Low-cost 240V EVSE upgrade

Discussion in 'Nissan/Infiniti Hybrids and EVs' started by pEEf, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. pEEf

    pEEf Engineer - EV nut

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    The Leaf ships with an 120V 12A portable EVSE for "on the go" charging. I just completed designing and testing an upgrade to it that allows 240V charging while still retaining the 120V capability. This means you can use the supplied EVSE at home or work without needing to install an (expensive) additional unit and still have a reasonable charge rate. (over 2.8kW!) All the safety features including the GFCI protection are still 100% functional, and the unit automatically switches voltage. The only caveats are that it's limited to 12A at 240V, and it voids any warranty on the EVSE you might have, though we will offer a 1 year warranty on the upgrade.


    Update: We have completed rigorous beta testing, and are now offering the upgrade service for these to Leaf owners.

    Please see [THIS] web site for ordering information.




    Here's a beta-test modified unit charging at 240V 12A:
    [​IMG]


    This shows the new molded L6-20P 240V/20A NEMA twist-lock installed, There is an adapter cable available so you can still charge at 120V:
    [​IMG]
     
    4 people like this.
  2. Flaninacupboard

    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    Nice work pEEf. Are you a Leaf driver yourself? That EVSE stuff is such nonsense, as far as i can tell europe is still happy for use to just plug right into a domestic socket, none of this special hardwired connection rubbish.
     
  3. pEEf

    pEEf Engineer - EV nut

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    No, I'm not a Leaf owner, just trying to make their lives better! =)

    Yes, in this country apparently everyone is scared of electricity. This is why we only get half the voltage out of our sockets as you do. A typical residential outlet is only rated to 120V @ 15A. That means the most you can pull is 1.8kW (resistive). You guys enjoy electric tea kettles that are 3kW which we could never (legally) have. At least we aren't as bad as Japan; they drop to 100V!
     
  4. Flaninacupboard

    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    I never considered the problem of a kettle! Now i understand your tea-based mockery of us, you're just jealous that our kettles boil faster and more efficiently :p
     
  5. pEEf

    pEEf Engineer - EV nut

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    Actually, I have a 240V kettle imported from the UK. I can even plug it into my PHEV pack for fast tea on-the-go, because if we Americans can't do it in our cars, what's the point? =)
     
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  6. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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  7. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    What about the Van?
    yea, but the UK is stuck with TV flickering 50mhz . . . so we all got our crosses to bear

    :p
    but YES! . . . VERY nice work! I'm going to PM a local (& fellow) Leaf wait list'er. He to, has been joans'in for this very thing.

    .
     
  8. garygid

    garygid Senior Member - Blizzard Pearl

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    Yes, hill, thanks for the PM.
    As an EE myself, I have been watching pEEf's good work.

    The modified EVSE arrived back in the southland (So CA) today,
    so I hope to see it work this coming Saturday.
    I will take some resistors, a diode, and a voltmeter. :D

    Apparently there are, or will be, more "socket adapter" pigtails available.

    Cheers, Gary
     
  9. evnow

    evnow Active Member

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    What ? People still watch SD in UK ?!
     
  10. drees

    drees Senior Member

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    Nicely done. So what's the secret to depotting the thing? I heard it was a genetically modified strain of carpenter ants, but they don't last long... ;)

    Count me as someone who has a Leaf on order who would be interested in this mod.
     
  11. Flaninacupboard

    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    We've had widescreen MPEG2 DVB over the air since 1998, which also became free in 2002. HD has been slow in arriving, but there will be free OTA HD broadcasts throughout the UK by the end of the year. My area switches over on March 30th...

    There are three HD channels, BBC1 HD, ITV1 HD and Channel 4 HD.
     
  12. plug-it-in

    plug-it-in Active Member

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    Nicely done! Hats Off! :rockon:
    I wondered how long the special, multi $1,000 240V chargers will last before they are "cracked". Well it did not take long! I grew up with 220V in Hungary (now my friends tell me it is 240V). Yeah, North Americans are nuts! Afraid of 240V like it is some voodoo magic.

    The charging of Lithium batteries can be tricky. To assure the proper charging characteristics, optimize battery longevity, not to mention avoiding accidents, chargers logically belong inside the cars. Also, this is the only way we can make charging ubiquitous, like gas pumps. Can you imagine different gas hoses for different cars at the gas pump? OK. Now can you imagine a guy paying $3,000(?) for a charger for his Nissan Leaf, but can not use it to charge his Volt (the car guys the car!) or for his iMiev or Ford EV or Volvo EV or whatever? Different makes will likely run at different battery voltages.
    The market acceptance of EVs is an open question. Let's not make it more difficult - ehh?

    In my case I have a 240V 30A "dryer outlet" in our pantry, unused. It is about 1.5 metres from the garage at the other side of the wall. All I need is to 'poke a hole' through the wall and I have 240V in the garage. I am lucky I guess. If the modified EVSE tops out at 12A that is OK. It will do no harm to the 30A 'dryer' circuit.

    No, I do not have a Leaf, yet - not available until later this year in Canada. But I am planning ahead! No trouble, Our 2003 Corolla will surely last for a while yet.
     
  13. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    That's the big thing. The USA didn't get widescreen until HD. In fact, I remember ESPN trying to flog HD by emphasizing how much more you could see.

    They also don't have teletext. I know, it's shocking.

    I always wondered why my wife used a tea kettle on the stove. I never though about the feeble power.
     
  14. Flaninacupboard

    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    No Teletext?! :eek: But how would have kept up with the adventures of Turner the Worm, or booked cheap holidays before the internet???
     
  15. pEEf

    pEEf Engineer - EV nut

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    Update: We have completed rigorous beta testing, and are now offering the upgrade service for these to Leaf owners.

    Please see [THIS] web site for ordering information.

    [​IMG]
     
    3 people like this.
  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    whatabout the scangauge?
     
  17. GeekEV

    GeekEV Member

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    I just wanted to chime in and vouch for this upgrade. I'm a satisfied customer! :cheer2:
     
  18. Flaninacupboard

    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    Hmm, interesting. When test driving the Leaf last weekend i was told Nissan don't yet have a 230V EVSE available. Kind of important in Europe since that's all that is available.

    Congrats pEEf on beating Nissan to it!
     
  19. plug-it-in

    plug-it-in Active Member

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    Good show! Just out of curiosity, why did you pick a 240V 20 Amp plug? If the Nissan unit limits the load to 12 Amps as you say, could you not have used any plug rated at 240V 15 Amps or higher?

    The second question is; did you have to open up and make changes in the charger unit at all?

    Thanks
     
  20. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    We can make tea even faster we can actually by 3.3kw kettles fitted by law with a 13amp plug witch is loaded to 14.3amps.
     
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