supply homes have a single 240 V secondary winding, with a center tap that is connected to ground. The center tap is used with one of the two "hot" wires for 120 V loads.

    Follow milmura's advice and you should be charging at 32 A and 220 V (7 kW) in no time. Much faster than 12 A from a schuko. It should be sufficient for overnight charging, even for high km/day driving.

    Good Luck,

    GSP
     
  7. randvegeta

    randvegeta Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. Now I need to buy a Nema 14-50 socket end to build my adapter. Hard to come by in Europe apparently. Literally none in my local hardware shops. Will try ordering from E-Bay.

    So if I hook up to the 32A circuit, will the car actually detect it can only draw 32amps or do I have to manually reduce this to avoid blowing a fuse or something? I don't actually have any access to the fuse box so if it blows, I'm going to be stuck with the schuko outlet!
     
  8. mblakele

    mblakele radial cross member

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    You'll have to adjust the current limit in the car. Use 80% of the circuit capacity, 25A.
     
  9. ColBatGuano

    ColBatGuano Member

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    Manually reduce it on your in car charge screen, the adapter only tells the car what the max possible power is. I believe you should also only use 80% of the rated load for continuous charging, or 25A max on a 32A circuit.
     
  10. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    The people above are citing North American standards for derating the circuit for continuous load. You should check with a local electrical contractor to see if the 32 amp circuit you are connecting to is designed for continuous loads or not. I believe in Europe, most circuit breakers and wiring standards allow for continuous loads. Please check it locally.

    However, the American Tesla 14-50 adapter is coded to tell the car that it can draw 40 amps. There is a special 14-50 adapter used in Canada that will tell the car it can draw 32 amps instead of 40. If you really want to use the North American Tesla Mobile Connector, the safest way to use it with a 14-50 adapter is to get one of those Canadian adapters.

    In my opinion, the better way to go is to install a European Single Phase Wall Box and use a Type-2 to Type-1 cable with the J1772 adapter that came with the car. Alternatively, buy a portable Type-1 (J1772) EVSE that plugs into a standard European 32 amp Blue Socket.

    7.4kW Wall Box EVSE
    32 Amp Type-2 to J1772 Mode 3 Cable
    Portable 7.4kW J1772 EVSE
     
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  11. DarkMatter

    DarkMatter Member

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    That solution is going to be the most straightforward, and if you get the 1-2 adapter cable it will let you charge at public stations as well.
     
  12. randvegeta

    randvegeta Member

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    I'm living in an apartment so I dont have any right to make any installations at home. There are a number of sockets in the garage though which I can use to charge. Mostly they are schuko sockets which I can draw about 9amps from (with an extension lead) and charge at rate of about 9km/h.

    There is however a 3-phase industrial (red) socket rated at 32amps. It should be more than adequate for continuous load (assuming it was installed properly to meet EU standards). I plan to purchase a Type 1 - Type 2 Adapater so I can charge at public stations, but 7kw charging at home from the Red Industrial 3-Phase socket is my priority.

    Just to be clear, I have permission to charge my car from the garage, so I'm not 'stealing'.
     
  13. DarkMatter

    DarkMatter Member

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  14. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    Yes, those parts will get you J1772 charging from the 32A Red Socket with completely off the shelf parts. The adapter is basically taking one phase out of the three phase socket.

    If you really don't want to spend the €600 on a new EVSE, you could make your own adapter from the Red Socket to the NEMA 14-50 and use the North American Mobile Connector that came with the car. I will repeat that it will not be completely safe because the Mobile Connector will tell the car that it can draw 40 amps when that is not safe. Unless you somehow get that unique Canadian Tesla 14-50 adapter, you must turn down the charging current on the center screen to 32 amps or below and hope the car reliably remembers that setting.

    Probably the best way to make a 14-50 adapter is to buy one of the cables linked below and cut off the plug end and put a Red Socket plug. I say this is the best way because you will have a molded 14-50 socket and cable instead of a socket mounted in an electrical box.

    NEMA 14-50R to 6-50P Adapter
     
  15. randvegeta

    randvegeta Member

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    I'm not too keen on spending 500+ EUR on another charge. I already have the Tesla UMC and a Nema 14-50 plug. If I can buy the Nema 14-50 Socket, then I can make my own adapter directly with the 3P+N+E Red Industrial socket available in my garage.

    Until I get the socket end, I'm going to make my own adapter with some pipe, duct tape, a whole lot of electrical insulation tape! Can't wait the weeks it will take to order and deliver from USA and be stuck charging at 9km/h!
     
  16. DarkMatter

    DarkMatter Member

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    These are not trivial currents. Please be careful.
     
  17. randvegeta

    randvegeta Member

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    Many thanks to those who helped answer my initial query. Having been the hardware store today, I purchased all I need and am happy to report that my adapter is working and working well!

    I am using 4mm copper cables that are TIGHTLY wrapped around each terminal (and through the little hole) on the NEMA plug. Each terminal is then completely insulated with electrical insulation tape. The coloured wires and terminals are then 'covered' by a 10cm plastic tube and secured to the NEMA plug with duct tape. The duct tape extends to and warps around the cable, protecting all the 'sensitive' parts and providing some reasonable protection from 'the elements'.

    Plugged in, all good! Set the limit to 32amps and now charging at 34km/h, more than 3x faster than through the schuko socket.

    Not the most beautiful of adapter cables, but I stand by it!
     
  18. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    I'm glad you got it working. However, please be careful with this arrangement. After this charging session completes, please take off the plastic tube and inspect the electrical tape covering each terminal for melting. This will not be a durable setup that will last without developing high contact resistance and therefore high heat. Dialing down the current to 24 amps will make a significant difference in junction heating. Get a proper 14-50 socket as soon as possible.
     
  19. randvegeta

    randvegeta Member

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    Will order one ASAP and will hopefully have one delivered early in January 2017.

    I appreciate the advice and will heed your warning but the surface area where the wires contact with the NEMA terminals are actually quite large. It's a single core of THICK copper and wrapped around the terminal several times.

    Still, it will be replaced ASAP.
     
  20. DarkMatter

    DarkMatter Member

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    You can obtain split bolts of the correct size locally. Use those to attach the bare wires to the pins. It won't be perfect but I would trust it much more than what you describe.
     

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