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Outdoor Enclosure for Wall Charger

Outdoor Enclosure for Wall Charger

I am planning to install a Tesla Wall Connector (WC) in an outside location that has snow and ice in the winter. For reasons of EVSE weather protection, security, and esthetics, I would like to enclose the WC and 24-ft.cable completely in a large metal cabinet, approximately 24x20x8 inches, mounted on a metal post. I've decided to use the WC corded into a 14-50 outlet inside the cabinet. The Wall Connector Installation Manual (https://www.tesla.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/wall-connector-eu/tesla-8...) states that it should be located "in a well-ventilated area. Avoid installation in an enclosed box... Protection from rain is recommended."

Since "avoiding a box" and "protecting from rain" are somewhat at odds, my question relates to how much heat the WC creates when operating. In a box that large, would this really be a problem? Is there any other reason it needs to be "well-ventilated"? If necessary, I can use a cabinet louvered on the sides, but those are not as readily available and are extra expense.

I know many people use the WC outside without protection, without problems, but that is not the point of my question. The question is, can it be put in a box?

mrburke | 3 agosto 2019

Why not an "open box". Top & sides, but no bottom or front.

And as it is out door why would you want a 14-50 outlet. Just hardwire it. Much safer.

jimglas | 3 agosto 2019

The wall charger is weather proof
Esthetics, no
Security, yes
Overheating in box, probably

Esalt | 3 agosto 2019

"Overheating in box, probably"
jimglas, does your WC get hot?

Tyerc | 3 agosto 2019

I have a version 1 WC purchased from a previous owner, no enclosure exposed to rain. So far, no problems, Used with a M3.

Tronguy | 3 agosto 2019

Got a TWC in the garage. Exposed, of course, but the manual did say weather-tight. It doesn't get noticeably warm, but then, it's exposed.
The guts of the box has a small circuit board, about 4"x5" or something that does the car communications and has the little rotary switches. In the back is larger-than-usual contactor that one can hear go, "chunk!" when the power gets turned on and off.
However.. The copper wires in the cable do get warmish when charging; no worse than, say, the power cable on a vacuum cleaner, say.
I'm guessing Tesla has this image of a TWC in a sealed box, most of the cable inside the box, and just enough cable to reach the car going through some kind of hole, and whoever-it-was put electrical tape around the cable where it leaves the hole. Get some I*I*R losses on that cable, nowhere for the heat to go, and it might get right toasty in there in the dead of summer. Especially if the box is in the sun as well, and there's no air flow. Yup, that might do it.
If you're going to box it, (a) get a box with air louvers so there's air flow, (b) tack screening on the inside so the box doesn't get invaded by bugs (they like enclosed places.. honeybees and wasps), and (c) figure out something intelligent to do with the charging cable. I mean.. The TWC has a place for the cable to hook into, keeping it out of the rain and snow. How you going to handle that? Open the box when you use it, then close it afterwards?

Esalt | 3 agosto 2019

Thanks for that info. If it doesn't get noticeably warm to touch, then a 24x20x8-inch box is plenty large enough to dissipate any small amount of heat. I'm going to have the cable entirely inside the box when not in use and entirely outside, through a small hole at the bottom, when in use (except for the 2-ft closest to the WC). Seems like I'll have to mount a thermometer inside and monitor temps during hot sunny weather and add vents if necessary.

gballant4570 | 3 agosto 2019

Won't the box be open while in use? The cable won't get warm unless its in use.

This statement is simply wrong:
"Since "avoiding a box" and "protecting from rain" are somewhat at odds...." I protect many things from rain without putting them in an enclosed metal box.

Esalt | 3 agosto 2019

Good point, gballant4570. I too protect many things from rain without a box, but security is also an issue here. And not just rain, but driving freezing rain and snow that would leave the cable encrusted. Then there's the UV protection over the summer.

gballant4570 | 3 agosto 2019

Use a box with no bottom, lockable door, and an eave opening. I'm thinking a slot left open around the top by an overhang of the box top. Or, another suggestion would be a three sided wooden enclosure with a shingled roof, with the open side facing away from the winter storm prevailing wind direction. Mount your ventilated enclosure, or even a caged security enclosure, inside of that, and you will have no trouble getting your box open for use due to icing.

Of course those suggestions perhaps increase expected installation cost....

r0yster.richardson | 3 agosto 2019

Can someone tell me the miles/hr charging rate you get with the $500 Tesla charging unit? The chart says you get 30mph with a straight 220v adapter. Is it worth the extra $$ for a charger box vs a 220v outlet? If you leave it plugged in overnight at 30mph charging, that's like 240 miles in 8 hrs while you sleep. Seems it's much cheaper to charge that way.

r0yster.richardson | 3 agosto 2019

Can someone tell me the miles/hr charging rate you get with the $500 Tesla charging unit? The chart says you get 30mph with a straight 220v adapter. Is it worth the extra $$ for a charger box vs a 220v outlet? If you leave it plugged in overnight at 30mph charging, that's like 240 miles in 8 hrs while you sleep. Seems it's much cheaper to charge that way.

Esalt | 3 agosto 2019

r0yster.richardson You are hijacking this post. Start a new one, or better yet, go back to read the numerous Tesla Forum posts that answer your questions.

vmulla | 4 agosto 2019

"I would like to enclose the WC and 24-ft.cable completely in a large metal cabinet, approximately 24x20x8 inches, mounted on a metal post. I've decided to use the WC corded into a 14-50 outlet inside the cabinet." @Esalt

--
That whole set up is too bulky to be in a 24x20x8. I just went to my charger and measured around it. Theoretically, it feels Ok to fit it all in those dimensions. But, did you consider the practical aspect of pulling that cable in/out of that box? It can be quite unwieldy if you coil it too closely.

I can visualize all of it in some kind of louvered school locker kind of box - something that gives you more room to use the cable easily.

kevin_rf | 4 agosto 2019

Vmulla, Good point, that cable does not coil tightly, it has a pretty large bend radius.

Another option would be one of those tall thin tool shed like things they sell at Lowe's and HomeDepo. They are about 2' wide by about 4-5' tall. You can also put a pad lock on them.

Esalt | 4 agosto 2019

Thanks, kevin, I'll check out that shed. Vmulla, I measured my mobile connector, which is 20-ft long, and it coiled easily inside a 24x20-in box. Each complete coil was about 6-ft long, which did not seem to strain the cord. The WC unit would be within the central oval of the coil when stored. My new WC is due to be delivered tomorrow, so I can try that out on the real deal.

Esalt | 5 agosto 2019

Just got my WC today and it is really big! It was in a compartment 27x16 inches in the delivery box, but will need more than that in daily use. The cable is approx 7/8-in (22 mm) diameter compared to less than 1/2-inch (12 mm) cable on the mobile charger. vmulla was right about how bulky it is.

Tronguy | 5 agosto 2019

@Esalt: Yup, that's the box. But it's got stuff spread out pretty much, along with adapters for pretty much any wall mount one could ask for.
The mobile charger does, I think, 30A max; this thing can do 80A or so to the right kind of Model S. 80A > 30A, so it's not a surprise, I guess, that one would have thicker copper as well.
If memory serves, the manual (which I've got around here somewhere) specifies how wide an area somebody at Tesla thinks it should use. In the garage over here, the TWC is mounted between two garage doors and is probably a little scant on the horizontal room.
Have fun!

vmulla | 5 agosto 2019

@Esalt,
Hold tight. I'll send a picture of the mounted WC with the wires coiled just right for daily use. I'll put a tape measure next to the installation to scale, that way you can evaluate what would work for you. Don't judge, mine isn't the best installation.

Also, whatever you do - share it here.

Magic 8 Ball | 5 agosto 2019

If you are talking the Tesla HPWC just put a small shed roof over it and it should be fine. Mine is outside mounted halfway up the side of the garage and the normal roof eaves, extending 2 ft out, are the only protection. We have no snow but we had some big winter storms this year with sideways rain, still works fine.

Tootelld | 5 agosto 2019

I've used a few HWPC destination chargers that are just on poles out in the elements with no special covers. Does it really need to be in a box?

vmulla | 6 agosto 2019
Goldie | 6 agosto 2019

I put a small plastic awning over mine. Keeps it nice and dry in rain or snow.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/edt26xfek9ent0i/2018-09-17%2018.31.04.jpg?dl=0

rlesperance | 14 novembre 2019

And now I just read some specs that says the minimum Operating Temperature is -20C. In Canada, it gets much lower. Would that be a problem ?

EVRider | 14 novembre 2019

@rlesperance: That just means you can't use the wall connector if it's that cold, it doesn't mean it can't be exposed to low temperatures. Most wall connectors used in destination charging locations are outside.

andy.connor.e | 14 novembre 2019

My guess is you wouldnt need a NEMA 3R enclosure, but you would probably want something that at least keeps the rain and wind blowing debris out. My guess is you want something NEMA 3 rated. - https://www.nema.org/products/documents/nema-enclosure-types.pdf

Something like this:
https://images.homedepot-static.com/productImages/de15f409-70ad-4fb5-82f...