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Ingineer
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Re: A peek at the Leaf's Charger

Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:43 am

N952JL wrote:Phil, This is important to me as it may be the deciding point between keeping my 2012 or trading in for a newer one once 6.6kw charges are ether standard or optional. This charger mod of yours, will you be offering that to us like the LeafSCAN and fan mod?
We are looking at offering the 6.7kW upgrade as a kit. Installation is simple, and anyone competent with mechanical assembly can install it with a few hand tools in under an hour. It does not require running wires in difficult places, everything is right there under the hood, nothing under the car or in the back.

It's also designed such that in the unlikely event something goes wrong with it, that the original charging system is unaffected. Reliability was my top concern after safety. Unfortunately because I am using the best parts available to meet these goals, it's not cheap.

There is also a liability issue, so anyone purchasing such a kit will have to sign their life away. 400 volts will kill you dead! (And hurt the while time you are dying!)

The upgrade is designed to be very reliable and safe, and to respect all limits and safeties in the Leaf's existing design, but it's still a modification. Nissan could give you a raft of flak if you try to make a warranty claim even though from a technical and engineering standpoint they wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Of course it can be easily removed without much effort. Sadly, With the way Nissan is treating people now, it doesn't appear that you'd get any support from them in any event.

My mission is to support Electric Mobility any way I can. I'll keep doing so as long as I'm able, and as time permits I'll keep on developing new things for our cars.

Right now though, my focus is getting LEAFSCAN™ in everyone's hands ASAP. Until it's on it's way, other projects are in a holding pattern. Also, the 6.7kW upgrade depends on LEAFSCAN™ in order to adjust the output, so you'd have less utility without it.

-Phil
Last edited by Ingineer on Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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FairwoodRed
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Re: A peek at the Leaf's Charger

Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:53 am

Phil,

Thanks for the update! This is more info than I expected, and sooner too. I can't wait to see more details when you are ready to release them.

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Ingineer
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Re: A peek at the Leaf's Charger

Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:00 am

N952JL wrote:Are you saying the charger is only 61% (27.5a in 16.75a out where e=out/in)
You are confusing Amps for total power. Amps times Volts = Watts* (real power), so if the charger (as my add-on does) puts out 3.4kW at 380 volts (average) that's about 9 amps into the battery, and around 15 amps from 240v AC (add some for conversion loss).

Keep in mind a typical average power draw from the Leaf's pack while driving is at least 10kW, so if charging at 6.7kW is bad, then driving your Leaf is really bad! I don't notice any additional temp delta (rise) from using the 6.7kW rate over the original, it's very slight.

(* Actually VA, Watts would be correctly calculating by factoring in Power factor losses, but since it's close to unity it doesn't matter much. That is another discussion though.)

-Phil
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Ingineer
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Re: A peek at the Leaf's Charger

Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:07 am

edatoakrun wrote:
="Ingineer"

...There is almost no noticeable difference in pack temperature when I charge at 6.7 vs 3.3, but I can adjust the charge rate through LEAFSCAN™ if I need to reduce it for some reason, such as limited current available.

-Phil
Have you any estimates of how much battery heating occurs at the ~3.3 charge rate?
With either 3.3 or 6.7kW, I don't usually see over about 5 degrees temp rise, but there are a lot of factors. Simply driving the Leaf can easily add 10 degrees.

-Phil
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TimeHorse
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Re: A peek at the Leaf's Charger

Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:52 am

Ingineer wrote:We are looking at offering the 6.7kW upgrade as a kit. Installation is simple, and anyone competent with mechanical assembly can install it with a few hand tools in under an hour. It does not require running wires in difficult places, everything is right there under the hood, nothing under the car or in the back.
Personally at this point I'm pro-LEAFSCAN even if it wasn't required for 6.6kW. But this strikes me interesting. I know you got an NDA for CHAdeMO (and I haven't seen much traffic in the reverse-engineering CHAdeMO thread) so I take it what you did was to tap the J1772 port as it comes in, feed half the load to the top-charger and that top-charger then outputs DC onto the CHAdeMO/L3 bus? If so, I'd assume then that this mod is SL only, not SV. Cool if that's how you did it and as the hood has some space to spare (we're looking at adding one of those retractable NEMA-5 plugs to under the hood between the CHAdeMO and J1772 so that you don't have to get out your EVSE all the time: just stretch the cord out and plug in at any of 12,000,000 NEMA-5 outlets. Then just yank the cord to have it auto-retract. The big issue is the best we could find was 14 Gauge cord (IIRC) for the auto-retracting extension cords so you'd have to unwind the whole thing to avoid it overheating but I'm sure some would find even that more useful than dragging out their EVSE Upgrade. :)

Either way, though, if the solution is as I suggest then adding a 6.7kW charger up top to supplement the 3.7kW down below would also be possible though a 16.7kW charger up top may be right out due to size, weight and expense. But theoretically if you could fit it, didn't mind the extra weight and had an infinite budget sounds like you could do it.
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Ingineer
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Re: A peek at the Leaf's Charger

Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:07 pm

TimeHorse wrote:Personally at this point I'm pro-LEAFSCAN even if it wasn't required for 6.6kW. But this strikes me interesting. I know you got an NDA for CHAdeMO (and I haven't seen much traffic in the reverse-engineering CHAdeMO thread) so I take it what you did was to tap the J1772 port as it comes in, feed half the load to the top-charger and that top-charger then outputs DC onto the CHAdeMO/L3 bus? If so, I'd assume then that this mod is SL only, not SV. Cool if that's how you did it and as the hood has some space to spare (we're looking at adding one of those retractable NEMA-5 plugs to under the hood between the CHAdeMO and J1772 so that you don't have to get out your EVSE all the time: just stretch the cord out and plug in at any of 12,000,000 NEMA-5 outlets. Then just yank the cord to have it auto-retract. The big issue is the best we could find was 14 Gauge cord (IIRC) for the auto-retracting extension cords so you'd have to unwind the whole thing to avoid it overheating but I'm sure some would find even that more useful than dragging out their EVSE Upgrade. :)

Either way, though, if the solution is as I suggest then adding a 6.7kW charger up top to supplement the 3.7kW down below would also be possible though a 16.7kW charger up top may be right out due to size, weight and expense. But theoretically if you could fit it, didn't mind the extra weight and had an infinite budget sounds like you could do it.
My system will work on an SV quite fine, it doesn't depend on having the CHAdeMO port. It's also definitely possible to go beyond 6.7kW, but it would require a J1772 Inlet upgrade, and besides, there are very few places you could use such an arrangement at full power, so it may be a large outlay of $ for little return. A 10kW upgrade would likely cost $8k+, so in my opinion you'd probably be better off with an external QC solution. (Provided you have an SL)

The max that would fit without major work would be 10kW. I doubt you could do much over that, and besides, you are looking at 80 amps in. (10kW needs about 50 amps)

6.7kW is a good compromise, as it's still pretty fast for most uses and it only needs a 32A EVSE.

-Phil
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Re: A peek at the Leaf's Charger

Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:11 pm

Ingineer wrote:6.7kW is a good compromise, as it's still pretty fast for most uses and it only needs a 32A EVSE.
And pretty much no public EVSE can push out more than 6.7kW, not Coulomb, Blink, Wattstation, EvrGreen 160 or 320, OpConnect or Sema as far as I know. Only the ClipperCreek CS-100, adapted from the original Tesla Roadster box, can do the trick. Fortunately I have one. Yes, I have an SL but CHAdeMO in Washington, D.C. consists of about 4 Mitsubishi Motors dealerships with the unit in the showroom and only granting access to iMiEVs. Yes, it's that bad! :)
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TEG
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Re: A peek at the Leaf's Charger

Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:45 pm

Ingineer wrote: It's also designed such that in the unlikely event something goes wrong with it, that the original charging system is unaffected.
Would there be a way to charge only from your new charger, and temporarily disable the existing on-board?

I asked because:
#1: You say yours is more efficient, so I would prefer to use it when using the 16A EVSEupgrade box.
#2: My on board charger is one of the early/noisy ones that bothers/buzzes some 240V equipment (like my solar inverter), so it would be nice to use a cleaner charger.
Last edited by TEG on Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

electronit
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Re: A peek at the Leaf's Charger

Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:53 am

TimeHorse wrote:And pretty much no public EVSE can push out more than 6.7kW
In Europe that's different, with 3-phase (380V) public charging points appearing (using a Type 2 / "Mennekes" socket). We'd need 2 extra of these Brusa NLG5 chargers and a Type2 socket on the car to profit from that, for a total of 11kW at 16A :-) Ingineer; no plans for a European kit by any chance ? ;-)

(Alternatively, you could install a Brusa NLG6 directly as a replacement of the onboard charger ;-), but that's definitely out-of-budget for now )
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TimeHorse
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Re: A peek at the Leaf's Charger

Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:45 am

electronit wrote:
TimeHorse wrote:And pretty much no public EVSE can push out more than 6.7kW
In Europe that's different, with 3-phase (380V) public charging points appearing (using a Type 2 / "Mennekes" socket). We'd need 2 extra of these Brusa NLG5 chargers and a Type2 socket on the car to profit from that, for a total of 11kW at 16A :-) Ingineer; no plans for a European kit by any chance ? ;-)

(Alternatively, you could install a Brusa NLG6 directly as a replacement of the onboard charger ;-), but that's definitely out-of-budget for now )
Well yes, I did mean in the US. In the US it's rare that anyone has 3-phase, even businesses. Most US businesses looking at CHAdeMO or generic DC Fast Charging (read Tesla or SAE) are facing the vexing issue that not only does that mean the box, not only does that mean running the line, not only does that mean digging up pavement, not only does that mean open slots in your circuit panel it generally means a Transformer upgrade from the power company! As most know, 2-phase is very common which is why upgrading to 240VAC is so ubiquitous for things like Dryers and RVs and US-sold EVSEs. Just tap two hots on a circuit box at alternate phases and bamn, you've got NEMA 14, NEMA 6, NEMA 10, or whatever US 240VAC standard. And as far as residential usage, because of the logistics even in a house like mine with 400A service to the meter (200A + 125A box currently via dual meter EV ToU plan in use) that's still only 2-phase power and there's no way that's ever gonna be 3-phase and thus no way I'm ever gonna have a home DC Fast Charger.

Oh, would that we did have ubiquitous 3-phase. But wasn't someone saying they hated all the non-charger related talk? Heavens forbid we don't go back there and get flamed again and what I'm curious about is how Ingineer did it: how do you push another 3.3kW into the battery pack from the front of the car? Use the existing drive lines via the regenerative breaking? Is that why the cautionary about not going over 10kW because that's the max those lines take in the forward (non-regenerative) direction? If so, that's bloody clever! Bravo!
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