2016Electric
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:05 am
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Included Level 1 Charger (North America vs. Europe)

Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:12 pm

Hi all,

Well, I've gone and signed the papers and it's official - a new 2016 Soul EV is on the way! :P

Now for the fun part... I've been looking into EVSE and have settled on something for home.
Now I just have to figure out what to do about the longer trips where I will have 240v available at my destination (friends). The included charger is 12A Level 1, so very very slow (6km per hour, I've heard - maybe just over 1.1kw per hour after overhead).
I've considered building an OPENEVSE (I have an electronics background and this project looks quite simple).

Alternatively, I've also seen the evse-upgrade online, which provides you with an "upgraded" factory charger capable of 120/240v, 12A operation. I've been studying the J1772 protocol, and pinouts for the connector-to-vehicle. As I see it (and I could be wrong), the EVSE ONLY controls the current via signalling (duty cycle of the 1000hz square wave). I assume the onboard charger, then, is smart and watches for line voltage (120 vs. 240) and acts accordingly... I cannot see how this info would also be in the signalling. This makes intuitive sense to me as well, in case of any voltage drop, or slight local differences in voltage, etc. The charger would have to be able to adjust for that...

Fine... So the "upgraded" factory charger doesn't have to do anything to the signal. Aside from changing the cord, what exactly do they do to the EVSE to upgrade it then?
I was thinking about that, because I assume the factory included EVSE in much of Europe is running on 208v or 230v, no? 120v seems mostly isolated to NA. In the interest of mass production efficiency, I very much doubt there is much difference between the two models, internally.

I am wondering what the difference is between those (European) chargers, and ours in NA? Power supply to the controller, or something else? Relays?

If anyone has any info here, I'd love to hear about it...

JimGord
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:53 am

Re: Included Level 1 Charger (North America vs. Europe)

Fri Oct 02, 2015 5:43 pm

Just buy a 240 V 40AMP (32 Amp Continuous) Level 2 and save yourself a lot of risk and grief.

The price keeps coming down on these units (ClipperCreek in USA or SunCountryHighway in Canada)

2016Electric
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:05 am
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Re: Included Level 1 Charger (North America vs. Europe)

Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:51 pm

JimGord wrote:Just buy a 240 V 40AMP (32 Amp Continuous) Level 2 and save yourself a lot of risk and grief.

The price keeps coming down on these units (ClipperCreek in USA or SunCountryHighway in Canada)



Hi,

Thanks - I intend to, but that's not the point, and wasn't my question. My question was technical. I wanted to know more about how the device works, and what differentiates it from its higher voltage sibling.

JeroenE
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:46 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Included Level 1 Charger (North America vs. Europe)

Sat Oct 03, 2015 12:22 am

I have a European one, on the back it says the input has to be AC220V-240V 10A 50Hz.

In the past when you bought a computer the power supply usually had a switch you could set to 120V or 220V. If you accidentally put the switch on 120V and turned the computer on the power supply would fail and release the magic smoke.

Nowadays you can use the power supply on any voltage between 110V and 240V. It will automatically detect the voltage and adjust accordingly.

I would assume the same thing is built into the box for charging the Kia.

It looks like it is: here are the insides of my ICCB. It says it'll accept between AC 100V and 277V and turn it into DC 12V. My guess is that the power supply will be the same for the USA version.

On one sticker it does say "ICCB EU". It looks like this sticker is on a relay. I would guess that they would have used the same relays for both the 120V and 240V switching. But I can't guarantee that obviously.

If they really turn the charger into 240V 12A then they do something else because default is is only 10A. So the charging will be a bit faster than before.

Depending on the amps available at your friends a portable EVSE might be a better idea. If they have enough power (and their installation is also rated accordingly!) you could charge at a maximum of 6,6kW which is much faster than the supplied charger is capable of. That way you should be able to charge the car in about 4 till 5 hours if it was almost empty.
Last edited by JeroenE on Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

notfred
Posts: 412
Joined: Thu May 07, 2015 2:28 pm

Re: Included Level 1 Charger (North America vs. Europe)

Sat Oct 03, 2015 5:42 am

Interesting! I'm tempted to open my Canadian one up to see and compare, but I want to wait till I get my Level 2 installed in case I drop something in to it :)

Yes, those 2 lumps on the left will be the line relays, see how they have the current sensing loops after them? That block on the right as you say will be the voltage converter to run the electronics that generate the pulse train. I was expecting to see a little PIC microcontroller or similar to look at the output of the current loops, generate pulse train etc. That little connector on the right edge looks like a programming / debugging connector for it, maybe the microcontroller is on the back of the board?

2016Electric
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:05 am
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Re: Included Level 1 Charger (North America vs. Europe)

Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:11 am

JeroenE wrote:I have a European one, on the back it says the input has to be AC220V-240V 10A 50Hz.

In the past when you bought a computer the power supply usually had a switch you could set to 120V or 220V. If you accidentally put the switch on 120V and turned the computer on the power supply would fail and release the magic smoke.

Nowadays you can use the power supply on any voltage between 110V and 240V. It will automatically detect the voltage and adjust accordingly.

I would assume the same thing is built into the box for charging the Kia.

It looks like it is: here are the insides of my ICCB. It says it'll accept between AC 100V and 277V and turn it into DC 12V. My guess is that the power supply will be the same for the USA version.

On one sticker it does say "ICCB EU". It looks like this sticker is on a relay. I would guess that they would have used the same relays for both the 120V and 240V switching. But I can't guarantee that obviously.

If they really turn the charger into 240V 12A then they do something else because default is is only 10A. So the charging will be a bit faster than before.

Depending on the amps available at your friends a portable EVSE might be a better idea. If they have enough power (and their installation is also rated accordingly!) you could charge at a maximum of 6,6kW which is much faster than the supplied charger is capable of. That way you should be able to charge the car in about 4 till 5 hours if it was almost empty.



Very interesting..

Yeah, will certainly need a high capacity charger, and this is largely academic. I'm always curious about these sorts of things.
I looked up wiring for The Netherlands, and apparently your neutral wire is blue? L1 (live) is brown, and the other one (green as usual for us too) is ground.
As I guessed, the power supply is universal, so the difference must be something else. I assume the current loops that notfred mentioned are there to detect charging current for the indicator lights on the front side.
As for the relays, are they powered by low voltage on the control side, and just have a pass-through on the contact (line) side?

Perhaps there is a difference with the GFCI portion of circuit?

JeroenE
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:46 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Included Level 1 Charger (North America vs. Europe)

Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:31 am

notfred wrote:Interesting! I'm tempted to open my Canadian one up to see and compare, but I want to wait till I get my Level 2 installed in case I drop something in to it :)

I've got a public L2 charger on the street parking places like hundred meter from here. So I have a plan B ;)

I was expecting to see a little PIC microcontroller or similar to look at the output of the current loops, generate pulse train etc. That little connector on the right edge looks like a programming / debugging connector for it, maybe the microcontroller is on the back of the board?

I did not think to look under the board :oops:

I'm not an electronics expert but do you really need a microcontroller for the PWM signal? The box will always tell the car that it can use 10A (at least in European chargers). So I think maybe some nifty electronics is enough to generate such a signal and controller won't be needed?


2016Electric wrote:I looked up wiring for The Netherlands, and apparently your neutral wire is blue? L1 (live) is brown, and the other one (green as usual for us too) is ground.

Actually earth/ground is green/yellow. L1 is brown and L2 and L3 are black and grey (or sometimes brown too). However this is only for cable going from the power company into the the circuit/junction box. Once the phases are into your house the rest of the circuits (to each room, outlet, etcetera) will only use brown, blue and green/yellow. And smaller black ones for switching wires. You can't easily buy grey cables at the DIY stores.

Perhaps there is a difference with the GFCI portion of circuit?

In Europe there is usually no need for GCFI coils as that is mostly integrated into the circuit/junction box and does not need to be detected by an appliance. However, it does not matter if the box will detect this too.

My car is charging with the ICCB now; I'll probably open it up tomorrow to check the underside of the PCB.

notfred
Posts: 412
Joined: Thu May 07, 2015 2:28 pm

Re: Included Level 1 Charger (North America vs. Europe)

Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:02 pm

Those current loops are the GFCI loops, current going out on one must match current coming back on the other else there is a Ground Fault. I think it is part of the standard and that's why I think you need a microcontroller. The EVSE does a startup test and drives all 3 LEDs before settling down.

2016Electric
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:05 am
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Re: Included Level 1 Charger (North America vs. Europe)

Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:22 pm

notfred wrote:Those current loops are the GFCI loops, current going out on one must match current coming back on the other else there is a Ground Fault. I think it is part of the standard and that's why I think you need a microcontroller. The EVSE does a startup test and drives all 3 LEDs before settling down.



Ah that makes sense - any differential would indicate "loss" somewhere. Simple yet effective.
So the difference must be somewhere else.

JeroenE
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:46 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Included Level 1 Charger (North America vs. Europe)

Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:54 pm

notfred wrote:Those current loops are the GFCI loops, current going out on one must match current coming back on the other else there is a Ground Fault. I think it is part of the standard and that's why I think you need a microcontroller. The EVSE does a startup test and drives all 3 LEDs before settling down.

I don't think it is part of the standard. I don't have ithe standard though (you have to pay to get it).

Another guy has posted images of his commercial available EVSE calles ev-box. That one is sold over here, you see them a lot. It looks like they are also sold elsewhere, but because it's Dutch company I'm guessing they are not very common elsewhere. If you click on the link you can see a bit more about them.

That EVSE does not have GFCI coils. It only has a controller, contactor/relay, power supply and wire connectors. Here is the original product the other guy bought second-hand:

Image

And this is the inside:
Image

You can find more pictures here, but all the rest don't show the green cable to the Type 1 connector.

In Europe most circuits have their own GFCI so it is not needed for appliances to do this on their own. But because there is probably none or very little difference between the EU and USA versions they are there anyway.

So, I opened up my ICCB again and this time took the time to remove the PCB and check the other side. As you predicted here is a microprocessor in the Kia ICCB too. I have updated my album with some pictures from the other side. Actually I removed the album and created another because for some reason I couldn't add pictures. Probably me, I never used imgur before.

The PCB is coated, I'm assuming for protection against moisture. This makes it impossible to read the make and model of the bigger components. On the cpu they have put a large sticker anyway. Because I removed the PCB I could see the writing on the side of the big black components and it is a relay. The writing is a little bit unclear, but I hope you can read it anyway. It days it is a 240V relay. I'm sure it'll switch 120V just fine, but perhaps they use different ones in the standard USA version?

Return to “Batteries and Charging”