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patrick0101
Posts: 368
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:46 pm
Delivery Date: 18 May 2011
Leaf Number: 1823
Contact: Website

Retractable J1772 Cord?

Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:52 am

Has anyone seen a home EVSE unit (aka charging station) with a retractable cord? Ideally, I would like the J1772 plug hanging down from the ceiling in my garage, so that I could just reach up, pull it down, and plug it in. Then when I am done with it, have it retract back up to a spot where it is out of the way but still reachable (~7 feet off the ground).

I ask this, because in the few charging stations that I have seen the J1772 cord has not been well managed. I (and I assume many other people) are not going to take the time to neatly wind up the cord each morning as I race off 10 minutes late for work. This means that the cord will be left out where it could be damaged or ran over.

I have seen some auto shops that have compressed air cords hanging down for all the various pneumatic tools that they use. A modification of that type of reel system could work.
~Pat
SLe VIN 1823 reserved 4/20/10, delivered 5/18/11
1998 Chevy S10EV (Feb 2007 - May 8th 2011)
4kW Solar PV '07, 12kW in '15
Oregon Electric Vehicle Association
Occasional PlugInCars.com writer
Occasional WhatDrive.us panelist
Cars with Cords blogger

GroundLoop
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Re: Retractable J1772 Cord?

Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:05 am

I think you're on the right track.. it would be a generic spring-wound cord with a hoop over the middle of your J1772.
When you let go, the middle of the cord gets retracted upward toward the ceiling, leaving the J1772 plug dangling just within reach.

I would think this is pretty common gear.. Harbor Freight, maybe?

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garygid
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Re: Retractable J1772 Cord?

Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:38 am

If the e-cord is long enough, one pulley roughly over the nose of the car, and another near the wall, would get the e-hose where you want it. Finding a "side-loading" pulley, will be the problem, since the cord has the nozzle on the end and one cannot just run the cord through the pulley. A large diameter wheel should be used, at least 6" diameter, but 8" or larger would be better.

Then, attaching a small weight to the cord between the EVSE and the first pulley should make the e-hose "retract" upwards.
See SOC/GID-Meter and CAN-Do Info
2010 Prius, now for sale
2011 LEAF, sold in 2015
2018 Tesla Model 3
2014 Tesla S, Model 3 in 2019
PU: SDG&E
Solar PV: 33 x 225W -> 7 kW max AC
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garygid
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Re: Retractable J1772 Cord?

Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:56 am

Google:
Rustproof clothesline pulley 8" wheel

See the lehmans.com listing for a pulley that MIGHT be suitable, IF the e-cord will fit into the groove on the pulley's wheel, AND the pulley can be dis-assembled to get the e-hose onto the wheel.

This example has a ball-bearing hub.
See SOC/GID-Meter and CAN-Do Info
2010 Prius, now for sale
2011 LEAF, sold in 2015
2018 Tesla Model 3
2014 Tesla S, Model 3 in 2019
PU: SDG&E
Solar PV: 33 x 225W -> 7 kW max AC
To Sell: X-treme 5000Li EV motorcycle

smkettner
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Re: Retractable J1772 Cord?

Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:11 am

I like the idea. But for me I would prefer a flush recessed mount evse with a five foot cord so there would be nothing to coil.
Just snap it onto the car or onto the evse same as a gas station.
1 bar lost at 21,451 miles, 16 months.
2 bar lost at 35,339 miles, 25 months.
LEAF traded at 45,400 miles for a RAV4-EV
RAV4 traded in for I-Pace Dec 2018

Smidge204
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Re: Retractable J1772 Cord?

Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:37 am

smkettner wrote:I like the idea. But for me I would prefer a flush recessed mount evse with a five foot cord so there would be nothing to coil.
Just snap it onto the car or onto the evse same as a gas station.
I guess it depends on where the vehicle's charge port is. The garage wall to one side will be at LEAST 5 feet from the centerline of the car (where the LEAF port is). Bear in mind the gas station hoses are like 10-15' feet typically.

But having a gas-station style setup is an interesting idea. The connection point for the cord is actually up high (~7') and it loops to just above the floor and back up to doorknob height. This should give you pretty good reach without coiling, though there might be some additional (minor) stress on the connection at the vehicle.
=Smidge=

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patrick0101
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Re: Retractable J1772 Cord?

Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:42 pm

Thanks for all the ideas. Looking into this I found a few things:
1) NEC 625.17 requires any J1772 connector/cable-set over 25 feet in length to use a UL-listed cable management/retraction system. Although most home systems will have a cable far shorter than 25 ft.
2) A 2009 CARB report of lessons learned from EV of the late 1990s, said that cable management should be included to avoid tripping hazards. http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/zevprog/in ... rnelas.pdf
3) An April 2010 report from eTec said that retractors should be used for public systems to reduce vandalism. http://www.theevproject.com/downloads/d ... 20R3.1.pdf
4) An overhead retractable system is already designed by a company http://thegreenpump.com/?page_id=20
I don't know anything about this company or if this is a good product. I could not find a price or where to order it from their site. Has anyone seen or tried this one?

I think I am going to try something home-brewed. I might just have the cord hanging down to where the car needs it and then have a hook on the wall to hold it off to the side when not in use. This is not as cool as a retracting system but it should be simple and effective.
~Pat
SLe VIN 1823 reserved 4/20/10, delivered 5/18/11
1998 Chevy S10EV (Feb 2007 - May 8th 2011)
4kW Solar PV '07, 12kW in '15
Oregon Electric Vehicle Association
Occasional PlugInCars.com writer
Occasional WhatDrive.us panelist
Cars with Cords blogger

smkettner
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Re: Retractable J1772 Cord?

Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:07 pm

Smidge204 wrote:I guess it depends on where the vehicle's charge port is. The garage wall to one side will be at LEAST 5 feet from the centerline of the car (where the LEAF port is). Bear in mind the gas station hoses are like 10-15' feet typically.
My Leaf will nose right up to the wall and evse. I probably will get the Leviton 16a and may get a short cord as that is all I need. I just want what works and not try for every possible contingency.

I kinda like the Voltec with the self retracting coiled cord.
1 bar lost at 21,451 miles, 16 months.
2 bar lost at 35,339 miles, 25 months.
LEAF traded at 45,400 miles for a RAV4-EV
RAV4 traded in for I-Pace Dec 2018

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garygid
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Re: Retractable J1772 Cord?

Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:47 pm

I wanted an e-cord long enough to charge in the driveway, if needed, for example when the car's spot in the garage is being used for a project of some sort.

So, 25-feet for me, with the excess just coiled on the wall when the car is nearby.
See SOC/GID-Meter and CAN-Do Info
2010 Prius, now for sale
2011 LEAF, sold in 2015
2018 Tesla Model 3
2014 Tesla S, Model 3 in 2019
PU: SDG&E
Solar PV: 33 x 225W -> 7 kW max AC
To Sell: X-treme 5000Li EV motorcycle

wwhitney
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Location: Berkeley, CA

Re: Retractable J1772 Cord?

Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:23 pm

patrick0101 wrote:Has anyone seen a home EVSE unit (aka charging station) with a retractable cord?
One thing to keep in mind is that a cord with significant current will get hotter when coiled up, as there is less surrounding air to dissipate the heat. For example, I understand many extension cord reels say to only use the extension cord when fully played out, and if you use them at full current when wound up for an extended period of time, you can damage them. So that may be why current EVSE offerings have avoided coiling.

Of course, since the LEAF draws only 15A, if your EVSE is rated 30A or higher, it won't be a problem to coil the cord.

Cheers, Wayne

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