Feedback/Conversation on Preferred Smart Charger

Discussion about EV/Battery charging infrastructure, Electric highways etc.
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mblewis
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Feedback/Conversation on Preferred Smart Charger

Post by mblewis »

Hi All,

New AEVA member and first post. Please be gentle :)

I've had a look around this part of the forum and, although I've found some related questions, haven't found the conversation I'm quite looking for.

My wife and I have recently placed an order for the new Hyundai Ioniq MY20. Whilst we wait for its arrival [currently late June] I'm looking at setting up the remaining hardware and systems. One of these is a smart charger to take advantage of our excess solar power and divert it into the EV.

So far I've located the Zappi and EO Mini Pro. Both around $2K to supply and install. I'm seeking feedback from anyone who has used these, or has some knowledge, on their preferred model and why. So far, based on what I've read, the Zappi seems more capable with more configurations. However, nothing beats real world testing :)

We also have a solar battery installed and, to date, no-one seems to be aware of any solutions that will not also connect into our battery and not be treated like an appliance.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and time

Matt

antiscab
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Re: Feedback/Conversation on Preferred Smart Charger

Post by antiscab »

There's also openEVSE that can do solar limited charging, though that is not as well documented

What battery setup do you have?
That will affect what will talk with what - I'm assuming the idea here is to prevent the house battery discharging into the car battery?
some also give the option of controlling dump loads, which you could use with a dumb evse

Tbh, since you already have the battery, the difference in charged on solar between just charging when the sun is up, vs having a evse limited by solar probably won't bridge the $1500 price gap.
Matt
2017 Renault zoe - 25'000km
2007 vectrix - 156'000km
1998 prius - needs Batt
1999 Prius - needs batt
2000 prius - has 200 x headway 38120 cells

smithy2167
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Re: Feedback/Conversation on Preferred Smart Charger

Post by smithy2167 »

We've had a Zappi for over a year. Works great.

We have a 3-phase house and solar, but the car only has a single phase charger. The Zappi handles that fine and, on PV Output, the Power Used line follows the Power Generated line very closely.

It can be set to charge from solar only (Eco+), from solar with mains top up (Eco), or full rate (Fast). As our vehicle is regularly at home during the day, we use the Eco+ almost exclusively. So we can say our vehicle is solar powered :D

I asked how it would work with a Powerwall 2 and was told it works fine with a battery. Using a current sensor on the feed from the battery inverter, the Zappi can be set to prioritise battery charging over EV charging, and prevent the EV charging from the battery, if that's what you want.

mblewis
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Re: Feedback/Conversation on Preferred Smart Charger

Post by mblewis »

antiscab wrote:
Wed, 08 Apr 2020, 14:18
There's also openEVSE that can do solar limited charging, though that is not as well documented

What battery setup do you have?
That will affect what will talk with what - I'm assuming the idea here is to prevent the house battery discharging into the car battery?
some also give the option of controlling dump loads, which you could use with a dumb evse

Tbh, since you already have the battery, the difference in charged on solar between just charging when the sun is up, vs having a evse limited by solar probably won't bridge the $1500 price gap.
Hi Matt,

Thanks for your response.

WRT OpenEVSE - Thank you for the alternative! Will have a look!

WRT Battery - We have a LG RESU 10H battery installed against a 6.6kW SunPower/SolarEdge system. During summer we have enough spare kW.h to keep 2 batteries charged. Might as well send the spare 10kW.h into the vehicle (roughly 90km in range). I do need to get 2-4 more panels to support the battery during winter. WRT to preventing the battery discharging into the vehicle... It would be good to have the option. A potential Zappi supplier has suggested that allowing the battery to discharge into the vehicle will cut the payback time. I haven't done my own maths, yet, to satisfy myself. When you mention "dumb EVSE" I'm assuming you refer to a fast charger that doesn't distinguish between "solar" and "coal" charging.

The option if topping up once during the week on Synergy's EV plan is always there.

When it comes to the $1500, my wife and I have considered that we are in a good position to make a difference. In this way we are looking at ways we can use money to live our values, rather than the other way round. If we can contribute to reducing demand/pollution, rather than fixing it afterward [e.g. contributing to Greenfleet etc.] then we are definitely going to explore it! :)

Another option, according to SolarQuotes, is to install an additional 1kW of panels to offset any emissions caused by charging an EV over the grid. Although, in WA, and Synergy's restrictions on inverter sizing, this isn't much of an option at the moment :)

Regards
Matt

mblewis
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Re: Feedback/Conversation on Preferred Smart Charger

Post by mblewis »

smithy2167 wrote:
Wed, 08 Apr 2020, 15:22
We've had a Zappi for over a year. Works great.

We have a 3-phase house and solar, but the car only has a single phase charger. The Zappi handles that fine and, on PV Output, the Power Used line follows the Power Generated line very closely.

It can be set to charge from solar only (Eco+), from solar with mains top up (Eco), or full rate (Fast). As our vehicle is regularly at home during the day, we use the Eco+ almost exclusively. So we can say our vehicle is solar powered :D

I asked how it would work with a Powerwall 2 and was told it works fine with a battery. Using a current sensor on the feed from the battery inverter, the Zappi can be set to prioritise battery charging over EV charging, and prevent the EV charging from the battery, if that's what you want.
Hi smithy,

Thanks for your experience and feedback.

Having the option to switch charging from the battery on/off is the kind of capabilities I'm looking for.

Thanks again!
Matt

antiscab
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Re: Feedback/Conversation on Preferred Smart Charger

Post by antiscab »

mblewis wrote:
Thu, 09 Apr 2020, 09:01

Another option, according to SolarQuotes, is to install an additional 1kW of panels to offset any emissions caused by charging an EV over the grid. Although, in WA, and Synergy's restrictions on inverter sizing, this isn't much of an option at the moment :)
in WA, with a battery, you can install more solar than 6.6kw on a 5kw inverter as long as you have battery (you just can't put a bigger inverter in)
As long as you have the roof space

solaredge actually make an inverter with a car charger built in.
The advantage there is the MPPT inputs are also larger, meaning you can have up to 10kw of solar, still get STCs and still get the synergy FIT.
https://www.solaredge.com/aus/products/ev-charger#/
Matt
2017 Renault zoe - 25'000km
2007 vectrix - 156'000km
1998 prius - needs Batt
1999 Prius - needs batt
2000 prius - has 200 x headway 38120 cells

antiscab
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Posts: 2621
Joined: Mon, 26 Nov 2007, 05:39
Real Name: Matthew Lacey
Location: Perth, WA

Re: Feedback/Conversation on Preferred Smart Charger

Post by antiscab »

actually, I take it back, that inverter with the built in car charger isn't compatible with a house battery

there's still the option to DC couple more solar to the present battery, though I'm probably going a bit off topic there

as far as payback time on the house battery goes - discharging it into the car only reduces payback time if it doesn't have time to recharge again before the usual evening peak.
IE - if you charge the car in the morning to early afternoon with a dumb evse that just takes the same amount of power (3.6kw for $400) and it takes a little out of the battery, most likely the house battery will recharge again during the day/afternoon leaving it full for the evening load.
Matt
2017 Renault zoe - 25'000km
2007 vectrix - 156'000km
1998 prius - needs Batt
1999 Prius - needs batt
2000 prius - has 200 x headway 38120 cells

mblewis
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Posts: 4
Joined: Wed, 08 Apr 2020, 13:13
Real Name: Matt

Re: Feedback/Conversation on Preferred Smart Charger

Post by mblewis »

antiscab wrote:
Fri, 10 Apr 2020, 09:43
actually, I take it back, that inverter with the built in car charger isn't compatible with a house battery

there's still the option to DC couple more solar to the present battery, though I'm probably going a bit off topic there

as far as payback time on the house battery goes - discharging it into the car only reduces payback time if it doesn't have time to recharge again before the usual evening peak.
IE - if you charge the car in the morning to early afternoon with a dumb evse that just takes the same amount of power (3.6kw for $400) and it takes a little out of the battery, most likely the house battery will recharge again during the day/afternoon leaving it full for the evening load.
Hi Matt,

I am aware of the SE combined inverter/car charger and have discussed this with my solar contractor. My key concern would be if anything goes wrong, I lose both fast charge AND solar production capabilities. I am also discussing additional panels. I'm having a discussion with my solar contractor as to the pro's and con's. It's somewhat frustrating as I get the distinct impression that I'm being fed the bare minimum and not the whole truth/story. Often what I'm told is challenged or more-fully-completed once I discuss issues with Synergy or Western Power. No point getting extra panels if I'm going to be limited by the inverter.

Your suggestion on the dumb charger is worth considering. However, the planned usage of the car would be take my wife from home (Atwell) to work (Innaloo) and back five days a week. 70km total = 350km/week. We may be able to do a little charge in the morning before leaving and afternoon after collecting kids and coming home. We can also use the hybrid for a few hours whilst the EV charges. I'm anticipating a top-up charge using Adani-energy once a week.

One can go upto an 8.2kW inverter but they have to convert to 3-phase. With a solar battery WP will extend the limit to 10kW. This would entail replacing inverter's, re-wiring the home, deciding which circuit's are powered by what etc. etc. Strongly prefer to keep it as simple as possible. Shame our WA government departments are so conservative.

And agreed, I would need to allow the solar battery to completely charge and discharge to make most use of the battery. Hence the plan for extra panels just to keep the battery charged over winter.

However, yes, going off topic. However, the conversation is very related to the wider context of what I'm working towards which is setting ourselves up to be as self-reliant as practicable when it comes to energy production and consumption. Maybe I should start a new topic in the appropriate forum to continue this conversation :)

I had a quick look at OpenEVSE and it's based in America. I asked Uncle Google about sellers within Australia and nothing came up. As such, I'm a little concerned with warranty claims should something go wrong. Currently, Zappi seems to be most appropriate unless, of course, I find additional info. I'm open to suggestions :)

lobster
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Re: Feedback/Conversation on Preferred Smart Charger

Post by lobster »

I purchased An OpenEVSE in kit form from the American seller, after receiving good advice from AEVA forum users. I can recommend this EVSE.

The OpenEVSE has an advantage over other other branded EVSEs as all of the individual component modules are available as reasonably priced spare parts.

As the circuit diagrams and even the software are all available online most electronic repairers would be able to repair, update or modify this product.

If you buy a future vehicle that needs a 3 phase EVSE, an upgrade to the Open EVSE only needs a new contactor and changes to the cable terminations.

Cheers, Steve

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