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 Post subject: Portable OpenEVSE at 40A
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:17 pm 
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Having been driving EVs for a little while now, I find a portable EVSE quite useful so I took the Tesla Model S UMC and replaced the end with a J1772 plug. This was first described on the mynissanleaf.com forum and later done by others on this forum. The converted UMC was a slick setup but I found it not to be as versatile as I needed because the current is set by the various plug adapters that Tesla makes. For example, Tesla's NEMA 6-50 sets current to 40A but I sometimes use a circuit that can only handle 32A and there's no way to do this. The most germane example for me is that there's not a Tesla adapter to charge at 240V 16A; this is particularly needed if you're using a quick240V device that takes two 120V 20A outlets to make one 240V.

Because of these limitations in the converted Tesla Model S UMC to J1772, I sold the one I converted and put my own portable EVSE together, working at 120/240V with variable current up to 40A based on OpenEVSE. It's housed in a 6x6x3.5" box. The relevant components include the OpenEVSE board and a 40A DPST relay [I've since made another using a so called 80A relay]. I've set it up to allow for current changes in steps of 2A starting at 6A. At first, I was a bit hesitant to run it at the 40A that the relay is rated but I realized that Tesla's UMC used a 30A rated relay at 40A; to be sure, at 40A it gets a bit warm and so normally I just limit it to 38A and it works beautifully. Incidentally, the cost is also a fraction of converting the Tesla UMC yourself. Here's a quick photo:

Image

---------- Update --------------
A forum member sent me a private message, asking questions about how to build one of these and I realized that he wasn't aware of the significant developments with the OpenEVSE and the resources available. Here are general links:

1. Project Home: https://code.google.com/p/open-evse/ -for schematics and instruction.
2. OpenEVSE store: http://openevse-store.myshopify.com/

The history of OpenEVSE shows that it stems from mynissanleaf.com forum posts by Chris Howell:

1. the project was born in February 2011 with this post: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=2736
2. the current forum thread is: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=6546
----------------------------------

Here's a link to the second iteration with some improvements [I decided to try an 80A relay - the same one that juicebox uses]: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1013&start=53

Image


Last edited by ehelmholtz on Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:31 am, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Portable OpenEVSE at 40A
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:19 pm 
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Out of curiosity, which exact relay did you use. Link?

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 Post subject: Re: Portable OpenEVSE at 40A
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:50 pm
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Location: San Diego
Is that the Leviton / ITT 30 amp plug and cable assembly?

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 Post subject: Re: Portable OpenEVSE at 40A
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:16 am 
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I used the Magnecraft W199X-7 DPST-NO, 12VDC coil, 40A. It's now part of Schneider Electric. There are a couple of other options including one by Dayton that I bought but have yet to try. You can get it for $20-$50. Here's an example from Newark. http://www.newark.com/magnecraft/w199x- ... /dp/56F642

Tony, I am using the Leviton/ITT 75 amp plug and cable assembly which as you know has been discontinued. I've also tried it with the Leviton/ITT 30 amp plug and cable assembly and it worked well without any noticeable warming at 38-40A; I thought about putting it back instead of the 75A since it's much more manageable. I am very tempted to get your J1772 40A cable with the 8 conductors since the diameter is only ~0.55 in as I recall.


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 Post subject: Re: Portable OpenEVSE at 40A
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:25 am 
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ehelmholtz wrote:
I used the Magnecraft W199X-7 DPST-NO, 12VDC coil, 40A. It's now part of Schneider Electric. There are a couple of other options including one by Dayton that I bought but have yet to try. You can get it for $20-$50. Here's an example from Newark. http://www.newark.com/magnecraft/w199x- ... /dp/56F642

Tony, I am using the Leviton/ITT 75 amp plug and cable assembly which as you know has been discontinued. I've also tried it with the Leviton/ITT 30 amp plug and cable assembly and it worked well without any noticeable warming at 38-40A; I thought about putting it back instead of the 75A since it's much more manageable. I am very tempted to get your J1772 40A cable with the 8 conductors since the diameter is only ~0.55 in as I recall.


Yes, I ran the Leviton 30/32 amp cable at 40 amps without a heating problem.

I have a couple of the Leviton 75 amp cables, and I think they are going to stay with my 75-80 units due to weight.

Yes, I spec'd the 8 conductor custom cable at 0.55". That keeps it light and flexible, but obviously not as robust as those big, fat Leviton cables. Maybe I'll drive the Rav4 over a piece of our cable a few dozen times, then cut it open and see how many wire strands were broken.

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 Post subject: Re: Portable OpenEVSE at 40A
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:21 pm
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How's that 40a relay been holding up? I'm currently running the SquareD 70a unit out of a ClipperCreek and even pushing 40a for awhile it starts to get "abit" warm :shock: .. but it's also a 200+volt relay also.

And I've had no issues with my Leviton/ITT 30 plug running full boar at 40a either!

I'm thinking about building a portable unit for the Rav now.

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 Post subject: Re: Portable OpenEVSE at 40A
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:44 pm 
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Thanks Tony and Jason for added information about the Leviton ITT 30A cable operation at 40A; maybe, I'll put it back until I order Tony's cable since the 75A cable is heavy. The relay has been fine for the last 3 months running at 38A. I did run it at 40A for a week but the relay heated up enough that I opened box cover to vent. It's probably best to vent the box running it at higher currents. The magnecraft relay has silver alloy contacts but the details of which silver alloy isn't available; I have a Dayton relay with silver cadmium oxide as contacts but I haven't tested it yet. If you want to try it, I can bring it at the next meetup.


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 Post subject: Re: Portable OpenEVSE at 40A
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:04 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:18 am
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This is the relay I used in my 40 amp OpenEVSE. I was able to drive it with the on board power supply, with a few added components. Ask and I will send the schematic. At 40 amps the relay was 125 degs F, after 1 hour, with the cover on.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-abb-contactor-40fla-50a-res-per-pole-dpe40c3p-80-mqc-600v-12vdc-3hp-7-5hp-/390359003734?pt=BI_Control_Systems_PLCs&hash=item5ae335b256

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 Post subject: Re: Portable OpenEVSE at 40A
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:54 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:44 pm
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A metal enclosure would do better with the heat, plastic is not very conductive.

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 Post subject: Re: Portable OpenEVSE at 40A
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:41 pm 
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pchilds wrote:
This is the relay I used in my 40 amp OpenEVSE. I was able to drive it with the on board power supply, with a few added components. Ask and I will send the schematic. At 40 amps the relay was 125 degs F, after 1 hour, with the cover on.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-abb-contactor-40fla-50a-res-per-pole-dpe40c3p-80-mqc-600v-12vdc-3hp-7-5hp-/390359003734?pt=BI_Control_Systems_PLCs&hash=item5ae335b256
Why don't you post the schematic here - in case someone wants to try in the future?

4EVEREV, a metal box is a good thought; I like this case because it has a clear hinged lid that allows you to open the case up easily if venting is needed but you can read the display with the box closed.


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