Fluence Rate Of Charge? - Renault Z.E. Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-26-2013, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Fluence Rate Of Charge?

(Note to electricians amongst us, please don't pick me up for not using the correct electrical terminology. )


I am seriously considering the Fluence ZE now (assuming the dealers actually return my emails/calls - grrr) and it got me thinking about charging the car.

I appreciate that at home the car will draw 10amps (2.25 kwh?) from a normal 13 amp socket and that a full charge for a 20 kwh battery would take upto 10 hours from empty. Not a problem for me overnight every two weeks.

Being an Ecotricity customer I was tempted to get their card if I get a Fluence and note that some of their new chargers support upto 32 amp/7 kwh.

What does the Fluence support? Is it 10 amp? 16 amp? 32 amp? Does one get a lead to support motorway/ecotricity chargers as well as the 13 amp one?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-26-2013, 01:07 PM
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RE: Fluence Rate Of Charge?

16A.

With Renault cars, you get the Type 2 (Mennekes) lead to either J1772, as you get with the Fluence and Kangoo, or to another Type 2 with the Zoe.

When you plug the J1772 into the Fluence and the other end into a Type 2 connector, the car and the charging station figure out what to charge the car to. So you can plug into a 3 phase 32A Type 2 with your lead, but it would only draw one phase 16A. Basically, if the plug fits, just plug it in.

The 3-pin domestic lead is extra with Renault cars. The ex-press fleet sold off have come with this extra lead, which is an additional 500 or so if it doesn't have it.

If you have to make a decision to buy a 3-pin lead because you can't haggle one out of them for gratis, then I would recommend you don't bother. Instead, find one of the companies fitting these domestic charging stations for 'free' (Government funded) before you actually get the car (else you'd have to wait to charge it up!) and you'll probably never want to use the 3-pin lead again.

Just get the charging station fitted now, if you are seriously thinking about it. Ask for one with a Type 2 socket rather than a flying lead and you can use the lead that comes with the car. Or if you prefer the flying lead then that is up to you, and you need to ask for one with a J1772 plug in that case.

Curiously, the Leafies come supplied with the 3-pin lead, and you have to buy the Type 2 lead. I don't know if that is a marketing plan or not, but ultimately you can do without the 3-pin lead, but not so well without the Type 2 lead. I suspect that means there is a ready market for Leaf owners looking for a Type 2 charging lead.

[hr]
Just apply for the ecotricity card too. If you find yourself deciding to drive a car a long way, you may have wished to have it sooner. Took about 3 weeks for mine to arrive.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-26-2013, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Fluence Rate Of Charge?

Cheers for that and good suggestion about the ecotricity card.

I won't buy a car if I can't plug it in to a 13 amp socket. Now I appreciate the benefits of a purpose built charger BUT they're rare as hens teeth up these parts and I would insist on having a backup option incase of breakdown. Also handy if I visit friends or family or if I got caught short out and about.

I'm sure in 5 years there won't be a problem but I don't like being caught with my pants down. Image a charger breakdown on a Bank Holiday Monday when you were planning a day trip away, let alone being ready for work the next morning.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 03:22 AM
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RE: Fluence Rate Of Charge?

As a matter of interest, being a meanie I like to use off peak electricity and don't like to have to get up at some godforsaken hour to switch the charger on so I use the 13A lead that I chose to purchase (430 extra) - I too wanted the ability to charge up when visiting friends rather than being stuck in some commercial charge point for yours.


I always try to charge when down to 25%. Charging has just completed - I set the charger using a plug-in digital timer to do a dummy 5 minute charge at bedtime to I can SEE that the charger is working, then I get a good night's sleep. The charge proper starts at 12.30am and offpeak ends for me at 7.30. The android app informed me at 7.46 that the charge had completed at 100% giving me an estimated range of 98 miles. Total cost for the charge is 1.02p (my offpeak electricity is only just over 6p per unit - the standing charge is paid for by the offpeak hot water system).

The BG wall charger will only get used if I get taken short during the day!

I must say the estimated range that Renaults generate is usually pretty accurate - unlike, I understand - the Leaf.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 12:01 PM
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RE: Fluence Rate Of Charge?

I agree. It is usually a few miles on the pessimistic side, which is probably no bad thing for most people.

But you do need to drive fairly consistently for it to tell you anything useful.

I simply go on 12 miles per octal segment. It'll do 15 miles if you drive steady 52. It'll do 10 if you push it assertively. It'll do 8 per octal if you push it hard with the heater on.

I've not seen the range estimator come back with very high figures yet. Occasionally it figures out I have 75 miles left with 3/4 battery, but it never seems to want to admit I can get 100 miles out of it when full!!!

I've been trying out what the range is like driving faster these days, and with heating! So I put the heating on and went for full motorway speeds on my way to work today, and used up 3 octal segments in 22 miles. Coming back I ran the ac and went for full+ motorway speeds, and used up 2.5 octals. So I guess that's working out at 60 mile range using it like that!

It's not even winter yet!!

Driving style and weather are far more critical for EVs than it is for ICEs. At least with an ICE you get increasing efficiency from a more heavily loaded engine, plus you get waste heat for 'free'. You get a double whammy for EVs with decreasing battery efficiency under load and higher aero dynamic loads at higher speeds.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-27-2013, 04:15 PM
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RE: Fluence Rate Of Charge?

I should add to Paul's post, though, that using the 3-pin plug may not be as efficient. The car uses a certain number of Wh for each mile from the battery, but to get that juice into the battery in the first place you have to draw more than that amount of Wh due to inefficiencies in charging. AFAIK, the charger is designed to be optimally efficient for the 3.5kW charge rate, and you actually use up more juice with the 3-pin option to charge the battery up to some given level.

I suspect that if the timer switch Paul uses is bog-standard, then it may cause voltage spikes when it switches, and probably big inductive sparks too. But as that lead has its own little box, I would guess if anything were to be damaged by that process then it'd be that box'o'tricks on the lead, rather than the car. But, thereagain, y'never know, I could be wrong!?
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 05:34 AM
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RE: Fluence Rate Of Charge?

If I am using the 13A cable, when the timer is triggered there is a several second delay before the car responds by flashing its winkers 5 times, then charge begins, so I assume the cable has an inbuilt circuit with relay to protect against surge. When charging is complete the timer is set to switch off later so the car controls the "off".
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-28-2013, 03:07 PM
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RE: Fluence Rate Of Charge?

Good point about the relay. Yes, I think you are right, because the first thing that has to happen is the battery relay closes, and it won't do that until the power is established.

I was thinking to have a timer installed in the line to the box myself (for the reasons we've discussed before) and worried a little about the switching side of it. But like you say, so long as it is set to go off long after charging is done, then there should be no issues.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-12-2013, 04:24 PM
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RE: Fluence Rate Of Charge?

getting my home charging unit fitted Tuesday. the 3kw one if free and they want an extra 95 quid for the 7kw unit. is there any reason to get a 7kw as a fluence owner. is it not the case that the onboard charger limited to 3kw anyway.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-12-2013, 05:26 PM
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RE: Fluence Rate Of Charge?

The charger on the Fluence is 3.6kW Only reason to get a 7kW unit would be for your next EV.

In that case it would be best to get a Type-2 socket incase your next EV has a Type-2 connector.

Leaf, Fluence and Kangoo Phase I are Type 1. Just about everything else is Type2.
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