Nissan Leaf - Charging.

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Post by E-STATION » Tue, 11 Jun 2013, 17:15

The Nissan Leaf has a 3.3KW on-board charger capable of drawing a maximum of 15 amps. It will recharge the 24KWH battery pack in 6 hours from a 15 amp power supply and 8 hours from a 10 amp power supply. The cable that comes with the Nissan Leaf is hardwired to draw a maximum of 9.75 amps and will not draw 15 amps even if it is plugged into a 15 amp socket.

The charging system on the Nissan Leaf is compatible with the Type 1(J1772) charging protocol which specifies standards for sockets, cables, plugs and communications between the car and the charging station. There is an extra wire in the cable that runs between the car and the station. This carries the communications or "pilot signal" that carries data between the car and the station including the amount of current in amps available from the station, 8, 10, 15 or 32amps. The on board charger in the car will adjust it's consumption accordingly and draw 10 amps from a 10amp charging station and 15 amps from a 15amp charging station.

There is no pilot signal available from a standard domestic electrical socket so the pilot signal in the EVSE(electric vehicle supply equipment) cable supplied with the Leaf is set to 9.75 amps. This is true even though the cable has a 15amp plug. This is why it takes the Leaf longer to charge using the cable. The car is drawing at around 9.75 amps using the cable compared to the the 15amps it would draw from a charging station.

The next version of the Nissan Leaf due for release in Australia in 2014 will have a more powerful on board charger( 6.6 kW) which will draw current at 32 amps. The car will charge in about four hours if connected to a 32 amp charging station. However there are no plans to upgrade the existing Nissan Leafs with 32amp chargers so all those Leaf's sold between now and 2014 will not be able to avail of 32 amp charging.

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Post by E-STATION » Wed, 12 Jun 2013, 01:11


RAC Charging stations:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set= ... 292&type=1

Video of a Nissan Leaf using a J1772 E-STATION:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=433477130024373

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Post by E-STATION » Wed, 12 Jun 2013, 20:59

Thread from another forum on installing a non-Nissan/Origin charger.

http://ozleaf.proboards.com/index.cgi?b ... &thread=64


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Post by PlanB » Sat, 24 Aug 2013, 04:36

Some days I struggle with corporate think. If there is a 15A charger in the car why not put a 15A plug on it & set it to draw 15A. Or put a 10A plug on it & limit it to 10A. But to fit a 15A plug & knobble it to 10A seems weird?

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Post by acmotor » Sat, 24 Aug 2013, 06:35

E-STATION wrote: The Nissan Leaf has a 3.3KW on-board charger capable of drawing a maximum of 15 amps. It will recharge the 24KWH battery pack in 6 hours from a 15 amp power supply and 8 hours from a 10 amp power supply.....   


The times for full charge are longer than that. 24/3.3 = 7 1/2 hours + balancing time at top of charge so around 8 hours.
On 2.2kW it is 24/2.2 = 11 hours + balancing so nearly 12 hours. I did try this and noted that it was > 10 hours of offpeak power 9pm-7am. Not really an issue though as rarely would you take the pack to zero and also often only charge to 80%.

All this makes the 15A charging more important, as well as the newer 32A !

What a quandary for the manufacturers that 10A / 15A issue.
Set it for 15A and people will plug it into 10A circuits. Make it adjustable 10/15A and people will select 15A (well, you wanted to charge quickly) and plug it into 10A. (file the earth pin like most welders Image , make an adapter... so on.)
Still, to use 15A you need a devoted circuit. On 10A you are OK if nobody want's hot coffee as well.
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Post by weber » Sat, 24 Aug 2013, 14:39

PlanB wrote: Some days I struggle with corporate think. If there is a 15A charger in the car why not put a 15A plug on it & set it to draw 15A. Or put a 10A plug on it & limit it to 10A. But to fit a 15A plug & knobble it to 10A seems weird?

I totally agree. It's just nuts. As you've probably read elewhere, Coulomb and I are working on a solution where if you use a 10 A plug adapter it pulls 10 A, and if you use a 15 A adapter it pulls 15 A, and no brick in the cable trying to pull it out of the socket.
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Post by PlanB » Sat, 24 Aug 2013, 15:55

Nice! Is there a thread on that project?

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Post by weber » Sat, 24 Aug 2013, 16:36

PlanB wrote: Nice! Is there a thread on that project?

Not its own thread yet.
viewtopic.php?title=what-an-evse-provid ... 293#p45036
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Post by PlanB » Sat, 24 Aug 2013, 18:03

So the wall box people are calling a charger is really just a switch with a variable duty cycle oscillator that tells the charger in the Leaf how much power it can take? If the Leaf charger is 3.3kw (15A) max there is no point running a 32A circuit to a 32A capable wall box.

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Post by antiscab » Sun, 25 Aug 2013, 02:37

PlanB wrote:If the Leaf charger is 3.3kw (15A) max there is no point running a 32A circuit to a 32A capable wall box.


It is if the new leaf has a 6.6kw charger.

I'd suggest at least laying 6sqmm wire so that you can go to 32A later easily

The wire costs pretty much the same once you lump laying it in with the cost, but heaps cheaper not having to do it again a few years down the track when you would like to charge faster

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Post by acmotor » Sun, 25 Aug 2013, 02:57

Just when I though I understood the wiring rules, this fronts up...double 15A wall socket !

The two sockets are brought to the one connection point on the back.
kinda defeats the point of a 15A socket being on its own circuit doesn't it ? I wonder what MCB is suggested ?
Given that 10A GPOs often have 16/20A MCBs for their circuit protection then I can imagine something in the range 20 to 32A for the 'dual 15' sockets. Or is it just 16A MCB ?
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Post by PlanB » Sun, 25 Aug 2013, 16:20

So what about 415v? I've got a 3 phase outlet in the garage, is there anyway I could charge from that?

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Post by acmotor » Sun, 25 Aug 2013, 17:16

PlanB wrote: So what about 415v? I've got a 3 phase outlet in the garage, is there anyway I could charge from that?


Assuming you are looking for 10A or 15A single phase....

Background....
Keep in mind that 3 phase is 3 single phases at 120 deg phase separation.
i.e. 3 actives with 230VAC wrt Neutral. Typically all our generated power starts as 3 phase, we just connect between a phase active and neutral to get single phase.
The voltage between any two phase actives is 230V x sqrt(3) =230 x 1.73 = ~398V     ('415V' is an older historical number, although still within tollerances). But the voltage between any one phase and neutral is 230VAC (nominal).

So, to get single phase from a 3 phase socket you need the socket to be 5 pin !! i.e. 3 phase actives and a neutral (centre pin) and an earth pin.
Some 3 phase sockets are only 4 pin (3 active + earth) designed for motors, welders etc. these cannot have single phase extracted without that neutral.

The 3 phase socket can be 10,20,32,40,50,60 Amp and so on.(not 15A ?) ( labelled and with different pin size and body shape, flats, keyways etc.)

Clearly if you wish to draw say 15A you need to have at least a 20A 3 phase socket. 32A is a rather common size.
A 3 pin single phase socket needs to be wired via a 16A circuit breaker (and preferably RCD type) to a 3 phase plug.
Active to one of the 3 phase plug actives, Neutral to Neutral and earth to earth.

Such a 3 phase to single phase adaptor should be contructed by a licensed electrician using approved parts to the Australian Wiring standards. However, as it is not part of 'fixed wiring' I guess folk make such adaptors. Best if you know what you are doing and get it inspected by a sparky and test and tagged at least.

edit:clarity
edit also: by the time you buy the parts and have it built it may just be cheaper to get a sparky to install a 15A single phase socket anyway.
Last edited by acmotor on Sun, 25 Aug 2013, 07:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by coulomb » Sun, 25 Aug 2013, 23:28

acmotor wrote: So, to get single phase from a 3 phase socket you need the socket to be 5 pin !! i.e. 3 phase actives and a neutral (centre pin) and an earth pin.
Some 3 phase sockets are only 4 pin (3 active + earth) designed for motors, welders etc. these cannot have single phase extracted without that neutral.
I think that the 5-pin sockets are the most common. They are all over the Queensland University of Technologu (QUT).
32A is a rather common size.
QUT has a mixture of 20 A and 32 A outlets (some areas like S block), and now all 32 A (O block). Elsewhere, there are a few other sizes, mainly metallic outdoor ones.

While Australia's single phase outlets are all "backwards compatible" (you can plug any 10/15/20/25/32 A plug into a 32 A socket), this does not happen in the three phase connectors. The electricians at QUT are kept busy changing plugs when experiments move between buildings. (The postgrad power lab has all 20 A sockets.) It's nuts!

When we had a Tesla Roadster on show a few months ago from the north coast, he needed three phase charging, and checked very carefully that we had the right kind of outlet. Fortunately, we did. It was charged in O block, so I guess the Tesla Roadsters use 32 A outlets (in Australia, at least).
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Post by acmotor » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 02:04

At a recent iMiEV street meet I pointed out the 32A 3 phase socket on the side of a power box in the local park. (It was live)

" we could charge 6 iMiEVs at 15A each off that ! "   Image
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Post by Adverse Effects » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 02:48

acmotor wrote: At a recent iMiEV street meet I pointed out the 32A 3 phase socket on the side of a power box in the local park. (It was live)

" we could charge 6 iMiEVs at 15A each off that ! "   Image


haha i bet if you did do it the point wouldnt be live the next time you want to use it

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Post by acmotor » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 02:58

Given that 8 x council supplied electic BBQs in the park also run off that power box, i doubt the shire would pick up the increased power consumption. Image .... unless you tell ! Image
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Post by PlanB » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 04:38

I note some of the Spanish Estation wall units have the option of 3 phase wiring. Does anybody know how they actually use the 3 phases to produce a single phase for the 3.3kw leaf internal charger?

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Post by acmotor » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 05:18

PlanB wrote: I note some of the Spanish Estation wall units have the option of 3 phase wiring. Does anybody know how they actually use the 3 phases to produce a single phase for the 3.3kw leaf internal charger?


They would just draw between one of the 3 phase actives and neutral (ignoring the other 2 actives) to give 230V 15A single phase would be my guess. Remember the 3 phase actives are 120deg out of phase so you can't just 'add them' together.

There are two other paths, though unlikely....
1) an isolation transformer 400V input and 230V output. (input across 2 phases actives, so actually 1 phase, being the voltage between two of the 3 phase actives). A similar technique is used in some rural areas where the 230V system is current limited they provide 'rural power' that is at the 1.73x VAC that is drawn between 2 of 3 phase actives, or may actually have been sourced from a single phase (A-N) anyway.
2) rectify the 3 phases to a DC bus and use an inverter to reproduce a single phase AC supply of 230V. Similar to what a motor Variable frequency drive does, just for a single phase.

These are possible but not likely !!!

Another more likely option if they are specific about 3 phase input is that the charging station allows for the Menekes (EV 3 phase) charge connector as well as the J1772 that the Leaf 3.3kW charger uses.

edit: got the numbers the right way around !
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Post by PlanB » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 14:17

There are a LOT of 3 phase outlets around Oz. A 21kw 3 phase DC charger with CHAdeMO plug would be a great idea for the Leaf I would have thought? How hard is that? Are we simply talking a 3 phase bridge with CAN or is it a lot more complicated?

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Post by acmotor » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 16:44

It warms my heart that you have spotted the big advantage of CHAdeMO !
i.e. come up with DC externally, even from a battery bank or PVs, current control it and feed the EV ! 0 to 50kW. IMHO, the way to go.

But yes, specifically to your question.
The CHAdeMO charger must handshake with the EV and exchange CAN bus information about voltage, current, kWh etc and actively monitor the charge progress.
The CHAdeMO charger must have a suitable voltage range and ability to control feed current and, with present systems AFAIK use a large 50Hz isolating transformer for the power fed from the grid. (3 phase).

None of which is at all complex.
The handshake and CAN part is small and worth only a few $ in mass production.
The current control is a few hundred Amp IGBT, HF inductor, RFI filtering etc. Worth maybe $200 in mass production.
The isolating transformer LF type is heavy (hundreds of kg for 50kW 3 phase) and expensive with copper at $8,000 a tonne ! Could be worth $10k.
It may be possible to reason the isolation transformer can be omitted, but I don't see that happening as it could all go terribly wrong. It is big power you are dealing with.

A better method of isolation would be HF isolating transformer (SMPS style), could then get price down below $1k. (EVs onboard chargers use HF, but making them 50kW rather than 3-6kW is still bulky and expensive.... however manufacturers may yet go that way)
One factor to consider is that a large AC onboard/offboard charger for an EV would require large capacity AC main supply. There is a grid peak demand concern with this. DC charging from a storage bank may be a better concept to be entertaining anyway. (via a DC charging standard like CHAdeMO)

So yes, to the question, a 21kW 3 phase charger off 32A is quite practical. Should be sub $10k at this stage. Image
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Post by Tritium_James » Mon, 26 Aug 2013, 18:47

Chademo requires isolation (>2kV) to the mains from the car, you MUST have a transformer in there somewhere.

We use a HF transformer in our design, which is why we've got the size down as far as we have on the Veefil.

At this power load, to be able to connect to the grid, you also need very careful power factor, harmonics, EMC, and flicker control. You can't just rectify into some caps and have your switcher running from there.

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Post by antiscab » Tue, 27 Aug 2013, 01:42

At $10k for an isolation transformer, its's starting to get into being cheaper to have an on-site battery, charged off-peak by a cheap isolated charger

These is also the DIY 40kw charger that's under development:
http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/sh ... 82629.html

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Post by acmotor » Tue, 27 Aug 2013, 04:37

Tritium_James wrote: Chademo requires isolation (>2kV) to the mains from the car, you MUST have a transformer in there somewhere.

We use a HF transformer in our design, which is why we've got the size down as far as we have on the Veefil.

At this power load, to be able to connect to the grid, you also need very careful power factor, harmonics, EMC, and flicker control. You can't just rectify into some caps and have your switcher running from there.


Ah good TJ, Have you been able to get the DC fast charger price down ?

You're right to say it has to be done properly however DC off 3 phase mains is all well established. i.e don't make a big thing of connection to the grid. It does not justify large expense.
e.g. Danfoss with VFDs have been making .18kW to 1.2MW 3 phase VFDs with high efficiency, pf>.97, good harmonic, RFI and EMC control for years. Their input stage is just a big 3 phase bridge with all the pf and RFI fruit.
In fact there is more silicon, good RFI design and processing inside an industrial VFD than in a EV DC charger. Only thing missing is a HF transformer. (a lot cheaper than LF type)
A $50kW VFD is <$10k. OK it is a mass production item, but potentially less mass production than could be if EV DC charging takes off !

Present EV DC chargers are only expensive 'at this stage'.

Hey, is there a link to your unit ?
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Post by PlanB » Tue, 27 Aug 2013, 15:29

Why the mandated isolation xformer? An earthed 3 phase motor doesn't need one, nor does the VFD. What's so special about EV charging?

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