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Roadster HPWC to J1772 to Charge Brammo Empulse R motorcycle

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by 7racer, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. 7racer

    7racer Member

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    Hey everyone, not sure where to post this but thought here would be appropriate as it looks like it is a roadster HPWC.

    My friend on the brammo forum is trying to charge his Empluse R (I also have one and it's AWESOME!) but is only getting 15amps out of it.
    The Empluse is capable of L2 charging.

    I don't own one and not sure how to respond. There is a new firmware update for the Empulse that might fix this, but didn't know if it was something with the charger or limitation or if he should just hit the "charge" button on the high power connector.

    Tesla EVSE

    thanks for any help!
     
  2. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    I read the Brammo thread... That's a standard ClipperCreek unit capable of 70 amps. Most likely the problem is that the Brammo has a relatively small battery compared to a car, so it's unable to charge any faster than 15 amps. Will your bike charge faster than 15 A on any of the ubiquitous ChargePoint 30A stations?

    L2 charging is 207 to 240v and includes amp ratings from 12 to 80 amps. So 15A and 70A charging stations are both considered L2. Just because the charging station is capable of 70A doesn't mean the vehicle is capable of that. For example, if you plug that charger into an eRav4, it will only draw 40A even though the station is capable of supplying 70A.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. protomech

    protomech Member

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    The 15A reading is battery-side DC @ 100V, so about 1.5 kW DC delivered. The 3 kW onboard charger can deliver 25 A at most level 2 EVSE.

    What does the charge button on the HPWC do?
     
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Almost certainly a limitation or issue on the Empulse side.
    Those Tesla HPCs are (for the most part) at least 30 amps, and more typically in the 40-70 amp range.
    They are a common Clipper Creek type hardware that is used by many vehicles to charge at 30amps and more.

    There is no Tesla specific data in the cable, it is just thicker because they can be configured for higher amperage.

    That HPC will only deliver 208/240V. It wont be used for 110/120V charging.

    I think it may be that the AC to DC converter (charger) in the Empulse is on the small side and can only pull ~15A max at 240V.
    It is also possible that the charger in the Empulse has trouble figuring out what to do with a 65A pilot signal so it reverts to a slow charge rate.

    I think the charge button on the front of the HPC just starts charging if the car is ready but the HPC is in standby mode. There is no way on the front of the HPC to change the charging rate.
     
  5. drees

    drees Active Member

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    A quick visit to the Empulse spec page reveals 9.31 kWh capacity and charge times of 3.5 hours from 0-99%.

    That's about 3 kW so no surprise you're only seeing 240V/16A. It's simply not capable of charging any faster.
     
  6. TonyWilliams

    TonyWilliams Active Member

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    There was a guy riding a Zero from coast to coast who put two chargers on, each with a J1772 connection.
     
  7. SopFu

    SopFu New Member

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    Thanks everyone for responding to this, and a special thanks to 7Racer for posting it up here. I'm the one that asked the question at the BrammoForum.

    The Empulse's charger is a 3KW charger, but the power rating I see is on the DC side, which is the power off the charger going to the battery. On most Level II EVSEs, I see about 24 amps, which corresponds to ~2.7KW of power draw from the EVSE (this is my experience with ChargePoint). This charger, located at Two Brothers Brewery (great beer and food) in Warrenville, IL, is the only one that I only draw 15A, and when I pulled in on Sunday it gave me about a 5 hour charging time to fill up from ~12% SOC. Another weird thing is the plug is a J1772, and there is no adapter attached. The EVSE box looks just like the one for the Roadster from Tesla's website.

    I did stop by the local Tesla showroom to ask the salesperson, but he had not idea, either. (I did have fun explaining that EVs really do accelerate faster when they are geared shorter...)

    Also, Brammo is issuing a firmware update to improve some "compatibility" with high power chargers, and I do intend to go get a burger after the update. I'll know then if this was a Brammo issue. I am curious about what would happen if I hit the charge button in the High Capacity Connector section?
     
  8. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Many of those Tesla HPCs have been retrofitted with J1772 plugs so that they can serve a wider range of vehicles (including the Empulse!).
    They are also more useful to Tesla Model S (which comes with a J1772 adapter) so the days of the old Roadster proprietary plug are numbered it seems. Roadster owners have a few options in J1772 adapters so that they can use those EVSEs even though they don't have a Roadster plug on the end anymore.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I feel like you are mixing your volts & amps, and not talking about watts enough.
    A 3kW charger should pull about 13amps from 240V (13*240) or 15amps from 208V.

    So you see 24amps on the DC side (going to the battery), but at what voltage?
    On the empulse spec site, I see it says the nominal pack voltage is 103.6V but that will vary depending on SoC, so your amp measurement could fluctate during the charge cycle. Anyways, 24amps at 103.6V is about 2.5kW so not too far off from the 3kW rating of the charger.
    (There will be some efficiency loss going through the charger too, so I would expect DC output to be somewhat less than AC input in terms of watts of power.) Do you know if the Empulse has a liquid cooled charger? In my LEAF, some of the charger power is used to run a pump to circulate coolant through the charger during charging.
     
  9. SopFu

    SopFu New Member

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    It's an air cooled charger. It has a fan that runs almost constantly on Level II, and intermittently with Level I. The bike also turns on about a half dozen incandescent lights while charging, which I figure use about 100w. When I give amps, that is the readout from the dash. When I gave KW, that is from my ChargePoint app on my phone. I do have a KillaWatt, and that reads between 1300 and 1450 watts from a 110V depending on where I am, but the dash always reads between 11 and 13 amps on Level I until fully charged.
     
  10. SopFu

    SopFu New Member

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    I got a manufacturer required firmware update done last Thursday, and am plugged into the suspect EVSE now...and I'm drawing 24 amps like I do at all other level II plugs. Looks like the firmware update fixed the issue. I did not have to push the high capacity charge button. Woot!
     
  11. 7racer

    7racer Member

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    thanks everyone for their input and help!

    The community for electric bikes felt even smaller than when the Roadster was the only Tesla out. It really helps having all the expertise that is out there!

    By the way I really love the Empulse...with gears! It's a blast to ride!
     

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