What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

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What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

Post by sez » Wed, 26 Aug 2015, 16:38

Hi Forum folks!

We bought a Nissan Leaf in June 2012, and were told it was a condition of the purchase that we get an Origin/Charge Point EVSE.

This was the CT-500. Ugly but durable, commercial grade. With installation costs it was close to $3000 of wall unit.

It was over-priced partly because it was a cloud based unit that had had the GSM modem/wireless capability removed from it ("dumbed down") for the home market.

We had a tech from Charge Point out in 2013 to reflash it with new firmware after a fault rendered it non-operational as "the log files had filled up the storage". Sigh.

A couple of weeks ago it died, and after several frustrating phone calls to Charge Point and Origin - where the response was "out of warranty - talk to the hand - pay again for a replacement" here we are looking at our options.

Paying out another $2000 for another CT-500 is not an option I find very compelling. I saw E-Station but they don't look to be much of an improvement over the CT-500. Definitely the wall units cord storage hook is ugly compared to the CT-500. And the box is about the same.

Charge Point have told us that they plan to bring a new unit to Australia in Q1 2016:

Charge Point - Home

Its more attractive in appearance, has better functionality and has a cheaper price tag. The site is light on details but apparently there'll be a 30A unit - whereas the one pictured on the site is a lightweight unit at USD$499 - so that will be still hopefully less than $AUD1000.

That looks really good, but not available for 4-6 months. During which time we're using the Nissan 15A backpack charge cable that came with the car. Its inconvenient for cable management, and its a slow charge.

I have heard about OpenEVSE and various roll-your-own solutions but we need something that is plug-and-play, vendor supplied & supported. The hours we work we don't have time to engage with a hobbyist solution unfortunately!

What do you folks think? Any other options?

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What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

Post by alexeiw123 » Wed, 26 Aug 2015, 19:15

sez wrote: I have heard about OpenEVSE and various roll-your-own solutions but we need something that is plug-and-play, vendor supplied & supported. The hours we work we don't have time to engage with a hobbyist solution unfortunately!

What do you folks think? Any other options?


I got a siemens versicharge (30A 7.2kW) from amazon USA, posted to my door. It took about a week to get here. I'm not sure if a USA product meets the criteria for 'supported' but it is definitely plug and play on our 240V A-N compared to their 240V L1-L2 system. I only had to remove the USA style plug and lead (easy) and hard wired it to my 40A circuit.

I think it was about $700AUD (or thereabouts) although AUD-USD has gotten worse since then.

You can get the bosch ones and the GE wattstation the same way from amazon, I think they were a bit pricier though.

rechargingnsw.com.au supply some good products (like the keba Kecontact P20). It would be a fully supported australian product, I guess you have to decide how much you want to pay though.

The openEVSE does look like a great option but of course, you need time to set it all up and fiddle - which is why I went with the versicharge unit.

Last edited by alexeiw123 on Wed, 26 Aug 2015, 09:18, edited 1 time in total.

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What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

Post by Gabz » Wed, 26 Aug 2015, 23:04

Sarah

If you want to look at the Keba Kecontact stuff, in person les the AEVA brisbane president has some installed he is using on his LEAF, I can pm you his contact details.

We also have the aerovironment EVSE which Nissan use in the USA available.

In terms of warranty you always have Australian consumer law as it's a major failure, you might be able to talk to a fair trading or an ombudsman.
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What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

Post by reecho » Thu, 27 Aug 2015, 02:10

Plenty of options for chargers....

Is the CT-500 Permanently wired to the house?

It does depend of you want a good basic charger or bells and whistles such as delay timer and current control.

In any rate if you decide to get rid of the CT-500, please let me know what you want for it.... Image

Remember the on board charger on the Leaf maxes out at about 13.5 amps. A 16A charger will be fine for what you have.

Thinking ahead you may consider a 32 amp model as new models are likely to have bigger on board charging.

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What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

Post by lesmando » Fri, 28 Aug 2015, 16:37

Oh, that is very sad. I did the exact same thing. Moorooka Nissan said I had to have it, so I paid the $2750. My CT500 started inconsistently making a loud humming / buzzing noise which was annoying (especially at 1am), so I bought another charger and moved the old one here http://api.plugshare.com/view/location/56595

I bought the Keba as they support all the different electric cars (using cables). So If I change from my LEAF to a Tesla, then I buy a new cable, not a whole new box.

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What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

Post by sez » Fri, 28 Aug 2015, 18:26

Thanks folks! This is great feedback. All very much appreciated.

@gabz - my father-in-law is a retired lawyer and he's sifting thru the Origin contract doc regarding our warranty options. Here's hoping.

@reecho - its wired into the house and what ever we replace it with will likely be as well. If you want it - bear in mind that its currently not working, despite being apparently undamaged. Just postage is fine. I'll repost here when it finally comes free of the wall (which might be a while).

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What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

Post by reecho » Sat, 29 Aug 2015, 02:13

Thanks......Let me know when it gets decommissioned.

I would likely revive it using OpenEVSE parts as it has been done successfully elsewhere.

I would consider Consumer Law in the failure as the charger was expensive and should last longer than it has. Chargepoint may respond saying it was a power issue that caused the failure. If they can't repair it however the ball would be back in your court in pushing for a serviceable replacement.

The untethered chargers are fairly versatile as cables can be changed as cars are updated.

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What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

Post by sez » Sun, 30 Aug 2015, 23:19

Hi Les

I'm sure we've met at Brisbane AEVA meetings, so hi! Thanks for the information about your experiences.

Googling for "CT-500" seems to bring up lots of messages from folks who have had their unit go bad with buzzing noises etc. I'm sure if we did somehow get it repaired or replaced with another CT-500 it'd be just a ticking time bomb, so I'm getting less enthused by chasing Origin/ChargePoint.

The Keba unit is starting to look like a good option. The option to switch to different cables down the track seems like a winner. The RechargingNSW guys seem to be doing some great work, so I'm thinking we get the KC-P20-ES240010-000 unit listed here:

http://rechargingnsw.com.au/products/ke ... 20-series/

...and buy a J1772 connector from here:

http://rechargingnsw.com.au/products/cables/

I wonder if it would be possible for hubby & I to come out and take a look at your Keba unit at some point? Would love to find out how you have it set up, understand the replaceable cable, and see the unit first hand.

We might consider donating the CT-500 for use as a local charging station as you did - we can talk about that too perhaps. :-)

If you're up for meeting with us, let me know via email: sarah-at-smithsoft-dot-com-dot-au. Thanks!

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What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

Post by lesmando » Fri, 11 Sep 2015, 02:53

I forgot, you can nominate Chargepoint for a Shonky award.

http://classic.choice.com.au/shonkyaward.aspx

[ Edited Coulomb: .asp -> .aspx ]
Last edited by coulomb on Thu, 10 Sep 2015, 16:58, edited 1 time in total.

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What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

Post by Brotherblonde » Sat, 02 Apr 2016, 21:17

Gday all, I just purchased a 15amp portable charger from Clipper Creek. Just tested it and i went from 6 bars/79 km remaining to 11 bars 139km in 2 hours. Average of 30km/hr charging rate.

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What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

Post by lesmando » Sun, 03 Apr 2016, 00:39

Yes, you can charge up to 3.6kW with the LEAF's onboard charger (15AMP @ 240V). So you would have added approximately 7.2kWh in 2 hours to you battery. The brick that comes with the car restricts the charger to 2.4kW (10AMP @ 240V).

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Post by Brotherblonde » Sun, 03 Apr 2016, 01:59

Thanks Les.

I thought that was the case. It's nice to see the electrons going in faster than the Nissan brick allows.

Cheers,
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What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

Post by KiegKhan » Sat, 30 Jul 2016, 15:46

I am looking at the Aerovironment charger. These are 30A units that will provide 15A to the Leaf, but has that extra capacity if Nissan ever import the 6.6Kw version, or you get a newer vehicle that has a higher charger capability.
Only trouble I have with EVSE's from the US is whether they are certified for Australia and if there is anything I need to look out for. There does not seem to be much available that is certified, but I do see the Aerovironment units popping up around the place.
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What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

Post by lesmando » Sat, 30 Jul 2016, 23:41


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Post by KiegKhan » Sun, 31 Jul 2016, 00:13

Thanks lesmando, contrary to the information I received it looks like there is certification. Or do they get them certified here?
Anyway, that is the one I am planning to get. I also like the Kebo with separate cable as that gives easy options in the future.
Base EVSE that came with the vehicle is doing a great job at the moment in any case.
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What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

Post by lesmando » Mon, 01 Aug 2016, 01:49

They have UL and CE certifications, but to sell in Australia, you must submit them for testing to get the RCM. This adds an expense, so the price here will be higher than purchasing directly from the U.S.A.

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What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

Post by jeffthewalker » Sat, 07 Jan 2017, 19:11

I am looking to ease the burden on my off-grid solar/battery system. I will be installing a 120V pure sine wave inverter. The reduced voltage will enable me to draw 720W from my system (120V X 6A). Further down the line I will design/build an EVSE that will increase the amperage draw if the system has enough "excess" solar.

My latest question is whether the EVSE that I got with my LEAF will operate on 120V. The label specifically says 240V.
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What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

Post by reecho » Sun, 08 Jan 2017, 05:12

No Jeff they wont....

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Post by jeffthewalker » Sun, 08 Jan 2017, 16:46

reecho wrote: No Jeff they wont....

Thanks Reecho. I know that my 15A JuiceBox can take a range of AC input, including 120V. This would allow me to draw just 1800W from my solar/battery system which is better than the 2400W from the supplied LEAF EVSE.

I suppose I should ask if the LEAF inbuilt charger, as supplied in Australia, will accept 120V.

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What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

Post by reecho » Tue, 10 Jan 2017, 02:29

jeffthewalker wrote:
reecho wrote: No Jeff they wont....

Thanks Reecho. I know that my 15A JuiceBox can take a range of AC input, including 120V. This would allow me to draw just 1800W from my solar/battery system which is better than the 2400W from the supplied LEAF EVSE.

I suppose I should ask if the LEAF inbuilt charger, as supplied in Australia, will accept 120V.


I think the Leaf will. But 120V at low current the on board charger does drop efficiency...

Maybe consider building an OpenEVSE which means fully adjustable current, real time clock and adjustable timer, and charge current control via WiFi and RAPI commands...

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What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

Post by jeffthewalker » Tue, 10 Jan 2017, 13:54

reecho wrote:
jeffthewalker wrote:
reecho wrote: No Jeff they wont....

Thanks Reecho. I know that my 15A JuiceBox can take a range of AC input, including 120V. This would allow me to draw just 1800W from my solar/battery system which is better than the 2400W from the supplied LEAF EVSE.

I suppose I should ask if the LEAF inbuilt charger, as supplied in Australia, will accept 120V.


I think the Leaf will. But 120V at low current the on board charger does drop efficiency...

Maybe consider building an OpenEVSE which means fully adjustable current, real time clock and adjustable timer, and charge current control via WiFi and RAPI commands...

Thanks Reecho for all the feedback.

The minimum power draw on the solar/storage system is the main barrier. I would like to only draw "excess" solar which currently is 2,000W when the sky is clear and between 8am and 2pm. Time is not a problem as I can allow days for a full charge.

I have a 10A 240V EVSE (LEAF supplied) and a 15A 120/240V EVSE JuiceBox. These draw 2200W and 3300W respectively and using the 10A requires me to manually turn off the charging when the drain on the batteries is too much.

By providing 120V (using a different inverter) and the 15A EVSE I can draw a tollerable 1800W.

But only during peak solar. I still have to be manually "available" to shut down charging when the clouds come over.

My initial solution was to build an EVSE with variable current control from 0 to 2200W (usable limit of 3000W inverter) and control the draw by reading and following the excess solar (battery voltage). Build from scratch, use an OpenEVSE module or an ev-power kit. Ev-power is not recommended for reliability and is lacking basic safety functionality. OpenEVSE is ok with the only issue being affordability.

Then the minimum current for J1772 of 6A made me do a major rethink.

My current thinking is to use the OpenEVSE module and control it with RAPI commands from my home developed, PIC based controller.

This solution will allow me to plug in on return to the farm, switch on charging and the combined unit will start charging with excess solar and "follow" the "excess" by monitoring the battery voltage with each current draw change. The charging will continue (maybe for days on and off) until full (or 80%).

My 120V inverter will be here in a week or two.
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What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

Post by coulomb » Tue, 10 Jan 2017, 15:08

jeffthewalker wrote: I suppose I should ask if the LEAF inbuilt charger, as supplied in Australia, will accept 120V.
The LEAF GPO charger is reasonably user friendly to open up and carefully poke inside. From memory, it has a power supply module, which could presumably be replaced with a wide voltage capable version for a few tens of dollars. They should be available from the usual big four electronics suppliers (RS-Online, element14, Mouser, Digi-Key). I've listed them in order of cheapest to most expensive shipping, a consideration when buying small quantities of parts like this.

You may need to get help from someone familiar with mains work; you need to be safe, and ensure that the final product is also safe. An EVSE is essentially a switch (relay) and some electronics to turn on and off that switch, so it's not complex in there.

It is possible that the Holden Volt EVSE (if still available now that the Volt has been cancelled) might work out of the box at 120 V. (I could not confirm or deny this with a quick search.) But even though it's the cheapest of the GPO leaded EVSEs, it's still expensive compared even to a 120 V inverter, so I'd consider the LEAF modification first.

[ Edit: added "carefully". Safety first. ]
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What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

Post by jeffthewalker » Tue, 10 Jan 2017, 16:22

coulomb wrote:You may need to get help from someone familiar with mains work; you need to be safe, and ensure that the final product is also safe. An EVSE is essentially a switch (relay) and some electronics to turn on and off that switch, so it's not complex in there.

[ Edit: added "carefully". Safety first. ]

I won't venture inside the LEAF supplied EVSE as it is essential to my ability to get around Image. I have researched all that an EVSE does and (with a lot of learning on the job) I could build one from scratch. I probably won't go that route.

I am familiar and confident working with high(er) voltages having serviced electronic equipment for 50 years (small toys to ship's radar) but I am not qualified.

Thanks for the support.
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What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

Post by reecho » Fri, 13 Jan 2017, 03:40

Inside the earlier version of the Nissan/MMAU EVSE..

Note the transformer. It may be able to be swapped easily for a multivolt version...??

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What EVSE to replace dead Origin/ChargePoint?

Post by Adverse Effects » Fri, 13 Jan 2017, 05:10

output 19.6VDC that seems strangely a very specific and odd voltage

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