Christopher
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 4:51 pm
Delivery Date: 04 May 2011
Leaf Number: 1407
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Contact: Website

Electrical line noise while charging at 240V

Thu May 19, 2011 10:49 pm

Okay, I was asked to move this discussion out of the modded EVSE thread, so here goes, from the top:

After receiving my modified L1 EVSE and the corresponding adapters for my 240V dryer outlet, I'm hearing significant electrical noise from various devices with speakers in my condo while charging at 240V. Most annoyingly, I hear it from my computer display (an Apple LED Cinema Display) and boy is it bloody irritating after an hour or so! It's also audible on a set of powered computer speakers as well as across all the speakers in my home theater driven by my Sony ES receiver/amp, though less so. I believe it to be power line noise (as opposed to radiant).

1) The noise is generated only when charging at 240V, not when charging at 120V and of course never previously.
2) The noise occurs with different devices (though not everything) and on every circuit I tried. It occurs on circuits with or without GFCI. These outlets do pass ground testers.
3) This same noise is audible directly from my electrical subpanel while charging at 240V. It's normally silent. (My subpanel is up in my living space, two flights above my garage.)
4) My 240V source is a dedicated 30 amp circuit for my dryer with the old style 3-prong outlet. (NEMA 10-30)
5) Two noise filters tested against the computer display didn't help. Another old noise filter (SL Waber WaveTracker) that I dug out of the closet fried itself (flash+burnt smell) when I tried to use it. (It had been sitting in storage for many years.)

I eventually broke out a handheld AM radio, tuned it to find interference and walked around to find… AC electricity in my walls!! Amazing! ;-) Also, lots of noise down around in the garage, inside the car, at different specific points within the garage, along the charging line and the EVSE and a different kind of noise (static/white noise) around the plug adapter. But none of that is probably interesting.

Unless folks can tell me that all this electrical noise is normal and unavoidable while charging at 240V, I'm going to stop using 240V and go back to charging only at 120V. And I guess I need to get an electrician to come in and check this out. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle the raised eyebrows at the modified EVSE, but we'll see.

If you'd like to hear this electrical noise for yourself, here you go:
http://crimdom.net/misc/noise-sample.mp3

And if someone would like to drop by north San Jose and plug in their LEAF here to eliminate my car (and its on-board charger and noise filter) as the issue, let me know!
Last edited by Christopher on Thu May 19, 2011 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
ElectricVehicle
Posts: 631
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:05 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jul 2011

Re: Electrical line noise while charging at 240V

Thu May 19, 2011 10:57 pm

Where did you record the noise?

Are there any smells or any any electrical wiring or devices getting unusually hot?

I'm wondering if there may be a bad / loose connection that is part of the circuit when you charge at 240V that isn't part of the circuit at 120V. High currents through a loose connection is almost like having an AM radio station across the whole dial!
Blue Nissan Leaf SL+QC rsrvd 4/21/10 order 11/24/10 delivered 5/29/11 (Apr May Jun Jul Jun May Jun) Polar Bear Hug 12/11/2010
1999 Green GM EV1, 7.2kW Solar Electric (PV); 2002 RAV4 EV; Carbon Neutral since 2010
It's time to LEAF! LEAF Oil behind!

Christopher
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 4:51 pm
Delivery Date: 04 May 2011
Leaf Number: 1407
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Contact: Website

Re: Electrical line noise while charging at 240V

Thu May 19, 2011 11:04 pm

ElectricVehicle wrote:Where did you record the noise?

Are there any smells or any any electrical wiring or devices getting unusually hot?

I'm wondering if there may be a bad / loose connection that is part of the circuit when you charge at 240V that isn't part of the circuit at 120V. High currents through a loose connection is almost like having an AM radio station across the whole dial!


That recording was made directly beneath the computer display speakers though, as I said, you can hear the same noise directly from the panel. (Speaking of which, I've got to go switch back to 120V now... bloody noise is giving me a headache!)

No smells, no hot wiring or devices. Note that this 30A 240V circuit is for my dryer and so it's been used at higher current for 18 years without trouble (or electrical noise). The LEAF's charger is a different beast, but lower current draw.

User avatar
ElectricVehicle
Posts: 631
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:05 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jul 2011

Re: Electrical line noise while charging at 240V

Thu May 19, 2011 11:16 pm

If it's easy for you to do, please also record at the panel and at the place where you hear it the loudest that isn't a speaker or audio device.
Blue Nissan Leaf SL+QC rsrvd 4/21/10 order 11/24/10 delivered 5/29/11 (Apr May Jun Jul Jun May Jun) Polar Bear Hug 12/11/2010
1999 Green GM EV1, 7.2kW Solar Electric (PV); 2002 RAV4 EV; Carbon Neutral since 2010
It's time to LEAF! LEAF Oil behind!

Christopher
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 4:51 pm
Delivery Date: 04 May 2011
Leaf Number: 1407
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Contact: Website

Re: Electrical line noise while charging at 240V

Thu May 19, 2011 11:31 pm

ElectricVehicle wrote:If it's easy for you to do, please also record at the panel and at the place where you hear it the loudest that isn't a speaker or audio device.


I'm certainly not going to subject myself to that irritating buzz any longer tonight! ;-)

There were no places (other than the subpanel itself) where you could hear the noise without a powered audio device. And it really is the same sound at the panel, just more subtle. As such, I wasn't able to get a decent recording with cheap mics.

User avatar
ElectricVehicle
Posts: 631
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:05 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jul 2011

Re: Electrical line noise while charging at 240V

Thu May 19, 2011 11:56 pm

Aluminum or copper wiring?

You've run the dryer recently and when it's running you didn't hear any noise from the panel? Or is the dryer (high heat, first few minutes after you start it so the heating elements are sure to be on) loud enough to mask the noise?

You can PM me your address if you like, and I can stop by for a quick look (listen) sometime.

We'll see what Phil thinks also when he responds...
Blue Nissan Leaf SL+QC rsrvd 4/21/10 order 11/24/10 delivered 5/29/11 (Apr May Jun Jul Jun May Jun) Polar Bear Hug 12/11/2010
1999 Green GM EV1, 7.2kW Solar Electric (PV); 2002 RAV4 EV; Carbon Neutral since 2010
It's time to LEAF! LEAF Oil behind!

User avatar
LEAFer
Posts: 2647
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 10:10 am
Delivery Date: 19 Jan 2011
Leaf Number: 000215
Location: Sacramento Area

Re: Electrical line noise while charging at 240V

Fri May 20, 2011 12:04 am

Try recording a GFCI receptacle with nothing plugged in while LEAF is 240V charging. How old is the GFCI (or the house) ?

I reported this issue to Nissan back in early February. They have been very cooperative and diligently working on it all the way back to Japan (Tsunami/earthquake & all). Some more info will be available within a couple of weeks. I can't say a lot more ... but do NOT charge a 2008 Tesla (not sure whether 2010 is affected due to PEM re-design) and a LEAF at the same time.

If it's not too inconvenient go back to 120V charging, and use the 240V only when needed.
2011 Silver SL+QC [Mfg: 11/2010] 36mo/15k LEASE
06Jun2013 Status [28.5 months][34,173 miles][11 bars]
Lost CapacityBar 6/6/13 @34,173 miles while in LEAF Battery Monitor: 83.41%, 71.4F (avg); cool overnight;

User avatar
GeekEV
Posts: 1825
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:11 pm
Delivery Date: 15 Feb 2011
Leaf Number: 0308
Location: NorCal, USA

Re: Electrical line noise while charging at 240V

Fri May 20, 2011 12:07 am

I don't think it's unavoidable - a good many people would be complaining if this happened to everyone.

I'm not really qualified to say more on this issue since it isn't happening to me and I don't want to misrepresent anything, but from what I do know, I believe Phil's earlier guess pointing the finger at the noise filter in the LEAF is on target. The only reason I'm saying anything at all is because you deserve to know that you're not alone and that the issue is being actively investigated by the approriate parties. If the other person who is having this issue (you know who you are) wants to chime in now that the cat is out of the bag, that has to be their choice, I won't out them. Their original decision was to keep quiet pending the results of the investigation - after all, there's no point in starting a panic like happened with the A/C issue (which quickly got out of hand here).

For now, just know you're not alone and that it's being looked into. I'm sure the cause will be figured out in time and taken care of appropriately. Stay tuned. In the mean time, perhaps a decent surge protector with line filtering at each of your offending devices will tame the noise?

EDIT: Looks like as I was typing this, the "other person" posted just before I did. Oh well, at least now you know. :D

2014 Chevy Spark EV 2LT
2013 Tesla Model S 60kWh[/url]
AV L2 EVSE + kWh meter
9.4kW Solar Array + enphase energy

User avatar
hill
Gold Member
Posts: 1865
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:05 pm
Delivery Date: 27 Mar 2011
Leaf Number: 0659
Location: Lake Forest, CA

Re: Electrical line noise while charging at 240V

Fri May 20, 2011 5:01 am

Christopher wrote:Okay, I was asked to move this discussion out of the modded EVSE thread, so here goes, from the top:

After receiving my modified L1 EVSE and the corresponding adapters for my 240V dryer outlet, I'm hearing significant electrical noise from various devices with speakers in my condo while charging at 240V. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Hey! . . . . you mean I'm not the only one? One of our 2 PV inverters buzzes when 240V charging starts. but it seems to go away after a few minutes. Very strange.

User avatar
TomT
Posts: 10565
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:09 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Mar 2011
Leaf Number: 000360
Location: Foothills of Granada Hills, CA
Contact: Website

Re: Electrical line noise while charging at 240V

Fri May 20, 2011 5:08 am

I'll just make one comment and let it go. Since the modded Panasonic EVSE - or any EVSE for that matter - simply closes a relay and lets the power flow to the vehicle, it's highly unlikely that it could play any roll in generating EFI. Such EFI problems would almost certainly have to lay elsewhere.
59,991 miles/12 bars/289 Gids/68.54 AHr/101% SOH/101.64% Hx 7May15 w/ new Lizard (barely made the warranty).
71,770 miles/12 bars/256 Gids/59.04 AHr/88% SOH/87.92% Hx 3Mar16 at lease return.

Now driving a 2016 Volt Premier. Model 3 reserved.

Return to “Problems / Troubleshooting”