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110V charaging troubleshooting

110V charaging troubleshooting

Hopefully my troubleshooting can help people having difficulty charging with standard 110V outlet.

I am waiting for my 240V NEMA, just tried charging my new Model X with 110V, but sadly the adapter and charging port both blinked with red light and the car reporting cable fault.

So I decided to troubleshoot a little bit.

The first thing I did was test which hole was neutral and which is hot, and surprisingly they are reversed! Apparently the previous home owner or electrician didn't know what they were doing.

I had to switch the wires to make them correct (the longer vertical hole should be neutral, the shorter one should be hot, and the round hole should be ground), during the project, I also noticed the outlet was not properly grounded at all.

Plugged back, still not working ... The damn red flash ...

I then measured the voltage between real ground (wet soil outside) and the shell of outlet which is connected to the ground hole, surprisingly, it read around 100V! There must be some current leaked from hot wire to the shell.
But after unplugging the adapter, the reading went to zero, so apparently it was the adapter itself trying to test if ground is connected by inducting some small current from hot wire.

Now I simply connect the shell with ground, and finally the pleasant green led is flashing. The ground is not perfect, and I think the impedance must be pretty high, but should be good enough to let the adapter pass the test.

Now it charges with 117V/12A, 1.4 kW, though slow like a turtle, it should cover my commute!

I now even think the 240V NEMA is not necessary, since I have good access to quite a few super chargers when doing long distance trips, and charging stations at work.

eric.zucker | 22 mars 2016

European regulations strongly discourage charging from home outlets - they are not rated for long-term max amperage draw. It's acceptable in a pinch, but not on a regular basis, these will eventually overheat and cause a fire hazard. Think of this as your spare tire.

Industrial outlets (blue 3 pole CEE 16 or 5 pole red CEE 16 or CEE 32, CEE 63) are infinitely better as they will stand the maximum amperage permanently. They are very common in industrial settings but unfortunately not in residential.

EVSE prices have come down substantially, this is the safest, recommended choice as you are never manipulating live cables or connectors, current flows only after a vehicle is identified and properly grounded.

vperl | 22 mars 2016

Europe, ahead in simple household eletricity.

EU ought fix this obvious fault. Is constant five or eight hours a day going to burn the house down?, when the battery is charged, the household current draw reduces greatly, who designed this system...

One may think the EU insurance companies would want better electrical codes, guess not.

Guess most folks in the U.S. expect the house to be wired properly. EU out to lunch, or just what?

eric.zucker | 23 mars 2016

@vperl: Charging a totally empty 90kW battery theoretically takes:

Single phase 10A 230V or 2.3kW is 39 hours.
Single phase 16A 230V or 3.7kW is 24 hours.
Three phase 10A 230V or 7.0kW is 13 hours.
Three phase 16A 230V or 11kW is 8 hours.
Three phase 32A 230V or 22kW is 4 hours. (not possible in a domestic plug)

This assumes one could charge at constant current throughout which isn't correct, for a full charge batteries need to be topped off at constant voltage which is much slower, and also reduces their lifespan.

Domestic devices (heaters, dryers, vacuum cleaners, etc) draw power for an hour or two, or cycle on and off. Charging an EV draws max amperage for hours on end - no time for the connectors to cool down. This causes thermal degradation, oxydation and premature wear, until one day it heats up too much.

This is in German, Google translate it if needed:

eric.zucker | 23 mars 2016

Sorry the link got cut out:

Solothurner Zeitung Beat Heim Hausbrand

hope this one works..

vperl | 23 mars 2016

I have 100 Amp circuit that you can draw 80 Amps. Just like tens of thousands of U.S. citizens have in their residence.

Not a problem, with my MX with the high power charger in the MX, and my HPWC SET AT 80 AMPS. A constant draw of 80 Amps. U.S. electrical codes are very straight forward, and designed to not burn your residence down because you used a 100 Amp circuit for 5-7 hours

This is in English, translate with GOOGLE.

eric.zucker | 23 mars 2016

Yes vperl. This is indeed how its done correctly, the OP was about charging off a 110V household plug. Not ideal. NEMA 14-50 is better, hard-wired HPWC is best. Same here.

darlin | 23 mars 2016

So this whole thread is about bad wiring in someone's house.......

vperl | 23 mars 2016

Darling, no about EU wiring in residential areas...

Seems they have a "situation" with electrical codes, wiring, and most everything else.

Not my problem, might be yours if you live in the EU .

Good fortune

darlin | 23 mars 2016

Thankfully I do not.