50A 240vac circuit wire and ground in conduit

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by jadnashua, May 22, 2014.

  1. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Location:
    New England
    The more sophisticated EV's have heating and cooling for their batteries to maintain a safe temperature, and lots of monitoring circuits...and, they restrict the max charge rate to something the thing can sustain while keeping the battery compartment cool. That, plus they are in a sealed, thick aluminum housing, they should be pretty robust.

    The plan is to probably keep the car outside most of the time, but to keep the condo happy, I'm trying to get permission to put in a small access door to get the cable outside, rather than just installing the unit outside. THen, if I did want to use it inside, it would also be available. First step is probably just put in a 120vac receptacle outside...the only one outside is too far away for the cord to reach, but being small, should pass muster. Only hassle is, the entire cord would be outside, and susceptible to vandalism or theft (not that we have a big issue with that). Replacing it would be expensive and potentially put the vehicle out of commission while getting a new one. My feeling is that people would be less inclined to mess with the cord coming from inside, and putting it away back inside when done.
  2. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

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    Sounds like you have a good plan.

    The WiFi one would be cool, and you could have Video also.


    Have you decided on the car to buy, of do you have it already ?


    Have Fun.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Location:
    New England
    I've driven the BMW i3, and I fit, as does my trike - it was fun to drive, BMW says it is their fastest model 0-30mph of everything they currently sell (instant torque of electric motor and light weight).

    I'm thinking, since my panel doesn't have all that much coming in, I may just hardwire the thing and then I can use a smaller wire and breaker. If you get the version of charge point with a plug, there aren't any 40A receptacles, and you must wire it for 50A to match the plug. After a bit more research, it seems that the max the car can take is 30A at the supply voltage available (it seems 32A is a European artifact of how they calculate things), so while it could not be upgraded without rewiring, getting a bigger supply in would be almost impossible, too, so that would be the limiting factor. That, plus, I tend to keep my cars for a long time, I think I'll hold off on a larger unit, save the extra costs, and probably never need to look back.

    But, no, until I get permission from the condo to run power outside, I'm not going to commit. My other car is fairly big and I don't want it sticking out all of the time...the i3 is designed as a city car, holds 4, but isn't all that long in comparison. Starting up the other car to just move it outside and swap with the electric won't do it any favors, either! The i3 is about 40" shorter than my other car, so it gives the people across from me a lot more room to back out and go without issues.

    Right now, I'm leaning towards the Clipper Creek HCS-40 series charge point...made in the USA, and others have said it works on the i3 with no issues. From what the rumblings are, they also make the charge cord that comes with the vehicle, but that works on 120-vac and is limited to 12A - 30A @240vac is able to push a lot more power, so the recharge time is better. The car adjusts the current draw as the batteries get close to full, or they get too warm (it may also turn on it's cooling circuit to restrict that heat gain). The car has both heating and cooling capacity for the battery pack, so should fare better than something like the Leaf, which has had problems in places like AZ (I think their current model year may have addressed that). But of the other two electric cars generally available, the LEaf and the Ford Focus EV, my trike won't fit. And, they're bigger, don't handle as well, and don't drive as well. On the i3, the load floor is flat, on both the Leaf and the Ford, the load floor is a weird shape and not as easy to put things in or get them out or to actually fit certain things - the critical one for me is my trike.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
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    Okay, a related question. I live in a condo townhouse. Right now, I have a 100A panel, and a subpanel was added to give a bit more room for remodeling my kitchen and master bath. That subpanel is fed with a 60A breaker and has plenty of space. I think there is room for one 240vac breaker in the main panel, and if necessary, a circuit or two could be fairly easily moved (the panels are right next to each other). My biggest loads are in order: 2T a/c, DW (when the heating cycle is on), refrigerator, air tub, washing machine (if you use the heater in it). Stove, dryer, heat are all gas-fired. Given that the subpanel is only being fed with a 60A breaker, and there's only 100A available, will they even let me install a 40A breaker (30A actual load)? ANd, if so, could a new 40A circuit be installed in either the main or subpanel? I'd have to do a survey of what's in the subpanel, but I think the bigger loads are in the main panel.

    It would be almost impossible to upgrade the service, as it comes into the end of the building (I'm in the middle) and passes through about 5 units before it gets to mine...tearing into each of them would be difficult and costly as the ceilings in the basement where the existing supply lines from the meter are run is all finished, and then coordinating them to all be home at the same time to run a new cable would be nearly impossible as well.
  5. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Most of the Condos, apartments, Townhouses , What ever you want to call them, Will limit the amount of power that you can have. Same rules apply on all multi dwellings.

    The HV transformers have a rating that can not be exceeded.

    If you want unlimited power you can move to the county, And if you are lucky you can get 3 phase.


    Have Fun.
    Last edited: May 31, 2014
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    Followup

    I ended up buying a Clipper Creek EVSE that is now hard-wired to the panel, so it could use a 40A circuit (max draw, 32A), since there's no plug involved. Had the unit installed on this past Thursday, and all seems to work fine. The electrician had to move some circuits to the subpanel to make room in the main panel (not enough power in the sub) to make it all work, so he had a longer day than I wanted to pay for, but while he was here, I had him do some things I'd been putting off for a long time. One of the good and bad things about condo living...you can't legally do electrical work where I live. I have to call the inspector, but there's no rush to get it inspected.
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