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abasile
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Re: Expanding EV charging in Yosemite

Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:09 pm

GRA wrote:The question is, is it better to risk losing someone's personal EVSE [for L1 charging] without disabling the charging station, or provide permanent EVSEs with J1772 connectors that will be used more often, but which can be put out of service with a single act of vandalism? The long-term answer is obviously wireless charging via embedded coils.

Particularly at places like Tuolumne Meadows, I think the convenience and abuse-prevention benefits of J-1772 connectors outweigh the risk of vandalism. And it is not obvious to me that inductive charging is the answer here, as I would imagine the losses could be fairly high if this approach is used for slow L1 charging. (It's already slow enough without adding more resistance.)

GRA wrote:AOTBE I'd opt to use simple, reliable Clipper Creek EVSEs everywhere, and use the honor system. But, while that will work well among early adopters, if PEVs move from the early adopters to the mainstream the % of people who will 'do the right thing' voluntarily is going to drop precipitously. I'm still pondering what to recommend.

I think you are right on this point. Some might be surprised to find that in campgrounds using the honor system, a non-trivial fraction of campers try to slide by without paying. I've witnessed this. As a result, rangers are forced to waste their time checking for compliance.

Given that there's no wifi and the cellular data coverage is spotty, I suppose a PoS system might have to work over traditional phone lines if possible. Another option could be to activate EVSEs using a machine that reads coins and bills, like a vending machine, but that seems expensive and clunky.

Maybe the best that could be done would be to require payment by envelope and have park staff check any parked vehicles vs. the envelopes from time to time, with the threat of real parking tickets for those who choose not to pay. While I'd prefer not to add another responsibility for park employees (or volunteers), this is actually in concept no different from maintaining other park amenities that visitors depend on.
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Re: Expanding EV charging in Yosemite

Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:38 pm

abasile wrote:
GRA wrote:The question is, is it better to risk losing someone's personal EVSE [for L1 charging] without disabling the charging station, or provide permanent EVSEs with J1772 connectors that will be used more often, but which can be put out of service with a single act of vandalism? The long-term answer is obviously wireless charging via embedded coils.

Particularly at places like Tuolumne Meadows, I think the convenience and abuse-prevention benefits of J-1772 connectors outweigh the risk of vandalism. And it is not obvious to me that inductive charging is the answer here, as I would imagine the losses could be fairly high if this approach is used for slow L1 charging. (It's already slow enough without adding more resistance.)

I don't see wireless used for L1 for the reason you state; my assumption is that it will always be L2. The amount of work initially required to lay the coils would make it silly to skimp on the wiring/service and only do L1 IMO. However, that's for the future, by which time I expect there will be QCs in reasonably plentiful numbers in the gateway communities and BEVs will have increased their range even further, making the need for overnight L1 charging much less necessary. A couple of hours of L2 opportunity charging if needed would be more than enough.

abasile wrote:
GRA wrote:AOTBE I'd opt to use simple, reliable Clipper Creek EVSEs everywhere, and use the honor system. But, while that will work well among early adopters, if PEVs move from the early adopters to the mainstream the % of people who will 'do the right thing' voluntarily is going to drop precipitously. I'm still pondering what to recommend.

I think you are right on this point. Some might be surprised to find that in campgrounds using the honor system, a non-trivial fraction of campers try to slide by without paying. I've witnessed this. As a result, rangers are forced to waste their time checking for compliance.

Given that there's no wifi and the cellular data coverage is spotty, I suppose a PoS system might have to work over traditional phone lines if possible. Another option could be to activate EVSEs using a machine that reads coins and bills, like a vending machine, but that seems expensive and clunky.

Maybe the best that could be done would be to require payment by envelope and have park staff check any parked vehicles vs. the envelopes from time to time, with the threat of real parking tickets for those who choose not to pay. While I'd prefer not to add another responsibility for park employees (or volunteers), this is actually in concept no different from maintaining other park amenities that visitors depend on.

I'm definitely leaning towards recommending envelopes/hang tags (the latter purchased at the store or Lodge reception during open hours) for L1, even though I'd prefer not to involve park staff in enforcement of these. That's the main beauty of PoS L2 - it's self-regulating. Assuming they agree to install something, I expect that decision will be made much further up the NPS food chain, as it will be the campground/patrol rangers who have to enforce it and whose time will need to be reimbursed.

One thing I'm planning to recommend is that if it's cost-effective to do so, EVSEs, especially L2s, be installed so that they can easily be transferred to other locations (Badger Pass comes to mind), as there's no reason to leave them sitting anywhere along the Tioga Rd. for the 6 months or so it's inaccessible each year. Moving receptacles wouldn't be worth the trouble.

BTW, when you say you're in favor of option #3, would you rather have the L2s be 2 single 32A EVSEs, or 4 16A/32A shared ones? IOW, which is more important to you: a guaranteed 32A L2 EVSE but a max. of only two available; or would you rather have double the chance of finding a free J1772 with at least 16A, or 32A if no one else is connected to the other EVSE on the circuit?
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Re: Expanding EV charging in Yosemite

Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:37 pm

GRA wrote:I don't see wireless used for L1 for the reason you state; my assumption is that it will always be L2. The amount of work initially required to lay the coils would make it silly to skimp on the wiring/service and only do L1 IMO. However, that's for the future, by which time I expect there will be QCs in reasonably plentiful numbers in the gateway communities and BEVs will have increased their range even further, making the need for overnight L1 charging much less necessary. A couple of hours of L2 opportunity charging if needed would be more than enough.

Personally, if given the choice between leaving my car plugged into L1 for a day or two near my campsite vs. a 30-60 minute QC stop outside the park, I'd most likely prefer the L1. The great thing about destination charging is that you don't have to wait around for it, assuming you're staying at your destination for a while. (I'm not opposed to waiting, and can generally occupy the time well, but it's not necessarily anyone's first choice.) It also doesn't hurt that L1/L2 is usually cheaper than QC. Even if there's a bit of hassle to shuttle between the campground and a nearby charging location, it's time spent in a mountain paradise. :D

GRA wrote:One thing I'm planning to recommend is that if it's cost-effective to do so, EVSEs, especially L2s, be installed so that they can easily be transferred to other locations (Badger Pass comes to mind), as there's no reason to leave them sitting anywhere along the Tioga Rd. for the 6 months or so it's inaccessible each year. Moving receptacles wouldn't be worth the trouble.

Even if they end up not wanting to move the EVSEs around, this is a good idea, as it'd also make it easier to swap out EVSEs in the event of a fault or damage.

GRA wrote:BTW, when you say you're in favor of option #3, would you rather have the L2s be 2 single 32A EVSEs, or 4 16A/32A shared ones? IOW, which is more important to you: a guaranteed 32A L2 EVSE but a max. of only two available; or would you rather have double the chance of finding a free J1772 with at least 16A, or 32A if no one else is connected to the other EVSE on the circuit?

Having four 16A/32A shared EVSEs would be preferable to two 32A EVSEs, I think. There'd be nothing to lose, as two cars could still charge at 32A each. If there are four cars, then everyone gets something, and if a given car finishes charging, then the vehicle it's paired with gets the full 32A. I don't think people are going to want to wait in line to charge and shuffle cars around so that everyone can get their 32A.

In general, I think that adaptive charging is a great way to serve large numbers of EVs with a fixed amount of total power available. There's a project underway at Caltech to demonstrate this. They've got something like 50 EVSEs in one parking garage and can accommodate a range of EVs, including faster-charging Teslas. See https://api.plugshare.com/view/location/82444 and https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads ... -ca.58038/ What you're putting forth isn't quite that flexible, but it's in the right direction. It may some time to fine tune this concept.
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Re: Expanding EV charging in Yosemite

Sat Oct 01, 2016 12:22 pm

abasile wrote:
GRA wrote:I don't see wireless used for L1 for the reason you state; my assumption is that it will always be L2. The amount of work initially required to lay the coils would make it silly to skimp on the wiring/service and only do L1 IMO. However, that's for the future, by which time I expect there will be QCs in reasonably plentiful numbers in the gateway communities and BEVs will have increased their range even further, making the need for overnight L1 charging much less necessary. A couple of hours of L2 opportunity charging if needed would be more than enough.

Personally, if given the choice between leaving my car plugged into L1 for a day or two near my campsite vs. a 30-60 minute QC stop outside the park, I'd most likely prefer the L1. The great thing about destination charging is that you don't have to wait around for it, assuming you're staying at your destination for a while. (I'm not opposed to waiting, and can generally occupy the time well, but it's not necessarily anyone's first choice.) It also doesn't hurt that L1/L2 is usually cheaper than QC. Even if there's a bit of hassle to shuttle between the campground and a nearby charging location, it's time spent in a mountain paradise. :D

I hear you, but expect that the NPS will continue to try and reduce infrastructure as much as possible, so I think widespread L1 is likely a temporary step. If they DO choose to retain it, all the better. I also expect that it will be some years yet before affordable BEVs can make T.M. with an adequate reserve without an enroute QC stop; e.g. for me coming from the Bay Area, it's 186 miles and 8,500+ of climb to T.M., so a QC stop in Oakdale or better yet Groveland (and Lee Vining coming the other way) is pretty much required in any case.

abasile wrote:
GRA wrote:BTW, when you say you're in favor of option #3, would you rather have the L2s be 2 single 32A EVSEs, or 4 16A/32A shared ones? IOW, which is more important to you: a guaranteed 32A L2 EVSE but a max. of only two available; or would you rather have double the chance of finding a free J1772 with at least 16A, or 32A if no one else is connected to the other EVSE on the circuit?

Having four 16A/32A shared EVSEs would be preferable to two 32A EVSEs, I think. There'd be nothing to lose, as two cars could still charge at 32A each. If there are four cars, then everyone gets something, and if a given car finishes charging, then the vehicle it's paired with gets the full 32A. I don't think people are going to want to wait in line to charge and shuffle cars around so that everyone can get their 32A.

In general, I think that adaptive charging is a great way to serve large numbers of EVs with a fixed amount of total power available. There's a project underway at Caltech to demonstrate this. They've got something like 50 EVSEs in one parking garage and can accommodate a range of EVs, including faster-charging Teslas. See https://api.plugshare.com/view/location/82444 and https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads ... -ca.58038/ What you're putting forth isn't quite that flexible, but it's in the right direction. It may some time to fine tune this concept.

The only problem at the moment is that I'm not aware of any company that makes shared EVSEs which also offer PoS payment; Clipper Creek offers the units but not the PoS equipment/network. Does anyone know of any other EVSE provider that offers shared EVSEs equipped with PoS payment? [Edit] ChargePoint seems to offer this, in their Dual Port Standard Power Share version of the CT4000 series: http://www.chargepoint.com/files/datash ... ct4000.pdf
Only 30A single (at least at 240V), but I'm not going to lose any sleep over 2A. They are far more expensive than Clipper Creeks, but offer all sorts of pricing options.

BTW, the following will undoubtedly put things on hold awhile, until the Superintendent's replacement is appointed and has time to settle in:
Yosemite official stepping down amid harassment allegations
http://www.latimes.com/local/california ... story.html

Woody Smeck, the superintendent of Sequoia/Kings Canyon (a former Deputy Superintendent of Yosemite), will be the acting superintendent for the next four months. As the proposal isn't finished the delay won't hurt, yet, but until he or someone else is confirmed as permanent, any major decisions will likely be on hold.
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Re: Expanding EV charging in Yosemite

Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:54 pm

GRA wrote:I hear you, but expect that the NPS will continue to try and reduce infrastructure as much as possible, so I think widespread L1 is likely a temporary step. If they DO choose to retain it, all the better. I also expect that it will be some years yet before affordable BEVs can make T.M. with an adequate reserve without an enroute QC stop; e.g. for me coming from the Bay Area, it's 186 miles and 8,500+ of climb to T.M., so a QC stop in Oakdale or better yet Groveland (and Lee Vining coming the other way) is pretty much required in any case.

Unfortunately, I agree that the NPS appears to have little or no institutional desire (or available funding) to improve electrical infrastructure.

Adding electrical hookups to many campsites would, in my opinion, make for generally better park experiences. Besides the obvious benefits for EVs, it would be preferable to have RVs and "campers" on the grid rather than running generators. There is nothing more jarring than the noise and fumes produced by generators during the day, and I'm not sure it'll be realistic to completely ban their use until most RVs/trailers come with large battery packs (which would still need to be charged). On the negative side, having electrical hookups would enable RV owners to run noisy air conditioners all day, though that would presumably be less of an issue at cool places like Tuolumne Meadows, and in any event I'd prefer air conditioners to generators.
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Re: Expanding EV charging in Yosemite

Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:31 pm

abasile wrote:
GRA wrote:I hear you, but expect that the NPS will continue to try and reduce infrastructure as much as possible, so I think widespread L1 is likely a temporary step. If they DO choose to retain it, all the better. I also expect that it will be some years yet before affordable BEVs can make T.M. with an adequate reserve without an enroute QC stop; e.g. for me coming from the Bay Area, it's 186 miles and 8,500+ of climb to T.M., so a QC stop in Oakdale or better yet Groveland (and Lee Vining coming the other way) is pretty much required in any case.

Unfortunately, I agree that the NPS appears to have little or no institutional desire (or available funding) to improve electrical infrastructure.

Adding electrical hookups to many campsites would, in my opinion, make for generally better park experiences. Besides the obvious benefits for EVs, it would be preferable to have RVs and "campers" on the grid rather than running generators. There is nothing more jarring than the noise and fumes produced by generators during the day, and I'm not sure it'll be realistic to completely ban their use until most RVs/trailers come with large battery packs (which would still need to be charged). On the negative side, having electrical hookups would enable RV owners to run noisy air conditioners all day, though that would presumably be less of an issue at cool places like Tuolumne Meadows, and in any event I'd prefer air conditioners to generators.

I'm rarely in campgrounds, more typically just off in the woods with my camp being any reasonably flat spot where I can put down my groundcloth, pad and bag, in the back of my car at a trailhead, or on a peak somewhere, but the times I've stayed in T.M. campground it was noticeably a lot more quiet at night than would be the case with more developed campgrounds, especially those in the Valley (Camp 4 can be a real zoo, and that's all climbers and backpackers - I shudder to think what the car campgrounds there are like). I attribute this mostly to the fact that T.M. is cool to cold at night, so the Yahoos who stay up until the wee hours drinking, doping and playing music loudly on their stereos tend to stay away, and the rangers are more likely to crack down on them swiftly if they don't.

From what I can recall from back when I could still hear them, most modern portable generators are near silent, at least the small Hondas and the like were. I can maybe see electrical hookups if camping in hot weather locations (e.g. Death Valley early or late season), but for me they really belong in RV parks, as most tent campers aren't trying to haul their entire homes around with them or duplicate their amenities.

So I'm all in favor of keeping power out of the campsites - nowadays with small PV modules and LED lanterns, there's really no need for generators. Course, I'm not an RV person, even though a lot of my off-grid customers were, and have a visceral loathing of many RV drivers when they're on the road, as IME at least the inexperienced ones who're renting seem to assume that because they have no direct vision to the rear, they must therefore be the only vehicles on the road, and are thus free to drive at 22 mph on a 45 mph road and ignore all the pullouts, as well as horns, flashed headlights and any other indications that they aren't the sole travelers on it. The 20-50 vehicles piled up behind them take a different view, and I've got to say that they're been more than a few times that I felt ambivalence about whether or not I'd rather be driving 007's Aston Martin - the forward firing machine guns would have come in handy as far as satisfying my rage at such inconsiderate behavior, and it makes road rage incidents explicable if not justifiable. OTOH, as the mother of one of my scouts was shot and killed in a road rage incident, I'm just as glad I'm not tooled up to do likewise when some RV bozo decides he's 'King of the road'. Shouting imprecations and using appropriate sign language when the opportunity to pass finally arrives can also be cathartic.
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Re: Expanding EV charging in Yosemite

Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:14 pm

GRA wrote:From what I can recall from back when I could still hear them, most modern portable generators are near silent, at least the small Hondas and the like were. I can maybe see electrical hookups if camping in hot weather locations (e.g. Death Valley early or late season), but for me they really belong in RV parks, as most tent campers aren't trying to haul their entire homes around with them or duplicate their amenities.

So I'm all in favor of keeping power out of the campsites - nowadays with small PV modules and LED lanterns, there's really no need for generators. Course, I'm not an RV person, even though a lot of my off-grid customers were, and have a visceral loathing of many RV drivers when they're on the road...

You may be right about modern generators, and the T. M. campground is certainly quieter than others we've stayed at. Still, on every visit, we've found that some neighbors invariably crank up their loud generators.

As one who prefers to travel light, I don't care much for RVs, either. Driving around a small house on wheels generally seems wasteful, slow, and inflexible. But plenty of nice people seem to like them, and they aren't going away anytime soon. So as long as the parks are going to allow RVs, I'd rather they do so in a manner that is less of an imposition on others, in other words, by providing electrical hookups in order to eliminate the perceived need for generators.

At the same time, enabling in-campground charging for BEVs and PHEVs is a direct way to reduce in-park ICE usage. While that may not be as noticeable of a benefit as getting rid of those old generators, it is consistent with the mission of the NPS, at least IMHO.

Anyway, I agree that my preference for electrical hookups in portions of more NPS campgrounds isn't likely to gain a great deal of traction, at least in the near term. So I'm grateful for the efforts to get charging installed near some campgrounds such as T. M.!
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Re: Expanding EV charging in Yosemite

Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:30 pm

abasile wrote:
GRA wrote: <snip>
So I'm all in favor of keeping power out of the campsites - nowadays with small PV modules and LED lanterns, there's really no need for generators. Course, I'm not an RV person, even though a lot of my off-grid customers were, and have a visceral loathing of many RV drivers when they're on the road...

You may be right about modern generators, and the T. M. campground is certainly quieter than others we've stayed at. Still, on every visit, we've found that some neighbors invariably crank up their loud generators.

As one who prefers to travel light, I don't care much for RVs, either. Driving around a small house on wheels generally seems wasteful, slow, and inflexible. But plenty of nice people seem to like them, and they aren't going away anytime soon. So as long as the parks are going to allow RVs, I'd rather they do so in a manner that is less of an imposition on others, in other words, by providing electrical hookups in order to eliminate the perceived need for generators.

At the same time, enabling in-campground charging for BEVs and PHEVs is a direct way to reduce in-park ICE usage. While that may not be as noticeable of a benefit as getting rid of those old generators, it is consistent with the mission of the NPS, at least IMHO.

Anyway, I agree that my preference for electrical hookups in portions of more NPS campgrounds isn't likely to gain a great deal of traction, at least in the near term. So I'm grateful for the efforts to get charging installed near some campgrounds such as T. M.!

It strikes me that the other option is to simply prohibit generator use in the parks altogether. There's generally a quiet time specified now, IIRR typically 10 p.m. - 6 a.m., so it would seem simpler (and a lot cheaper) to just expand that and say that generators are banned entirely, or else between such and such hours. The people who just have to have a generator to run their electric deep fat fryers (I'm serious - I've seen it) are free to camp in private RV parks outside the jurisdiction of the NPS! Anyway, enough of my ranting - the NPS ideology is clear, and except where they already exist due to more extensive development grandfathered in (typically at sites like Death Valley or Grand Canyon that were previously National Monuments), I know of no desire on the part of NPS to wire campsites.

As to EV charging at campgrounds, I think it more appropriate to offer it outside the campground sites in a central parking area (as is the case with the former T.M. gas station) rather than individually by site. It's less expensive, and I hope just enough less convenient compared to having charging at the campsite that people will be loathe to drive their cars any more than necessary. Even in national park campgrounds, people who are used to walking no more than a few steps to their car every day will hesitate before taking those extra steps, especially if a shuttle stop is closer. That's one reason why I want to see charging put in at Curry Village in the Valley, which is within walking distance of the Pines campgrounds but not immediately adjacent to them. If expansion is needed and power's available reasonably near by, some central parking space may be found near various campground entrances - there's one just outside the campground entrance in T.M., on the right side of the entrance road, and there's a meter and single 5-15R and 10-30Rs about 75 feet away from it.
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Re: Expanding EV charging in Yosemite

Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:30 pm

GRA wrote:It strikes me that the other option is to simply prohibit generator use in the parks altogether.

I wouldn't object to that! BTW, generators are already prohibited during "quiet hours", mainly at night. So the question is, would public opinion support such a move?

I truly am fine with EV charging that's within walking distance of the campground, rather than right at the campsites. That approach probably represents the best possible compromise given funding realities and sentiment within the NPS.
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Re: Expanding EV charging in Yosemite

Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:32 pm

My suggestion is for more low power L2 such as 12 to 16 amps. Yosemite should be a place to park for an extended period and ride the bus around. EVs will tend to remain plugged in all day so best to have more cords and less power each if that is the limitation. Best to have at a single location where there is extra parking close to a bus stop. Don't need EVs driving around all the areas that might have charging just to snag one or not. Or course if 4 cords can share 50 amp circuit with 10 to 40 amps available depending on use would also be great however a low tech (low maintenance) solution might be better.
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