Is Level 2 Charger Worthwhile?

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by jasbar2, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. pfile

    pfile Member

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    less power = simpler circuits = fewer, lower-cost components = cheaper charger = cheaper cars. 1.5H @ L2 is totally reasonable IMHO.
     
  2. pEEf

    pEEf Engineer - EV nut

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    It's not a matter of limiting the charge rate, it's a matter of the expense of a larger charger. The prototypes definitely had a bit more oomph, but I suspect they were trying to save cost, space, and reduce the cooling requirements. They were putting the unit under the passenger seat and it had big vent grilles to dissipate the heat into the car. Now I think they've moved it into the back on these production models.

    -Phil
     
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  3. andi1111

    andi1111 Member

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    EU demo PiP is also equipped with only a 12A (230V) EVSE.
     
  4. ajt

    ajt New Member

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    Re: Is Level 2 Charger Worthwhile? OT question

    Slightly off topic but wondering if Level 2 charger such as is found at many Chargepoint chargers with both level 1 and 2 can be used by the Prius Plug in. If I understand correctly the Level 1 only refers to the cord received with the car on delivery but I am not sure if the Level 2 plug found on the public access chargers (especially Chargepoint) will work with no problems. Just recently received the PIP and have only used the furnished cord for charging at home thus far. Thanks for any feedback.

    AJT
     
  5. pEEf

    pEEf Engineer - EV nut

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    Any J1772 compliant charge cord can be used. This includes both Level I and II. All that the cord does is supply either 120v (Level I) or 208/240v (Level II) and tell the car the maximum amperage it's allowed to pull.

    You can refer to them either as Charging cords, Charging Docks, or (properly) EVSE's. They are NOT chargers however! The Charger is in the car.

    -Phil
     
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  6. Jeff N

    Jeff N The answer is 0042

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    I'm not an expert in this area, but I believe the usual difference between "3.3KW" and "3.7KW" when the topic is charging rates is due to the power source of the 240V level 2 charger. Level 1 charging is always 120V in the U.S. but level 2 has two different variants.

    Typical single homes and small buildings have a connection to the utility that gives them 120V and 240V and therefore 240V at 16A is about 3.7-3.8 kW. However, large buildings (apartment complexes) and commercial and industrial buildings typically have a "3 phase" connection to the utility giving them 120V and 208V (connected across two of the phases) and therefore 208V at 16A is about 3.3 kW.

    This means that cars like the Volt and LEAF that are capable of drawing 16A at level 2 will charge slightly faster at home than at many commercial level 2 EVSE charging stations.
     
  7. pfile

    pfile Member

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    Re: Is Level 2 Charger Worthwhile? OT question

    as pEEF says, it will work. i used a L2 chargepoint in emeryville the other day with no problems.
     
  8. pfile

    pfile Member

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    that is interesting, i would have thought commercial and home would be the same, but then again why would it? businesses usually have huge power demands... some of them anyway.

    mainly i was referring to efficiency losses in the 'charging chain' if you will. when the output power of the leaf's charger is 3.3KW then of course the power draw measured at the wall is higher by some amount. i think the coulomb chargepoints report about 3.6-3.7KW while charging the leaf, IIRC.
     
  9. pEEf

    pEEf Engineer - EV nut

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    This isn't entirely correct. Commercial facilities wired with 3-phase power can be done in 2 ways, delta or wye. The wye is most common in office buildings where the main loads are lighting and computers (120v), so all 3 legs to neutral can be used to provide 120v, and you get 208v between any 2 legs.

    Delta is more common in industrial settings where there are a lot of 240v loads, such as welders and motors. This setup yields 240v between any 2 of the 3 legs, whereas wye only gets 208. However, on Delta, you can only use 120v loads to neutral on 2 of the 3 legs. The 3rd leg is unusable, and is referred to as the "stinger" leg by most electricians. This is because it's at around 280v!

    In larger facilities, everything is 480v delta, and they use local small transformers for 120/240v loads. These can then be wired either way. If you are putting in some Level II charge stations in a facility like this, which is the most common, you will usually wire them delta to get the full 240v.

    I've measured a lot of public stations. Most of them are 240v.

    -Phil
     
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  10. pEEf

    pEEf Engineer - EV nut

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    The discrepancy between the oft-quoted 3.3kW charger in the Leaf is because this figure is it's maximum OUTPUT. The Input, (at 208/240v) due to charger efficiency will typically be around 3.7-3.8kW (the variable depends on power factor stuff, which is a long explanation, so I'll skip it because it's minor)

    Of that 3.3kW, some is used to power the fixed overhead while charging, which includes coolant pumps, ECU's, relays, the DC-DC converter, etc. It seems to be around 100-200 watts depending on different variables. So the worst-case is you actually only see 3.1kW into your Leaf pack!

    The Heater can pull up to 5kW, so if you preheat while still connected, you might find slightly less charge when you leave, as the charger may not be able to keep up with the heater demand when it's cold.

    -Phil
     
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  11. CharlesH

    CharlesH CA HOV Decal #5 on former PiP

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    There is 480VDC (L3) charging. Does the PiP only support L1 (120VAC) and L2 (240VAC)? Does L3 use the same J1772 connector? And the EVSE would negotiate with the charger in the car before applying any voltage? I was just wondering what would happen if a PiP user came across an L3 charging station.
     
  12. pfile

    pfile Member

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    at least on the leaf, the DC quickcharge port is a separate (larger) port with much beefier contacts. the PIP has no such input; pretty sure it's L2, AC only.

    don't hold your breath, i don't think there are any QC charging stations in operation in the US yet, but that could have changed recently.
     
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  13. jbrad4

    jbrad4 Active Member

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    This quick charging station at Walgreens here in Dallas/Addison has been in operation for at least 6 months that I know about.
     
  14. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Nothing much, but I think a few Leafers would be jumping for joy if they came across one in CA.
     
  15. pfile

    pfile Member

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    that's amazing. i know there is one in sacramento but it was powered down since it was japanese hardware with no UL approval.

    nissan recently made a new, cheaper design and got UL approval, so they might start popping up.
     
  16. jbrad4

    jbrad4 Active Member

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    The Level-3 CHAdeMO 480 volt DC fast charge connector is a different configuration and larger than the J1772
    [​IMG]
     
  17. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    You better think again ... there are around 200 so far in the U.S. alone, with new ones coming on line and plenty more on the approval lists. Some of the on-line ones now are for private fleets, so they don't show up on charge maps. But go to plugshare.com and zoom (for example) into the Nashville TN location for example. Guess what all those yellow icons are (as opposed to the green or blue ones)? That's right ... Q.C.'s ... and the way cool thing about TN is that they practically GIVE their power away, unlike CA. The biggest hurdle for CA Q.C. installs is the draconian utility rules that require a 5 figure utility bill, just for the privilege of having 20kW's and above. Then you actually pay for the power too, on top of the huge demand fee power structure.

    L2 and Quick charge are two completely different animals. L2 (240v 3kW AC) goes to an on-board charger, which converts the AC back into DC. But a quick charger is just that ... an OFF board charger that provides over 20kW ... 50kW and higher, turning on what car it's for. A Q.C. does all the math ... figuring out battery SOC ... temps ... etc.

    Toyota has already stated they have no intention on designing a Q.C. for the much smaller traction pack that you typically have in a PHEV. Your best hope would be that the Gen II PiP will some day have 6kW charging ... which would charge the pip in just a tad less than half the time that the present L2 takes to charge it.

    I'll bet everyone's eyes would glaze over if I asked you to explain how many street lights end up running at 277V.
    :p
    .
     
  18. drees

    drees Senior Member

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    Actually... the on-car BMS does all the math and simply tells the QC how much voltage/current it should be supplying...
     
  19. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Whoops! That right ... I bad speek ... happens when ever I write too fast. But yes, there is 2 way communication between the EV and the Q.C.

    .
     
  20. pfile

    pfile Member

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    FAKE

    j/k... i did say "...that might have changed recently."
     
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