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What's in your 'Charging Kit'?

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by Seegem, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. Seegem

    Seegem Member

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    Hey Everyone,

    My Tesla Model S arrives in 2 weeks....and I can't sleep. That major health concern aside, I'm preparing a bag for all of the charging accessories I would want to carry with me in my frunk. Right now, I have:

    -15' 15A 110v extension cord
    -30' 15A 110v extension cord
    -110v 3-pin to 2-pin adaptor (for outlets without the 3rd ground pin)
    -Fluke loop current sensor (I'm a geek)

    What I need is a 220v extension chord. Has anyone found a good one? Any suggestions on which 220v extension chord end-connectors to get it with? Any pointers greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

    Mark
     
  2. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    I am pretty sure the Model S actually checks to see if there is a connected ground. I wouldn't expect to be able to charge without ground present. Plus it wouldn't be all that safe.
     
  3. Seegem

    Seegem Member

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    Hmm, good point, but often you can create a ground by connecting the wire from the adapter to anything metal (just for emergencies, of course, I agree not necessarily recommended, but I can imagine situations where having the option is good).
     
  4. Lightning Jeff

    Lightning Jeff Model S #4214

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    I doubt the extra weight of carrying this around would be worth it. The charge rate will be a mere trickle. Why bother?
    As ElSupreme says: This is A Bad Idea...
    I don't see risking a $100k car in this way. I confess I don't know how to quantify that risk, but it seems unjustifiable when the reward is, if you're lucky, 5 miles of charge per hour. And while I'm no electrical engineer, I feel pretty confident saying that "anything metal" is not the definition of a functional ground - and by "functional" I mean not resulting in someone being electrocuted.
    While Tesla repeatedly and clearly says not to use an extension cord, I think if you used a proper one, you should have no issues with voltage drop, etc. This one, as an example, uses 6 gauge wire, which seems necessary if you're using the NEMA 14-50 (50 amps) - but it pushes $200. And I have to wonder what it weighs - a lot, I bet. A 30 amp cord would weigh and cost less, and maybe offer more flexibility, but of course afford a slower charge rate. And you'll also need your UMC, and the proper adaptor(s). Seems like a lot of extra weight to drive around with on a routine basis.
     
  5. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    I am looking at putting together an extension cord. I am really leaning towards 30A because the cord will cost much less, it will be manageable weight. And I don't know too many places where I could use a 50A extension. My brother, and grandparents house both have 30A outlets I could steal. So the extra cost (and problem of adapters) really goes down when you are only trying for 30A. I'll probably still use 8ga copper and keep the length to ~40'-50'. I'll make it 3 wire, and buy an 30A adapter from Tesla for my UMC. I don't wan't to have to remember to dial down my car.
     
  6. 85KWh

    85KWh Member

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    So I think many of us are like you in getting prepared. I have now spent 2 weeks with my Sig and made several observations... 110 Volt in the Canadian climate does little to provide for distance. I get the equivalent of about 2-4km of distance per hour of charging, which is totally fine for daily commutes. After two days, I spent 50$ on parts and wired up myself the NEMA 14-50 into my panel. HUGE difference.
    I suspect you want extension cords for traveling, so you are going to want to be prepared primarily for 220Volt charging... hopefully you can find a friend with a spare stove outlet for your extension cord. I think that 200$ cord is a good thought, expensive, but then again, so is the car. I can't imagine the extension cord is a huge deal. Yes, there will be a voltage drop off of it and you can always dial back the current draw on the Model S in the charging section so you don't overload the cord or circuit.
    Good luck.
     
  7. Lightning Jeff

    Lightning Jeff Model S #4214

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  8. Seegem

    Seegem Member

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    This is precisely what I was looking for thank you!
     
  9. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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  10. mcornwell

    mcornwell Active Member

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    The 15' version is working fine for me, and is only $59.

    It's heavy, I can't imagine how much the 30' one weighs (well, I can, probably twice as much). Mine stays in my garage, and I'll only take it if I know I'll be charging from an unknown 14-50.
     
  11. Huskerfl

    Huskerfl Member

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    Does anyone have any suggestions on a 110v - 14-50 adapter?

    It would be nice to only carry one extension cord on a road trip and I have

    Camco RV 55195 50 AMP 30' Extension Cord

    The issue would be if my only option is a 110v outlet more than 20' away. It would be nice to use the 6 gauge extension and a 110v adapter at the outlet rather than get an additonal 10 gauge 110v extension.
     
  12. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    Not one that works with a Tesla, you'll have to build it. That's because the 120V L-N needs to be connected to the 14-50's L1-L2. That's because Tesla ignores the neutral conductor on the 14-50 and takes power from L1 and L2. RV adapters off-the-shelf connect the 120V line conductor to both line conductors of the 14-50, and on the Tesla that looks like 0v.

    (An adapter built in this way will harm any other 240V appliances that try to use it, so be sure you mark it clearly, recognize the liability and insurance risk, etc.) I'm thinking I just need to put that in my signature.
     
  13. Huskerfl

    Huskerfl Member

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    Thanks FlasherZ
     
  14. Andrew

    Andrew Model S #6151

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    If you want more flexibility in charging on the road, you might want to consider investing in a set of extra adapters. http://shop.teslamotors.com/collections/model-s-charging-adapters

    I just took a trip up to Truckee and charged at a friend's house on 120v after arrival. Turns out they have a 30amp 240v outlet (NEMA 14-30) for their golf cart! If I had been carrying the adapter, I would have been able to charge on that. It didn't really matter (we stayed for several days, so there was enough time to recharge at 3mph), but it would have been convenient!

    I also brought along a 15amp/120v 50' extension cord (14 AWG) for this trip -- and charged successfully overnight at another friend's house. The car didn't care that I used the extension cord. So for future road trips, I'll plan on bringing that along again; it's not too large or heavy like a 240v extension cord would be.

    But for day to day driving? No point in having any of this stuff in the car.
     
  15. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I bought that very cord (50' 6 gauge NEMA 14-50). It's huge and heavy but it works perfectly. No voltage drop at all.

    It is about twice as thick as the UMC cord (which is also 50 amp) and not nearly as flexible. I unwound it to try out at home, and I'm going to have to get a second person to help me coil it back up neatly again!

    I bought it to take to a summer home where I can't park near power. I figure in a pinch I could throw it through the kitchen window and plug in to the stove outlet (also a NEMA 14-50).
     
  16. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    When on road trips, I carry around a 75' length of 6/4 SOOW, usually configured with the Camco 14-50 receptacle and plug as an extension cord. I also carry around a 6-50 plug, 14-30, 10-30, and 10-50. I have an assortment of 50A breakers, clamps, knockout plugs, and tools I carry too. Rarely do I need them, but it pays to be prepared.

    ...and yes, I'm aware of the liability and insurance implications of my actions. "Emergency use only" :)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Is the plug molded, or can it be taken apart so that you could put a different plug on it in a pinch?
     
  17. Tacket

    Tacket Member

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    I have for road trips a 10-30/10-50 to 14-50 and also a 14-30 to 14-50 adapter as well as the 30' Camco 14-50 extension. That should cover a lot of bases.
     
  18. xray

    xray P85 6313 - X Res 3450

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    I do something similar. In addition to standard adapters. I have a Camco 14-50 extension and the 10-30 and 14-30 adapters.

    The 10-30 and 14-30 adapters are handy for situations such as the old or new dryer in a relative/friends house.
     
  19. Greg G

    Greg G Member

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    Tesla Gear now has a 5-20, so I ordered that for my "Kit".
     
  20. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    I could not agree more. When traveling and living off the land, being able to charge from 10-30, 10-50, 14-30, and 14-50 outlets is essential. This covers you for new and old, dryer and range plugs, as well as RV, 50-Amp services. I carry a 6-50, but have not used it yet. Here is a good source for plug adapters: EVSEadapters.com: Tesla Model S adapters and a little write up on adapters, http://www.cosmacelf.net/Home%20Made%20Adapters.pdf. Make sure that you check the breaker rating. I have plugged into 10-50 outlets that had a 40 Amp breaker (reduced S current to 32 Amps) and a 14-30 outlet that had a 25 Amp breaker (reduced S current to 20 Amps).

    For example, I am in Aspen for a few days with my Model S. The hotel that I am in has its maintenance shop in one of their underground garages. One of their maintenance guys helped me out and said that they had an outlet in the shop that they used to use for a welder. I took a look and it was an old style dryer outlet (10-30). Because I had a 10-30 to 14-50 adapter and a 14-50 extension cord, I was able to plug into his outlet and run the cord under the roll down door to plug in my S in the garage. Because it was a 30 Amp outlet, I reduced the current in the charging screen to 24 Amps, and it all worked great. I was a little concerned that the Voltage was only 201 Volts, but then realized that they had 208/120 V 3-phase service and the 201 Volts was the 208 after various voltage drops. This only gave me a charge rate of 14 mph, but that is way better than 3 mph on a standard 120 Volt outlet.

    The hotel here is the Aspen Square Hotel. The staff was very helpful, and I am going to recommend that they put a 14-50 in their garage. Hopefully, they will respond positively. BTW, the drive over Independence Pass (12,000 ft) was wonderful!

    Last week, I did not have, but could have used a TT-30 adapter. The RV world 30 Amp connector uses the TT-30. You should be able to draw 120 Volts at 24 Amps from this, but I have heard that the S limits the draw to 20 Amps. Still, 5 mph charging is better than 3 mph charging.

    When visiting friends, the most common connection is to the dryer outlet in the laundry room that is usually within reach of the garage with an extension cord.

    BTW, make sure to also carry your 5-15, 120-Volt adapter. I get about 75 miles of charge in 24 hours. That is slow, but better than nothing. If you are going somewhere for a few days, it all adds up. For a 120 Volt extension cord, I recommend a heavy-duty 12 or 10 gauge cord.
     

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