Living with the Renault ZOE EV #3

Learning the foibles of our Public Charging Infrastructure

Screenshot_Video3_ZOE_Alloam_c

In this video I am comparing charging at a “Rapid” 43kW AC / 50kW DC charger and at a “Fast” 22kW AC charger. For the details of the 43kW charging see my previous post ‘ZOE Charging Curve (APT Rapid)‘. The long and short of it is that the 22kW charger is providing a faster charging rate than the charger that is rated at almost twice the capacity: 20.9kW vs 17.8kW.

Comparison of 43kW and 22kW APT Charge Points – State of Charge (Image: alloam)
Comparison of 43kW and 22kW APT Charge Points – State of Charge (Image: alloam)

These chargers are both made by APT, both on the Charge Your Car network, but one is not living up to its “Rapid” name. I have found that all the “Rapid” 43kW chargers I have used on the Charge Your Car network are providing about this same charge rate. Something is very wrong. As an owner of a car that can take advantage of the full 43kW supply that should be available, this is very frustrating.

Comparison of 43kW and 22kW APT Charge Points – kWh Provided (Image: alloam)
Comparison of 43kW and 22kW APT Charge Points – kWh Provided (Image: alloam)

Other than these public infrastructure gremlins, life with the ZOE remains a lot of fun. And for 90% of our motoring these are not issues, but for those occasional longer drives, then the Rapid chargers really need to live up to their name.

Home Forums Living with the Renault ZOE EV #3

This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  JamesD 4 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #7767

    alloam
    Participant

    Learning the foibles of our Public Charging Infrastructure In this video I am comparing charging at a “Rapid” 43kW AC / 50kW DC charger and at a “Fast
    [See the full post at: Living with the Renault ZOE EV #3 ]

    #8434

    JamesD
    Participant

    Hi there

    I have just watched all three of your videos about the long trip. Very interesting points you raised about those so called rapid 43kw chargers that only charged at around 18kw ish.

    I think the unit is not presenting the correct mark space ratio on the 1khz pilot signal for 43kw charging to Zoe’s Chameleon charger. Also the cable thickness did not appear on the video to be as heavy gauge as the ecotricty rapid chargers. Hence them limiting the output power maybe?
    63a phase is a fair amount. Might be wrong but just a gut feeling. It is very strange though.

    I have only ever used the ecotricty rapids and found them to work at near to full power. The dc leaf side is always failing due earth leakage faults due to rain ingress into the units. This trips the unit and requires a inspection and reset. The units are a combined china and French concoction of hardware and and software. The dc side has gone through many changes and board mods to try to get it working correctly. Thank The Lord I’m using an in built ac charger that does rapid 2c charging. Simple and easy hardware it’s just a contactor and a 1khz pilot with a bit of logic programming to control it.

    As for the balancing phase , the last 10% just skip it. Get to 85-90 and leave. The car has built in balancer that while your parked up right now will even out the pack. It’s between each cell and brings down the highest to match. I found that occasional 100% helps sometimes with making the last bit go faster. Think of poor leaf owners they can only get to 80% then are switched off. Bye go find a slow 16a somewhere to finish up.

    As for charging points, I make my own. The great thing with zoe is she really is open platform, AC is simple and easy to supply. I’m currently running a 11kw 3 phase DIY unit at my work place, and I’m just in the process of making a 22kw 3ph and a portable 3-7kw for 13amp plugs and the odd 16 and 32 ces outlets.

    The charging protocol pilot signal is simple to implement and adjust to suit it the way you want. I’m hoping to publish the whole instructions to build your own charging setup for the zoe shortly prob with videos and the pcb etc. Why …. Well I know you get a free charging point at home. But not for elsewhere like my office or my own business or even an extra granny cable etc? They are way to overpriced for my liking some quotes have been in the thousands for a 22kw unit. I decided I wanted the freedom considering that my 11kw unit cost just £142 to build with the most expensive part being the 62196-2 socket at over a hundred quid (that’s the 7 pin). I’m currently trying to source these from the Far East if anyone knows of a supplier that will sell to me. Then we can get this whole thing cracked open and let’s get building 🙂

    Great post I think we’re all pioneers not ev drivers !

    #8435

    JamesD
    Participant

    Could do with sticking the scope on the cp pin on that public charger, see what the duty cycle is. Whip up a 7-7 plug with a tap off the cp line and earth, resistor to ground to kick in the square waves duty cycle on the charger. That way will tell you exactly what it’s advertising to zoe. Going the extra drop to below 800R on cp, should drop the contactor then you check the phases carefully with a multimeter to make sure it’s got all three. Might only have 1 phase working 🙂 zoe won’t mind, she’s not fussy, she just draws the max she can from the single phase to N , hence the drop in charge rate. We have tried it 🙂 just another thought….if you want to go that far. 🙂

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