Monday, 27 January 2014

Getting used to using the EMW charger

I ran a test a the weekend with the intention of filming the whole charge sequence, it all went well until firstly my camera ran out of space on its SD Card, offloaded the contents and continued filming at which point the DC current clam I had borrowed ran out of battery, closely followed by the AC Current clam I was borrowing from work timing out (odd that it would time out whilst readings are changing but I get is is a cheap one designed for single current readings.
All of this put the kibosh on me getting a complete charge cycle recorded and due to the need to have the car running for Monday (For my work commute) I resorted to just finishing the charge and seeing how I got on with a week’s worth of actual use of this charger to charge my car.
I am charging from approximately a half charged pack to a fully charged pack every week day evening and so far so good I have had to limit the charge current to 12 Amps to avoid melting anything (again!) and this means that it takes approximately 3 hours to complete the charge (Half Charge) I am visiting regularly during the charge cycle to check on things and other than a slightly melted Anderson connector it is all going well.
I intend (if I have time) this weekend to try and get the charger fitted into the car and wire up the J1772 socket so that I can use the heavy duty J1772 cable I have purchased, this will allow a much greater current to be drawn and therefore a faster charge.
However there are a number of constraints more to do with the location in which I am charging the car, currently I have it parked in the entrance of my barn which has a standard domestic 32A 3 pin UK socket supply, as I have already melted several 3 Pin plugs and sockets this is not ideal, the supply for the barn comes from my workshop where the electricity meter is located, this would be the ideal place to connect the J1772 lead and plug for charging but it means that the car would have to be charged outside in the atrocious weather we are currently experiencing ,a good test of the waterproof-ness of my cars electrics you might think.
I have several concerns over this fact and the amount of work required to fit the charge into my car, I still have several things to complete to get the charger fitted:-
1) Drill some fan holes in the car, trivial but time consuming
2) Reworking the fans so that they fit in the car rather than being jerry rigged on the outside of the charger box as they are currently, and wiring them up 
3) Securing the charger box inside the car, already have the holes drilled for this just a matter of bolting it in
4) Securing the heat-sink inside the charger case, I have a problem here as the heat-sink appears to have some voltage on it and the last time I used metal machine screws to secure the heat-sink I got a shook from the case (not good) might 3d print some screws and tap/die them off to fit (not sure if ABS will be strong enough to handle the vibration though)
5) Wiring the output connections in permanently with bigger wires (already have these made up) to avoid the need for Anderson connectors (from my limited experience Anderson connectors are not really up to the job)
6) Wiring in the J1772 socket to the chargers AC inputs, this should be fairly trivial the cable is already in the car, however
7) I need to change the orientation of the J1772 socket so that when the plug is inserted it points down, my mechanic fitted it so the socket points up to avoid the socket cap fouling the ex-petrol filler hinge, I will probably have to mod the socket lid by hack sawing of the tab that is fouling the hinge, as if I intend to run this in foul weather I need the plug pointing down so any water runs down and drips off the cable not down into the plug!
8) Insulating the chargers case from the cars chassis, although this is not required it would be another level of safety if I have a short inside the charger for any reason.
9) I have also been advised that to resolve the voltage on the heat sink issue I might be able to use mica sheet to electrically isolate the bridge/IGBT/Output diode from the heat sink (I need to check this with Valery first though)

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