Superbike supercharging?

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jonescg
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Superbike supercharging?

Post by jonescg » Sat, 19 Jul 2014, 03:51

Hi all,
Quick question for the electricians out there. Say I wanted to charge Voltron Evo from a three phase 32 A, 5-pin plug using a line-to-neutral for each phase. I would put 2 kW charger on L1/N and a second 2 kW charger on L2/N. I would use L3 and N for the tyre warmers, auxiliary battery charger etc. This shouldn't be a seriously unbalanced arrangement for a standard, 32 A three phase plug right?

Now, say I wanted to use a pair of 4 kW chargers. I'm now putting a 20 A load on L1/N, 20 A on L2 and N, and the same 4 or 5 amp load on L3/N. Still no problems? Or am I risking putting too much current through the neutral?

Not that an 8 kW charge is likely to happen in the near future, but Winton Raceway has stack of 32 A 3 phase sockets around. I'm thinking of building a break-out box with an RCD and a three phase CB just in case the socket doesn't have one accessible.

Cheers,
Chris
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Superbike supercharging?

Post by weber » Sat, 19 Jul 2014, 15:53

It's not an issue. The neutral wire has the same current carrying capacity as the actives so it can handle the worst possible imbalances.
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Superbike supercharging?

Post by jonescg » Sat, 19 Jul 2014, 18:54

Okay, that's what I had sort of assumed, but worth checking all the same. Now, should I install a 4 pole circuit breaker behind the 15 A sockets? Or is this overkill since the power supply is likely to already have one of these? Perhaps an RCD?
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Post by weber » Sat, 19 Jul 2014, 19:33

jonescg wrote: Okay, that's what I had sort of assumed, but worth checking all the same. Now, should I install a 4 pole circuit breaker behind the 15 A sockets? Or is this overkill since the power supply is likely to already have one of these? Perhaps an RCD?

Disclaimer: I'm not an electrician.
Certainly not 4 pole. Maybe 3 pole. But since your phase loads are independent you'd be better with 3 single-pole. And they could be 3 single-pole combination MCB/RCDs. And the single-phase GPOs could be 32A (HPM brand).
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Superbike supercharging?

Post by jonescg » Sun, 20 Jul 2014, 00:44

Well I found some single pole 32 amp combined MCB/RCD devices which were over $300 each!

Then I found this, which is probably what I'm after:
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/SINGLE-PHASE ... 1fb&_uhb=1
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Superbike supercharging?

Post by Gabz » Sun, 20 Jul 2014, 14:22

Where did you look ? Clipsal $20 each http://www.sparkydirect.com.au/c/236735 ... tions.html
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Superbike supercharging?

Post by Gabz » Sun, 20 Jul 2014, 14:25

I also recommend with an unbalanced load individual cb rcd
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Superbike supercharging?

Post by winners » Sun, 20 Jul 2014, 17:00

I am reading and checking the regs, initial thoughts are its not a problem but I am looking when regs were updated. Once over there was a practice of using a smaller nuetral conductor but that should have been changed as it wasn't a great practice, I dont know about Australia but I am reading your regs. Balanced loads reduce current flow in the nuetral conductor. Lets not forget that once your chargers have been operating and they move through cc the presented load will be reducing. I will be back soon. Mark

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Post by weber » Sun, 20 Jul 2014, 17:25

I probably should have written "three single phase modules" since the term "pole" is used ambiguously by many suppliers, to mean the width of the device in DIN units or modules (multiples of 17.5 mm) when really it should mean only the number of circuits that can be switched (pairs of contacts).

Yes, single module MCB/RCDs (also called RCBOs) can be quite expensive. But you don't need those. The cheaper two-module single-phase MCB/RCDs are fine for this application.
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Superbike supercharging?

Post by jonescg » Sun, 20 Jul 2014, 19:05

Cool. I like the 32 A socket idea too. It gives the option of taking full advantage of the power available. Although, in the event that one of the chargers has a problem and starts drawing 30 amps instead of 9, damage could ensue without tripping a breaker. I might go for 20 A breakers in the meantime. That would at least permit a pair of 4 kW chargers to be used.
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Superbike supercharging?

Post by jonescg » Thu, 24 Jul 2014, 01:36

Well I have finished the Superbike Supercharger!

Image

It's basically a 32 A, five pin, three phases plug which is split into three separate phase-to-neutral circuits. Each neutral and active goes from a busbar at the top through it's own 20 A MCB/RDC. The earth pins of the 15 A sockets are common to the main earth of the 4C+E flex cable.

Image
All the cables have been zip-tied to ensure they can't pull out easily. It's not IP68 or anything, but good enough for shed use.

Image

It's a tight fit, but pretty neat I think. Now I need to go testing :)
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Post by coulomb » Thu, 24 Jul 2014, 03:08

Nice job your electrician did there, Chris.

I hope that's 1.5 mm^2 cable to the three 15 A sockets. It looks a bit thin, but maybe it's just the contrast with the 32 A 3-phase cable.
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Post by jonescg » Thu, 24 Jul 2014, 06:12

I measured 2 mm^2 with my callipers, but it's probably only 1.5 mm^2. Which is what 15 A leads are rated for, and a brief 20 A surge won't trip or burn. If I was to get a pair of 4 kW chargers I would hard-wire them in with 4 mm2 cable. The 4C+E is 6 mm2.

I'm getting my sparky to put his test-n-tag seal of approval on them this week hopefully.
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Superbike supercharging?

Post by weber » Thu, 24 Jul 2014, 16:36

I don't get why you used 20 A MCB/RCDs and then only 15 A cable and sockets. The MCB/RCDs could be 16 A and provide better protection. A brief 20 A won't trip them either.
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Post by jonescg » Thu, 24 Jul 2014, 17:11

I will be upgrading the sockets later to 20 amp GPOs and putting it all into a better box. At $50 each, I didn't fancy buying three more.

http://www.sparkydirect.com.au/p/932440 ... 520we.html
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