Occasional/permanent charger - Renault Z.E. Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-08-2015, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Occasional/permanent charger

Hi,

I'm a new Fluence owner, and I currently only have the occasional charger cable.

It fits all my needs, and I do not really need a permanent 3.7kW wall charger.

I have found opposing opinions as whether it is safe to use is all the time. Does anyone know for sure, or is also only charging with the occasional charger ?

Thanks,
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-08-2015, 11:18 AM
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RE: Occasional/permanent charger

Hi Walther,

the opposing opinions are probably both right, depends on what part of the system you're looking at:
- the Fluence is perfectly fine with the reduced charging power from the mobile brick-and-cable, no problem
- the brick-and-cable *should* stand a few thousand hours of operation, but probably doesn't like rain, dirt etc.
- the grid side is potentially subject to wear and tear: So-called "13 amp outlets" can stand occasional short periods of 13A loads (like lawn mowers, hair-dryers, vacuum cleaners etc.) for many years, no problem. But they're definitely NOT fit for constant 13A loads 8hrs a day, 365days a year (which the Fluence requires more or less). They heat up and due to the heat get corroded, and due to increased contact resistance heat up even more - until something melts or burns or whatever. So the mains outlet and wiring need to be real robust and powerful.

My solution: Since 1 year approx, I share a brick-and-cable at work with my colleague (who owns a Fluence too) that's attached semi-permanently to a rain protected industrial type power distribution panel. It's fed by a blue IEC 309 plug (also EN60309, "camping plug" ) from a fully capable 16A outlet of the panel. No irregularities experienced yet.

In your case, I'd suggest you make sure the complete AC path up to the brick is rugged and fully capable (for 16A preferrably) and you check temperature of this path from time to time. Then you should be fine.

Best Regards,
Beat
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-08-2015, 11:32 AM
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RE: Occasional/permanent charger

Good reply, but remember the occasional cable is limited electronically to 10A so the risk of stressing household wiring is reduced.

I have a 16A wall charger as well as the occasional cable and prefer the latter as I connect the car via a rugged timer so that I can arrange a cheap overnight charge. It has proved totally reliable over 2 years.

Also, dangling the cable out of a window in bad weather has no influence on the cable as both ends are protected together with the "brick" which as been deliberately designed to be close to the house end of the cable.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-08-2015, 08:00 PM
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RE: Occasional/permanent charger

If the occasional charger cable is limited to 10A you should have no problem.
If it goes up to 16A but you can also select 10A i would change the plug for a Blue camping type and have an electrician install a Blue camping type socket at your home and check that circuit for 16A.
Then i would buy an adapter from Blue camping type socket to standard plug so you could charge anywhere at 10A.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 04:50 AM
Eep
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RE: Occasional/permanent charger

There was some suggestion that the Fluence occasional cable was subject to a recall, but having just booked my car in for a service the only recall showing on their system was something to do with the a storage area in the trunk. I am suspicious that this might actually be the same thing, but we'll see: other than that, the service involves the change of a cabin filter. Now that IS progress...
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Occasional/permanent charger

Thank you all for the good and thorough advice.

I will probably follow the advice and change to a camping plug. I need some more power in my garage for brewing anyway

Thanks,
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 05:34 PM
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RE: Occasional/permanent charger

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eep
There was some suggestion that the Fluence occasional cable was subject to a recall, but having just booked my car in for a service the only recall showing on their system was something to do with the a storage area in the trunk. I am suspicious that this might actually be the same thing, but we'll see: other than that, the service involves the change of a cabin filter. Now that IS progress...
I think it's the other cable - that's the one they replaced when I took my car in for its MoT.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 09:22 PM
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RE: Occasional/permanent charger

Quote:
Originally Posted by william
Good reply, but remember the occasional cable is limited electronically to 10A so the risk of stressing household wiring is reduced.
Well - *mine* is 13A :-) Ok 10A is condisderably less, but still too much for typical household stuff if applied for 1000s of hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by william
Also, dangling the cable out of a window in bad weather has no influence on the cable as both ends are protected together with the "brick" which as been deliberately designed to be close to the house end of the cable.
For sure correct if the outlet is inside the house. Looks different if it's at the outside of a garage e.g. Then I'd take measures to minimize weather impact. Oh and don't forget: extension cords are another possible risk for hazards.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-15-2015, 02:17 PM
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RE: Occasional/permanent charger

Walther, if you are EU based and have a lead with the standard EU two-pin Schuko plug (with ground tab) this is rated to higher currents (16A) than the UK 3-pin type (13A). If you also have a 10A charge lead with a Schuko plug, you should really have no issues.

The main concern with using an 'occasional' lead is that the socket receiving the plug will not last at high currents and repetitive insertions, it is not an electronics issue with the lead or the car.

The only step I would recommend is checking your plug on a routine basis. Every 5 or 6 charges, after an hour of charging unplug the Schuko connector and very cautiously just briefly touch the pins and make sure they are not hot. If they are too hot to touch, you should not continue to use it, but reinstall the socket they are fitting in because the receptacles will have become worn, or the wiring is poor, etc..
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