How many people are using the stock cable to charge at 240 volts

Discussion in 'Prime Plug-in Charging' started by Ray Moore, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. Ray Moore

    Ray Moore Active Member

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    I have read of those that are using adaptors to use the original charging cable to charge at 240 volts. I am interested in doing this as well. How many people here are doing it and for how long? I suspect that if it is going to be a problem it will be during the hotter months.
     
  2. Glenn G

    Glenn G Member

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    Since you can buy a 240 volt UL approved charger for a little over $200.00 (I learned this here)
    I don't know why you would want to do that. You could always sell your factory charger on E-Bay and buy an after market 240 charger.
     
    #2 Glenn G, Jun 21, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  3. Ray Moore

    Ray Moore Active Member

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    Hi Glenn,

    With all due respect to my fellow prime enthusiasts, I wasn't really asking if I should do it. There are already threads on whether it is a good idea. There have been many arguments about different practices on Priuschat over the years. My personal favorite was whether it was a mistake to top off the fuel tank. (nope) Another was how devastating it is to keep driving on the battery if you run out of fuel. (it's not)

    I'm not looking to rehash any of those previous lively discussions. I'm wondering how many people are using the oem charger to feed 240 into their prime. I know there are some but wondering how many and in particular, did you do it in the heat of summer?
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    why would heat matter?
     
  5. Ray Moore

    Ray Moore Active Member

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    All these charge cords have heat ratings and charging at 3840 vs 1440 watts would make a bit of difference. Some are rated to 122f while others are rated to 131f. I'm not sure what the temp rating of the oem cord is. In any case, I wouldn't let my control box sit in the TX sun while charging.
     
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  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    good idea. i didn't realize that, thought it was just voltage rating. would be a difficult thing to check, no? i would like to know the temp rating of my L2 evse cable.

    when you get the pip evse converted from 120v to 120/240v, they do not change the cable, and i don't recall any issues.

    what is the temp rating of the prime evse cable?
     
  7. Ray Moore

    Ray Moore Active Member

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    In my best guess.....

    It's the control box that is going to be the issue. The cable is an amperage thing. I think the control box may be too but it is small for the amount of juice going through it and being watertight makes it hard to design in good heat dissipation. The storage temp rating is about 50f higher than the in use rating. The sun is worth more than that so some of the failures of the cheaper units that you read of in reviews could be that along with the run of the mill bad quality control inherent in making stuff really cheap. I'm no expert. I could be talking out my exit port.
     
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  8. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    The amps are what generates the heat. If the amperage is the same and you double the volts, you get double the power with the same heat loss. That's why our 4160 volt, 900 HP compressors have about the same size motor leads as the other machines with 100 HP and 480 volts.
     
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  9. Ray Moore

    Ray Moore Active Member

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    In your big compressors, are the control boxes for the 480 volt units also a similar size to the 4,160 volt units? Usually they are much different inside to account for the greater risk of arcing and leakage.

    Also, as you know, the wire probably isn't the same other than conductor size. Usually the larger voltages require a different level of insulation. On these EV chargers that probably isn't an issue because it is probably adequate for these low voltages in any case. What I'm concerned with is the heat buildup in the control box that may degrade the components inside. I suspect they are the same but....

    You probably know more than me about this. I'm not really concerned about the wire. I don't think it will be what would fail or overheat.

    I thought we had some people that were actually doing this.
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    we do, in another thread. maybe they haven't seen this one, or don't want to respond because of the personal attacks.
     
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  11. Mark57

    Mark57 Senior Member

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    On PC? Oh say it isn't so . . . . :p:D
     
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  12. Glenn G

    Glenn G Member

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    Thanks Ray,
    I will defer to those with a greater knowledge of electronics.
     
  13. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Almost all low voltage wires are insulated to 600V, so 120 or 240 makes no difference. However, the components inside the EVSE may or may not withstand the higher voltage and that's where the debate was on the other thread. I don't think we want to re-hash that here.

    But to clarify a little more on the difference between 480 and 4160, that difference is hugely significant. I simply mentioned it to illustrate the fact that increasing the voltage allows an increase in power without an increase in heat loss or voltage drop.

    The motor control cabinets are quite large and sophisticated for a 4160 motor. For one thing, 4160 (medium voltage) will actually reach out and kill you without you even touching it. And, the insulation is different, but not appreciably thicker. The increased size of the cabinet is due partly to the bigger insulators needed to protect against arcing and partly because there is just a whole lot more stuff in there including a small computer. The cabinet is often about as big as two side-by-side refrigerators. I've seen the spectacular damage they do to themselves and to nearby people when they have a short.
    I didn't find a good picture of a single medium voltage motor controller, but here is a picture of various ones from Allen-Bradley.
    Med Voltage.jpg

    On the other hand, a typical three phase, 480 V motor has no controller and is pretty simple. It will have, in sequence, a safety disconnect, then fuses, then a contactor that also has a thermal overload device for each leg. The box might be about the size of two 12V car batteries. Here's a picture of a typical one.
    s-l1600.jpg
     
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  14. Carsten Steenberg

    Carsten Steenberg Junior Member

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    Been using a standard Prius Prime 120V charger plugged in to 240V (Dryer outlet via an adapter) almost every day since early January 2018- never been an issue. Charging both a Volt and Prius so almost double usage!
     
    #14 Carsten Steenberg, Sep 21, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2018
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  15. GreatLakesDave

    GreatLakesDave Junior Member

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    I own two Primes, so I also own the two 120V EVSE units which came with them. I have used them both almost exclusively on 240V for about a year now. All kinds of weather - high heat, snow, rain, whatever Michigan throws at us. They're 100% unmodified - I simply made short adapter cords allowing them to be plugged into a 240V 20A outlet. Before I realized that it was possible to run them off 240V, I had purchased two additional EVSE chargers which were 120/240V compatible. My original plan was to use the 120V EVSEs at our lake house, so we could plug in to 120V and charge (albeit slowly) when we were there, without having to bring EVSEs along (we'd leave them there permanently). But it turns out they work flawlessly on 240V and fast charge just as quickly as a "real" 240V EVSE. So we now effectively have two 240V EVSE cables at each house.
    Some may disagree, but I believe that they were probably built using a design for 120/240V and just labeled "120V" for the US market because they are supplied with a 120V plug.
    I know of another Prime owner (who isn't on this forum) who also runs their 120V EVSE on 240V without issue.
     
    #15 GreatLakesDave, Sep 22, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
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