Low-cost 240V EVSE upgrade

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

  1. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    I'm a slug when it comes to a lot of power/current/ohms/capacitance things ... but just from looking at the picture, it seems evident that all of pEEf's work is done via mod'ing the existing 120V cable, inside the plastic container. Just read the instructions ... you send in your existing 120V cable (right? ... once you get your car) and;
    a) it's either used as a core, where you get one already changed out - or
    b) it'll be mod'ed once you ship it to him.

    pEEf - not to be presumptious ... my father in law (retired EE) has done several of his own patents, and with that in mind, I'm hoping you've already taken steps to protect the great work you've put into this.

    .
     
  2. pEEf

    pEEf Engineer - EV nut

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    The original design in the EVSE included a "fixed" 120V transformer for powering the EVSE. Here's a shot of the un-modifed EVSE. Note the transformer to the right:
    [​IMG]

    Warning: If you put anything other than 120VAC into the original it will fail!

    The modification involves re-engineering the power supply as well as some components on the board, which is (as you can see) potted, so this was non-trivial to deduce. It is not as simple as changing the cord/plug!

    To get the upgrade, you send us your EVSE, and we upgrade it and send it back. For speed, we may send you an already completed unit, so turn-around is usually less than a day. We also can do an advance replacement with a deposit, if you are in a situation where you are depending on the EVSE as your primary charging system and don't want to be caught without it.

    The reason we chose a L6-20P as the "standard" connector, is that it's robust and compact, and it locks. From there you simply use an adapter to connect to whatever outlet you like. We can furnish the 120V adapter and you can find almost any other adapter you like online, or if you are competent, you can easily make your own.
     
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  3. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    I for ONE, will soon pony up the cash as soon as the Leaf arrives ... which should be any day now.
     
  4. pEEf

    pEEf Engineer - EV nut

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    The response has been good! Lots of you have sent your EVSE's in for the upgrade. I'd love it if you posted your experiences here on how the new unit is working out!
     
  5. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    Got mine yesterday. So far so good. Still have to try the 2240 volt option
    ..
     
  6. drees

    drees Senior Member

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    I know you've been tracking energy usage pretty closely - would be very interesting to see if there's a noticeable difference in charging efficiency between 120v / 240v... Don't know if you have the means to measure 240v data?

    Need to rig up a couple Kill-a-Watts on separate 120v legs maybe for a low-budget monitoring system. :)
     
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  7. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Yea !!
    All we gotta do now is get pEEf to start manufacturing 240V kill-a-Watts. Maybe convert an existing Kill-a-Watt to read 120/208/240 the way he's done the EVSE. Maybe even look in to mod'ing the EVSE to convert 3 phase 240V over to single phase. I could keep this guy REALLY busy. After all ... it sounds like he's got a ton of spare time any way ...

    :p
     
  8. LeafTalk UK

    LeafTalk UK New Member

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    Actually you were provided with wrong information. The 230V EVSE is a standard part of the kit provided with the UK LEAF.

    This can use any UK 13amp 3 pin socket to charge the LEAF but only draws 10 Amps.


    Nissan are recommending that owners use their recommended 16 AMP wall fitted unit for faster charging. Their chosen installer for the UK is British Gas. (Yes British Gas does electrical work too.;))
     
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  9. pEEf

    pEEf Engineer - EV nut

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    So the UK Leafs come with a 10A EVSE? Interesting!

    Is it also made by Panasonic?
     
  10. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    I wonder what these go for, price wise, in comparison to the 120V U.S. version ... or in comparison to the 120V with the famous pEEf mod.
    ;)
     
  11. Flaninacupboard

    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    Hmm, maybe the one we drove was a very late pre-production model then.
     
  12. GeekEV

    GeekEV Member

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    Seconded. I'd love to have a reasonably priced 240v kill-a-watt, the TED is too expensive, my curiosity isn't that great...
     
  13. LeafTalk UK

    LeafTalk UK New Member

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    I'm not sure to be honest. They do look identical externally (apart from the plug) so there's a good chance that they are made by the same company.

    I'll post a picture when I get mine in April.
     
  14. plug-it-in

    plug-it-in Active Member

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    I find this discussion very interesting. When we made electronic test sets in the 80's all our power supplies were rated 90V to 260V AC. Must electronics you buy today are multi voltage rated (110/240V 50/60 Hz), auto adjusting to the input voltage.

    Why would Nissan not follow this concept escapes me. OK we have a bit more current load here than what a TV set draws, still... one would think that Panasonic or whoever the manufacturer is has what it takes. Even if the manufacturing cost a bit higher, the volume will negate this minimal difference in cost. The 'emergency charger' supplied by Nissan should be a Global Product not a piecemeal solution. I would not be surprised if the "Gen II Leaf" will put pEEF out of business.:)
     
  15. pEEf

    pEEf Engineer - EV nut

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    I find it astonishing myself! As you can see from the picture in post 22, they use a fixed 60hz transformer for the power supply. I bet the UK version simply substitutes a 230v primary for the 120v. Maybe Panasonic chose this to ensure that the thing would blow up (resulting in another purchase) if you attempted operation on 240v.

    It it were me, I would have built it the way I engineered the upgrade; with a high-quality universal voltage switch-mode supply. They could have detected 230v operation (or 50hz) and switched the pilot to the UK's 10A requirement.

    At that point, I would have been offering a 16A upgrade. =)
     
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  16. plug-it-in

    plug-it-in Active Member

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    Enjoy your little side business. Hope you have some IP protection (i.e. trade mark?) on it. If so, maybe you can sell the whole idea and get royalties for the long term.:)
     
  17. pEEf

    pEEf Engineer - EV nut

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    It is just that, a small side business. I don't expect anything long-term. It's not a profitable endeavor anyway, I'm mainly doing it to help the EV community with more flexible charge options until we have a more fleshed out public charging infrastructure.
     
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  18. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Here's what I'm wondering about. How hard would it be to make up a (non-mickey/mouse) power supply so that pEEf's modified charge plug could get its 240 volt power from TWO 120 volt outlets.

    If THAT's not wacky enough ... how about this:
    What with all the 240 volt paddle chargers that are already installed at Costco, the train stations, airports, frys electronics, etc ... would it be possible to make up a female receiver for the paddle, that could carry the 240V to the J1772 ?

    Just a thought ... because there ARE a good amount of those suckers out there still
     
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  19. drees

    drees Senior Member

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    Google "quick 220" for one that you can buy which has some safety features plugged in.

    Otherwise not hard to build one yourself if you know what you're doing.
     
  20. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    you can get 220-240 from two 110-120 outlets if they are on separate circuits. but would they be the right amperage?
     
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