Belskinator
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Simple question with complex answers on level 2 charging

Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:42 pm

I have a 2016 Nissan Leaf S. My simple question is - Is there a level 2 charger that works on a regular 110 outlet. I've seen advertisements that offer 3x faster charging than the stock charger the Leaf comes with???

I am not an electrician. Any talk of blah blah kv6.0 -something-something, does not help. In simplest terms, I have a standard household plug in my garage I use now, with the charging cable that came with the Leaf. I just want the car to charge faster without having to install another plug/breaker.
Thanks!

LeftieBiker
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Re: Simple question with complex answers on level 2 charging

Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:09 pm

Simply put, a 120 volt outlet does not provide enough power for L-2 charging. If it is a 120 volt, 20 amp outlet (most are 15 amps) then the car can charge about 50% faster with the right charging able. For level 2 charging, you need at least 208 volts.
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GRA
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Re: Simple question with complex answers on level 2 charging

Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:28 pm

Belskinator wrote:I have a 2016 Nissan Leaf S. My simple question is - Is there a level 2 charger that works on a regular 110 outlet. I've seen advertisements that offer 3x faster charging than the stock charger the Leaf comes with???

I am not an electrician. Any talk of blah blah kv6.0 -something-something, does not help. In simplest terms, I have a standard household plug in my garage I use now, with the charging cable that came with the Leaf. I just want the car to charge faster without having to install another plug/breaker.
Thanks!
No. By definition, Level 2 is 208 or 240 volts, while the standard household receptacle (electric dryers or ranges aside) is 120 volts aka Level 1. Three times faster charging refers to Level 2 at a higher amperage - Level 2 alone at the same amperage will double your charge rate.

Some technical info is necessary to explain it. Except in the kitchen and maybe the garage, the standard Level 1 (120 volts) dual receptacle is rated at 15 Amps, but charging an EV is considered continuous duty (3 hours or more at a given power), and you are only allowed to pull a maximum of 80% of 15 Amps, i.e. 12 Amps, for that. 120 Volts times 12 Amps = 1,440 Watts, or 1.44 kiloWatts (abbreviated kW); the Watt is the unit of power. If you have an EVSE that can operate at 240 Volts at the same 12 amps, then its maximum power is 240 Volts x 12 Amps = 2,880 watts (or 2.88kW). Note that I'm ignoring charging inefficiency and overhead that applies regardless of what charging power you have, which will slightly reduce the power your battery actually receives in all the above cases.

Kitchen and garage dual receptacles may instead be rated (and protected) for 20 Amps, but for charging (remember, continuous duty) only 20 Amps x .8 = 16 Amps is allowed. Most portable EVSEs, the correct name for the 'charging cable' that came with the car, are limited to Level 1 (remember, that's 120 volts) charging at 12 amps, which is the maximum that can be plugged into any dual receptacle without knowing what it's rated for, and prevents the typical homeowner from blowing a fuse/popping a breaker and/or starting a fire. More recent LEAFs apparently come with a dual 120V and 240V @ 12 Amp EVSE, but you still need a 240V circuit to supply it for the higher voltage. You can't get 240 volts out of a standard 120 Volt household receptacle, the one in every wall.

Summing up, the standard household receptacle (not plug, that's on the end of the cord) in your garage will not safely allow you to charge any faster than 120 volts at 12 Amps. There are some EVSEs that may allow you to charge at 120 Volts at 16 Amps on a 20 amp circuit, but unless you're certain that your garage receptacle is a 20 amp type on a 20 Amp circuit, I wouldn't risk it - the 20 Amp EVSE should have a different plug than standard in any case.

AFAIK, the portable EVSE that comes with the LEAF is limited to 12 Amps for Level 1 charging, so if you want to charge faster, you'll have to have a 240 Volt circuit installed to your garage and buy a 240 Volt EVSE*, or you can use the dryer circuit if that's in the garage and the dryer's electrically heated instead of using natural gas. the latter requires that you switch plugs every time you want to dry or charge, unless you install another receptacle on the same circuit, with a switch that only allows one receptacle to be used at a time.

Hope that helps.

*IIRR, more recent LEAFs come with a dual 120/240V portable EVSE.
Last edited by GRA on Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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SageBrush
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Re: Simple question with complex answers on level 2 charging

Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:41 pm

The simplest answer is that you are stuck with the charging speeds you currently have if you are not willing to upgrade the circuit.
The adverts you read presume a better circuit.
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Nubo
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Re: Simple question with complex answers on level 2 charging

Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:23 pm

Belskinator wrote:I have a 2016 Nissan Leaf S. My simple question is - Is there a level 2 charger that works on a regular 110 outlet. I've seen advertisements that offer 3x faster charging than the stock charger the Leaf comes with???

I am not an electrician. Any talk of blah blah kv6.0 -something-something, does not help. In simplest terms, I have a standard household plug in my garage I use now, with the charging cable that came with the Leaf. I just want the car to charge faster without having to install another plug/breaker.
Thanks!
Level 2, by definition, uses 208-240V.
I noticed you're still working with polymers.

LeftieBiker
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Re: Simple question with complex answers on level 2 charging

Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:41 pm

SageBrush wrote:The simplest answer is that you are stuck with the charging speeds you currently have if you are not willing to upgrade the circuit.
The adverts you read presume a better circuit.
This is essentially true, with one exception: if you have, say, an outdoor-rated outlet that is alone on its circuit (this doesn't usually happen), an electrician can change the way that it is wired to provide 240 volts at the same amperage, doubling the available power for charging. There would then be no white (neutral) wire, which isn't needed for an EVSE anyway. This would require a hardwired connection, though, and a charging station rated for only 12 amps. It's only worth pursuing if a physical reason exists that prevents replacement of the existing cable with 240 volt cable.
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Re: Simple question with complex answers on level 2 charging

Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:31 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:
SageBrush wrote: replacement of the existing cable with 240 volt cable.
Why is that ? I thought 240v is just 120v * 2. Or did you mean a 4 wire run ?
------------
OP already excluded a change in breakers so I think he is asking if more power can be drawn from his current circuit by buying a higher draw EVSE. To you and me that translates into "can I increase my amperage (safely) with a higher rated EVSE" and the answer is likely no. It is possible that his EVSE is set to pull 12 Amps and the circuit and breakers are spec'd for 16 Amps continuous but that would require a check that OP is not the right person to do, and it would require understanding and compliance with use of the outlet as a dedicated circuit.

So while not entirely technically accurate, I'll leave my earlier statement as written.
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Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
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LeftieBiker
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Re: Simple question with complex answers on level 2 charging

Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:13 pm

LeftieBiker wrote:

SageBrush wrote:
replacement of the existing cable with 240 volt cable.


Why is that ? I thought 240v is just 120v * 2. Or did you mean a 4 wire run ?
240 volt cable has three wires (two Hots, one neutral) plus the bare ground wire. Devices that don't use Neutral are uncommon enough that you generally either cap the Neutral in a hardwired EVSE installation, or install a 4 wire outlet that can be used by other devices, with the Neutral unused by the EVSE plug. That way the whole cable doesn't have to be replaced if the EVSE is replaced with something that needs a Neutral. If you know that only an EVSE will ever occupy that circuit, then you can use two wire (plus ground) cable of the correct gauge.
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webeleafowners
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Re: Simple question with complex answers on level 2 charging

Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:27 am

The homes in our town house community have a soffit plug on a switch 120 volts. On a dedicated 15 amp breaker. They are used for Christmas lights. These can be converted to a 240 bolt plug by an electrician without running a new line. The breaker needs to be changed to a double pole in the service panel and the switch needs to be bypassed.

Then you need to buy a 240 volt 12 amp EVSE like the clipoer creek LCS 15 The electrician and breaker will cost you around 150 bucks and the clipper creek around 379.

This will double your existing charge rate plus a little bit due to efficiencies.
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davewill
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Re: Simple question with complex answers on level 2 charging

Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:41 am

Belskinator wrote:... I've seen advertisements that offer 3x faster charging than the stock charger the Leaf comes with???
...
Thanks!
Note: The cord that sits between the wall and the car is not technically a charger. The actual charger is inside the car. The cord delivers the same AC power that comes out of the wall, the charger inside the car converts the power to DC and the right voltage to charge the battery. It gets too confusing to refer to both of them as "chargers" so we call the cord an "EVSE".

What you've seen advertised are either mods to the standard EVSE to plug into a 240v (L2) outlet, or inexpensive 240v EVSEs. Because of overhead in the charging system in the car, a 16a 240v circuit can charge the battery at nearly 3 times the rate that a 15a 120v circuit can and that's what they're referencing.

There's no magic, your standard EVSE that comes with the car already gets the maximum power available from a standard 120v plug and if you want to do better, you have upgrade the circuit.
Last edited by davewill on Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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