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Dual voltage charger


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32 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   WheNRG

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 10:29 AM

I recently bought a Fiat 500e for my daughter to drive (it's nice not to hear "dad, can you give me some money for gas").  Apparently their charger, though it's not labeled as such, is capable of dual voltage.  On their forum many people have stated that they made adapters to plug their OEM charger into a 240V outlet and it works great and charges in half the time. Does anyone know if the Ford charger is also capable of this, or is it strictly 110V?  Hell, you can plug any computer into either, so why not your car?  

 

By the way, the 500e is a fun car to drive!  Tiny and a bit flimsy, but it's quick and handles really nice. I picked up a 2015 with 27k miles for under $8k. 









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#2 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 02:49 PM

NO you cannot plug in the ford stock charger into 240v, don't do it you'll fry it.

 

-=>Raja.


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#3 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 06:53 AM

Yeah, the car is fully capable of charging at either voltage and the charger is built into the car. 

 

The EVSE however that you actually plug into the car is just a smart extension cord and there are some that are dual voltage and of varying amperage.  The stock Ford one however is only 120V/12A.  And from what I looked up is not one that can be easily modded to 240V like some others.


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#4 OFFLINE   RubyMax

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 08:39 AM

Here's an inexpensive Dual Voltage EVSE.  I'm thinking of picking up as a spare.

 

https://www.bsaelect...th-evse-d25-16a



#5 OFFLINE   marlowefamily

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 12:59 PM

As others said, the charger is actually built into the car.  What you plug into the wall socket is just the EVSE which is just an extension coord designed to add additional safety.   There are 240V EVSE's, referred to as 'dual chargers', which have adapters to allow them to plugin to 120V outlets, and in that mode - they work just as the normal ford 120V EVSE.  However, there are some complaints that these adapters aren't as safe as they should be.  Even the stock 120V ford charger when plugged into a bad 120V outlet or a poor 120V extension coord can have safety issues.  So, I think the general recommendation is stick with the factory EVSE if charging at 120V and try to avoid any adapters or coords (be extra careful if you use them).  If you want to go 240V, have someone who knows what they are doing and who uses good parts setup a dedicated 240V branch and then use only 240V EVSE's that are UL certified and have a good safety record.

 

Fyi -- there was a house that burned down a few blocks from me last month, apparently the owners had a new fiskar EV sedan that was charging at the time, and the rumor is that the battery exploded and caused an uncontrollable fire in the garage....no one died, but there were was concern about the fire spreading to other homes for a bit. 

 

Plugin cars are great, but there is definitely a good amount of safety and electrical improvements (along with education) that we, as a society, need to get through before they are widely deployed.


Edited by marlowefamily, 29 November 2017 - 01:06 PM.


#6 OFFLINE   RubyMax

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 02:08 PM

More often than not, the reported fire safety concerns of EV charging has more to do with substandard infrastructure wiring than faulty EVSEs, or car batteries.

The reality, is that your house wiring may be poorly equipped to handle many electric loads you are currently feeding, especially if they were wired by personnel that were not adhering to NFPA codes.  Any outlet or even hard wired connection can corrode, arc, fray, and cause an overload, and heat, fire, etc.
Be smart.


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#7 OFFLINE   spirilis

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 08:22 PM

NO you cannot plug in the ford stock charger into 240v, don't do it you'll fry it.

 

-=>Raja.

I have been able to confirm that the stock level 1 Ford trickle charger DOES, in fact, function fine at 240VAC.

 

Screenshot_20171223-230229.jpg

 

(FORScan Lite on android)

 

All green lights on the charger with blinking Vehicle light due to the charge.

 

Shows up as 240VAC and 11 amp input.  I had a hunch because when I got my Focus Electric, after our JuiceBox 40A level 2 was installed I figured it was safe to try this with that one ... and it worked fine (Focus Electric's level 1 convenience cord is identical to the C-Max's).

 

I have a sketchy adapter I'm using with a NEMA 6-15 plug and 5-15 receptacle and a short section of 12-gauge SOOW service cord between.  Fits the bill for this purpose.


Edited by spirilis, 23 December 2017 - 08:23 PM.


#8 OFFLINE   spirilis

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 08:34 PM

Also-

Screenshot_20171223-230215.jpg

 

BAT_OPC_MEAS of 8.5A at 304.8VDC, and BECM shows 7.32A at 304.7VDC (slightly time delay between those), roughly 240*11 would be 2640W and 304.7*7.32 is 2230W which is 84% efficiency from AC input to battery input, however if the battery charging process itself is only 90% efficient (not sure if it's 90% or 95% or what) that would imply the total efficiency is down around 76-80%.


Edited by spirilis, 23 December 2017 - 08:35 PM.


#9 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 10:43 PM

Wait a minute.  Are you trying to tell me that you actually jury rigged a plug to plug your 120v stock charger labeled 120v 60hz into 240v and it actually charged the car three times as fast?

 

-=>Raja.



#10 OFFLINE   spirilis

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 03:20 AM

I think it's closer to 2x as fast but, yeah :-)

#11 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 06:41 AM

Hmmm. well that's interesting.  Let me know how long that works and/or if the thing fails from overheating after some time?  You're certainly in unchartered territory.  Be careful with it please.

 

-=>Raja.



#12 OFFLINE   marlowefamily

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 12:27 PM

There are a bunch of chargers that are supposed to be dual charge, and they make use of adapters -- almost uniformly, I saw that the reviews of the dual chargers were significantly worse on average than the single voltage chargers, and in some cases...people complained that the adapters ended up failing or having burn marks if pushed hard.  I'd be very careful.

 

I've found 240V charging to be convenient when at a hotel or when on the road for an extended period.  But, 120 is more than sufficient for the daily commute or near home - at least w/ the C-Max.  In fact, if I push into using the ev-later mode a little more given that I work mostly from home (telecommute), I actually only have to charge once/week.



#13 OFFLINE   sporkinum

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 02:02 PM

Here's an inexpensive Dual Voltage EVSE.  I'm thinking of picking up as a spare.

 

https://www.bsaelect...th-evse-d25-16a

That's what I just got yesterday. Was $180 on ebay. Seems like it's decent quality, and the charge cable and connector seem to be quite heavy duty.



#14 OFFLINE   spirilis

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 04:00 AM

Got someone else on the Focus Electric forum charging with his Ford convenience cord at 240V with an adapter and working fine.

Mine's still plugged into 240V 5 days later with no troubles.
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#15 OFFLINE   JonC

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 06:48 AM

The 2017 EVSEs may be different, I've not seen much about them yet.  A few people have taken apart the earlier Ford EVSEs, and the ones that have had the internals looked at have had a few components that weren't designed to function at 240v.

 

My recollection is that they were things that would have gone pop and let the smoke out pretty quickly if you'd tried it on one of them, so if yours is working at 240v, it means Ford probably changed the design and the new ones may well be fine with either voltage.  I don't have one of the new ones to pull apart, so I can't actually say with any degree of certainty.



#16 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 07:33 AM

I have a 2013 charger from my original 2013 Cmax and a 2017 charger still under the floor in my 2017 cmax.

 

I'm always using the 2013 charger now.

 

I'm just not comfortable running something that wasn't rated for 240v on 240v.  I don't want to burn something over time...

 

But anyway out of curiosity, what did you do with the plug, did you cut it and replace it or made some adapter for it?  Post a picture and also a picture of your 120v charger with the label of it to see how the part numbers compare to what I have.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 30 December 2017 - 07:35 AM.


#17 OFFLINE   spirilis

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 09:14 AM

Took some pics...

 

The stock EVSE is kept stock, and I built a 6-15 to 5-20 adapter:

Attached File  chrg_adapter_615_520.jpg   306.76KB   2 downloads

 

Back:

Attached File  chrg_back.jpg   109.03KB   2 downloads


Edited by spirilis, 30 December 2017 - 09:17 AM.


#18 OFFLINE   RubyMax

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 07:01 AM

I'm surprised that the Ford EVSE is still supplying 11A @240 V.   That's 2640 Watts, quite a bit more than the rated 1440.  I would have though that the it would somehow be smart enough to limit the current as to not exceed 1440 Watts.



#19 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 07:04 AM

I think the question is really what the internal parts actually are/are rated for.  Anyone have any knowledge of what the charger shipped to Europe or other "natural" 240V countries is? 

 

Personally, it does seem iffy if the charger actually says "1400W" or whatever.  But I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to find out that it's the same 240V charger they ship elsewhere in the world but just slap a different connector and label on it...



#20 OFFLINE   spirilis

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 07:12 AM

I think the question is really what the internal parts actually are/are rated for.  Anyone have any knowledge of what the charger shipped to Europe or other "natural" 240V countries is? 

 

Personally, it does seem iffy if the charger actually says "1400W" or whatever.  But I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to find out that it's the same 240V charger they ship elsewhere in the world but just slap a different connector and label on it...

Yeah in fact, I'd find it patently stupid of Ford to design a totally different PCB for USA vs. abroad since they would have to get FCC/CE/ETSI certification for each model (in case one gets traded abroad with its stock charger, and the user ends up trying to use an uncertified charger)... the main piece that needs 120-vs-240V support is the low-voltage power supply for the EVSE's digital electronics; most contactors/relays should be able to handle voltages above 300V or so, and if there is a TVS diode of sorts I would think that's designed to clamp voltages in the >600V range (lightning strike) since the electronics downstream can probably handle a short surge?  Low voltage PSU's for PCs and laptops often take 89-264VAC nowadays already...


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