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CHAdeMO retrofit

Posted: Wed, 14 Aug 2013, 05:47
by BigMouse
I'm preparing to make some recommendations to my University regarding the purchase of an EV for research purposes. One feature they would like to have is the ability to do vehicle-to-grid research. This is obviously easier with a CHAdeMO charge port. What's the run down on CHAdeMO on the i-MiEV in Australia? I've read that the port is missing, but the door is still there. Is this the case on all Australian examples of this car? If so, does anyone know if it's just a matter of the charge port missing? Is the supporting hardware (CAN link and logic) installed? I'm trying to determine if it would be possible to retrofit the CHAdeMO port from an overseas model in to an Australian model as a plug-and-play affair. Sort of like a "dealer-installed-option" where all they do is plug the thing in to a socket that's already in the wiring loom.

I watched a video of the guy in the US who bought the flood-damaged car and he documented the removal of the CHAdeMO port. It was just some heavy wires and a harness going straight to the battery under the car. I'm hopeful it's a trivial matter to do the install.

Better yet, tell me I'm wrong and that you can get them here with the fast charge port installed.

CHAdeMO retrofit

Posted: Wed, 14 Aug 2013, 07:27
by acmotor
Oz iMiEVs, my MY12 included, has the CHAdeMO fully installed and functional. I can't speak for the 2010 model, I know they lack J1772 EVSE functionality.
I think only some of the US models where they had a 'base spec' version had the CHAdeMO missing.

Can't say that the aftermarket fitting of wiring harness would be overly straight forward as it must be IP67 all the way into battery. Probably a task beyond the local dealer ? read...I don't know.

see a bit of the schematic here

more here

There was some discussion over on the US iMiEV forum about the CHAdeMO option.

CHAdeMO retrofit

Posted: Wed, 14 Aug 2013, 15:43
by Gabz
BigMouse wrote:
Better yet, tell me I'm wrong and that you can get them here with the fast charge port installed.

my I-miev 2012 mode also has the CHAdeMO port LEAF also has them leaf page

And have you talked the CSIRO in newcastle about the converted Hyundai Getz which already does the whole connect to the grid thing. see dicks smiths documentary $10 a litre.

CHAdeMO retrofit

Posted: Thu, 15 Aug 2013, 03:57
by BigMouse
Awesome. I must have misunderstood what I'd read then.

Regarding the Blade Electron in the doco, they said it has been modified to support V2G. I don't think the Blade cars have CHAdeMO from the "factory". Perhaps a question best suited for the Blade section of the forum.


CHAdeMO retrofit

Posted: Fri, 16 Aug 2013, 16:09
by Tritium_James
Chademo, both from the factory and retrofitted (if that's possible) isn't going to let you do V2G. Although the electrical connections might be pretty much straight into the pack, there is a huge number of safety cross-checks that are run before and during charge. The vehicle controls the charger by sending voltage/current commands. If the output from the charger doesn't match what the car is asking for to a fairly close tolerance, the whole process gets shut down.

So you're going to be disappointed if you're trying to do V2G. You'd have to pretend you were about to start charging for the car to even connect the Chademo plug to the pack, and then as soon as you start drawing power from the pack, the car is going to shut you off. The only way you'd be able to do V2G is with custom software in the car's BMS that knows about V2G - good luck getting something like that out of Nissan or Mitsubishi!

CHAdeMO retrofit

Posted: Fri, 16 Aug 2013, 16:35
by Hippie403
I think Mitsubishi sell a i-MiEV to grid inverter unit in Japan.

CHAdeMO retrofit

Posted: Fri, 16 Aug 2013, 17:05
by acmotor
Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm, TJ, V2G (vechicle to grid) or at least the vehicle to mains power side, has already been done by both Mitsubishi and Nissan some years back and both have commercial units available (in Japan).
a nissan version

Mitsubishi introduced it's 'power box' CHAdeMO connected inverter after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami as a source of emergency power. Novel idea, but then you have an iMiEV with a flat battery.

So are we talking about the same thing here ?
The iMiEV's ECU and BMU already know and exchange via CHAdeMO all the required information to access the traction pack via DC bi-directionally.

CHAdeMO is just a direct port to the vehicle DC traction battery that has suitable handshake and CAN communication for user safe direct battery connection. It is not complex, just appropriately protected.

CHAdeMO could be added to just about any battery pack of between say 200 and 500V (well probably no lower voltage limit).
As long as the battery pack has a BMS and a computer to handshake, a CHAdeMO connector and cables and the CHAdeMO handshakes are being done then it will all work.

This is perhaps an advantage of the CHAdeMO and J1772 standards being 'industry' rather than particular EV manufacturer based. Comply with the standard and you are on board.

Having said that and being an EV owner driver, I really can't see why you would be wise to ever take power out of an EV other than by the wheels. Range, battery life, range, battery life Oh and range, battery life. Think about all the negatives. At this stage in EV technology at least, just because you can technically extract power, is that actually smart ?

DC into an EV is another matter. Go for it !

CHAdeMO retrofit

Posted: Fri, 16 Aug 2013, 18:16
by Tritium_James
Oh, I know *they've* done it already, but that software sure isn't in the production vehicles and you'll have a hell of a time trying to do the same thing yourself here!

The Chademo standard has no provision whatsoever for V2G (the requested current from the vehicle can only be positive), any car that does provide this will be doing so with a non-standard extension to the spec.

CHAdeMO retrofit

Posted: Sat, 17 Aug 2013, 02:37
by acmotor
Tritium_James wrote: ....
The Chademo standard has no provision whatsoever for V2G (the requested current from the vehicle can only be positive), any car that does provide this will be doing so with a non-standard extension to the spec.

I just dont' think that is true TJ.

I can't speak from experience saying that I have actually done v2g of course, but I believe that everything you need to know is already in the CHAdeMO specification to do v2g since the v2g logic is in the externally connected equipment and the EV / battery pack serves as just a battery pack with monitoring.

The Leaf and iMiEV external power box equipment suggests that is the case as I can see no reference to any software changes.

To do v2g your external equipment needs to perform the analogue and CAN handshakes to close the DC charging contactor in the battery pack. These are the same for charge and discharge.
The external equipment then continuously monitors and obeys the BMU data and instructions via CAN (already part of CHAdeMO spec). The external equipment may charge or discharge but won't be allowed to over charge or discharge under control by the ECU/BMU of the EV.

CHAdeMO is quite comprehensive in battery control. (as any reasonable spec for handling power DC in a public environment with valuable batteries should be)

CHAdeMO and v2g

CHAdeMO handshake detail

Browse the CHAdeMO site that these pages came from.

I recon CHAdeMO opens up a whole world of renewable energy charging and shuffling options.

CHAdeMO retrofit

Posted: Sat, 17 Aug 2013, 06:24
by Shirker
He doesn't have to browse the CHAdeMO site dude, he's got the spec -

CHAdeMO retrofit

Posted: Sat, 17 Aug 2013, 17:08
by acmotor
No excuse then ! Image v2g, go for it.

The confusion may arrise in that the EV can ask for an amount of current in order to control the charging process, given that it knows its state of charge and what current it can accept from a DC charging station and at what voltage. i.e. EV is in control. The charging station just complies.
In the case of discharge (e.g. v2g) the EV is the supplier and only monitors cell/battery voltages/temperatures, looks after cooling etc., after completing the safety handshakes.
The external equipment must do the current control (typically low, maybe 20A or less in the Leaf power box case) and it can respond to the battery information being updated by the EV CAN bus.

Bottom line is that the EV will disconnect the external device if it discharges the battery too far. This would be a worst case and would mean the external device has failed in intelligence and not complied with CHAdeMO handshakes. A break under current (20A) would occur at the DC charger contactor in the battery pack. (not a big issue but shouldn't have got that far).

As already mentioned, this must be the case otherwise Nissan and Mitsubishi wouldn't have been able to make their power boxes. Image

Tritium could build an Oz power box for 230V with 3 pin socket.

I still think it is crazy to take power out of an EV's battery pack other than by the wheels ! Image

CHAdeMO retrofit

Posted: Mon, 19 Aug 2013, 00:40
by BigMouse
Thanks for the input guys. Good stuff to consider.
acmotor wrote:I still think it is crazy to take power out of an EV's battery pack other than by the wheels ! Image
I haven't heard a good use for V2G either, but I haven't really looked for one. The benefit I hear most often is that EV batteries can be used as storage for intermittent renewable generation. But this doesn't make sense to me as much of that would be solar and most EVs will be parked at a workplace during the daytime, not charging at home. Further, it's most likely that the energy from any renewable source would be needed to be stored for use during peak times, when the car isn't plugged in anyway. It's plugged in during off-peak time (overnight) and you want it to be fully charged by morning. All the V2G demonstrations I've seen are cars that never get driven and are always plugged in for research purposes.

Even if there is some method of using an EV for storage while at the same time guaranteeing that it's fully charged when needed, there's still the question of cycles being put on the battery pack, shortening it's life and reducing its capacity.

So yeah, I agree ;-)

CHAdeMO retrofit

Posted: Tue, 27 Aug 2013, 05:40
by Lismore_Doug
My2c worth....

V2G is coming! the reason is not so every bit of power from the car battery can power the house, but to use to smooth the peak consumption. This can be used 2 ways:
-The power company can 'buy' power to use at peak load times for short periods (so to give an example, you might be charging your car at a public station, the power company needs some instantaneous power to reduce a peak load, so uses some power from your car. you might not even be aware that it happened: but notice that the car takes 5 minutes longer to charge??)

-At home, your smart inverter knows you are using expensive power to run your welder (for instance) during a peak cost time. The inverter decides to use 4Kwh of our 16Kwh battery to reduce your power costs because the inverter knows it can replace the power later at a much lower cost. (The inverter might also be smart enough to know you only need the car for a short trip on this day, so can use the power when needed.

Note that neither of these scenarios use much of the battery. All you are doing is reducing the peak load for short periods.

When you have a useful resource, it is a pity not to use it wisely.

As another piece of info, on another site there is mention that the Chademo specification (including handshaking) is available for $US 160 from Chademo. Apparently it is about half that price in Japanese...

I would love to make a home-made Chademo connector (3D printer perhaps?), then use Chademo as it was designed. Is Japan 240v/50Hz? (I bet it is US Standard). Wonder if any Japanese Chademo inverters are available s/h? (I vaguely remember a price of $US4K for the inverter new)

regards Doug

CHAdeMO retrofit

Posted: Tue, 27 Aug 2013, 06:06
by acmotor
Yes, I agree the on technical feasibility of course. It is just the practicality that is concerning.

1) if the grid is that close to collapse that it needs a few kW from my EV then the world is truly about to end ! OK if there are many EVs that may make a difference. But what, people power could pull the plug on the grid. I think not !

2) trends with solar PV FITs would suggest that power authorities are unlikey to 'buy' power from plebs in the future. (at least at any rate to make it worthwhile)

3) I think I would be well advised to run my welder ( for instance ) off the grid at peak rate rather than cycle my expensive EV battery any more than required. After all, I doubt the EV manufacturers would be prepared to cover that v2g use under warranty !!!

Still, there is some use probably for v2g, I'm just not convinced yet.

CHAdeMO retrofit

Posted: Tue, 27 Aug 2013, 14:02
by coulomb
Lismore_Doug wrote: Is Japan 240v/50Hz? (I bet it is US Standard).

It's close to US standard, but not quite. It is usually 100 V (not 120 V, or even 110/115/117), and a mixture of 50 Hz and 60 Hz. I don't know if they have split phase giving 200 V for larger appliances.

That's why you get the lowest voltage 3-phase motors from Japan (or made for the Japanese market). They have the lowest voltage mains in the world.

CHAdeMO retrofit

Posted: Tue, 27 Aug 2013, 16:19
by acmotor
At the locations I have worked in Tokyo, the single phase is as low as 90VAC (50Hz). A hot air gun has 6sqmm wire power lead... with no earth.
Much of the industrial equipment and aircon units run off 200V 3 phase. All with amazingly low electrical stanadards compared to Oz ! Perhaps the higher the voltage in a country the higher the electrical standards ? Image

One factory had a 100A 200V 3 phase feed newly fitted for an install I was doing and I couldn't turn the feed off to wire a VFD to it. The ends were just taped off. The feed was single insulated cables fencing wire twitched to the building steel frame and ran directly out through a storm water drain and up the power pole in the street. The local sparkies had wired it up live and couldn't 'turn it off' without shutting down the street, so I followed suit and connected the VFD live. It was only 90VAC to earth (building) after all. Image

To be fair, newer areas all have MCBs, RCDs, conduited cable and earths !

CHAdeMO retrofit

Posted: Tue, 27 Aug 2013, 17:22
by coulomb
acmotor wrote:One factory had a 100A 200V 3 phase feed newly fitted for an install I was doing ...
It was only 90VAC to earth (building) after all.

? Wouldn't 200 V line to line be 115 V line to neutral? Or was this three wire, single phase (centre tapped, split phase as in USA)?

Maybe the 200 V is a severe rounding of 173 V nominal, and it was sagging to just 156 V where you were?

CHAdeMO retrofit

Posted: Tue, 27 Aug 2013, 22:24
by acmotor
Yes, normally. The '200V' was very nominal.
This 3 phase was litterally 3 wires, no neutral ! Sagged voltages were common place.

In Oz we tend to be over our nominal 230V / 398V (though still within tollerance) and still folk refer to 240V / 415V.

CHAdeMO retrofit

Posted: Wed, 28 Aug 2013, 00:10
by celectric
acmotor wrote:Perhaps the higher the voltage in a country the higher the electrical standards ? Image
Yes, we in Oz have one of the highest standard mains voltages in the world and our high safety standards are at least partly because of that - much easier to kill yourself otherwise. Although as you point out the rest of the world is slowly catching up.