I33t
Posts: 883
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:01 pm
Location: Australia

Re: Can't charge up from solar panels

Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:42 pm

So here's another question.

Does your inverter have a true sine wave or does it have a modified sine wave output?

Image

Put a scope on it and you will find out.
2014 BMW i3 BEV deposit placed 19th Dec 2013
Delivered in Melbourne 4/12/2014. Arrived locally 11/12/14, with 24km on the clock.

NoInverter
Posts: 5
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Re: Can't charge up from solar panels

Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:35 am

Perhaps this will help someone out there. In the end, I found out that for some reason the charger will not work on a GFCI circuit. A freindly guy with knowledge from Clipper Creek who works on the charging systems said to avoid GFCI circuits. So in the end it had nothing to do with on or off grid or solar or anything except BMW's failure to tell the peons about this problem.

jadnashuanh
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Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Can't charge up from solar panels

Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:57 pm

FWIW, an EVSE (at least those sold in the US) effectively have a GFCI like circuit in them. While it SHOULD work when connected to an external one, apparently it doesn't. Because of the switching of anything other than a true since wave, each step creates some harmonics. Some things can work with them, some can't. Harmonics can cause the current flow to be a little erratic and look like a fault. Those do not aid the long-term health of electronic circuits unless they have a robust inlet filter and voltage regulation circuit.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

I33t
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Location: Australia

Re: Can't charge up from solar panels

Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:00 pm

If it is a GFCI problem, then I'd have your electrician bring a range of different brands and types of GFCI circuit breakers.

Get the sparky to check the circuit is in good condition and has no minor ground fault before the charger is connected. If that circuit is fine, then try replacing the GFCI circuit breaker.

Our 40A wall charger is on a ground fault circuit and it has never tripped. The occasional use charger has also never tripped. We have plenty of solar panels and no problem.
2014 BMW i3 BEV deposit placed 19th Dec 2013
Delivered in Melbourne 4/12/2014. Arrived locally 11/12/14, with 24km on the clock.

jadnashuanh
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Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Can't charge up from solar panels

Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:56 pm

I have only tried my outside, GFCI-protected receptacle once with my OUC, just to verify it worked. No problem.

One thing to note, at least in the USA, it is okay (not preferable, but better than nothing) to have a GFCI without a ground wire. This is often used in older structures where they only have hot/neutral (i.e., a 2-wire power cable) and allows you to plug a 3-prong plug into it, get the GFCI protection, but not have the extra safety ground wire connection (ideal). Your EVSE will NOT work on one of those...it needs a real ground. It could be as simple as a loose or missing ground wire.

How fussy the i3 is about incoming power, I don't know, but a real, actual (not simulated) sinewave works best with it, and the EVSE won't condition the power, it only passes it through (except for whatever it needs for its internal logic).
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

alegra89
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:53 pm

Re: Can't charge up from solar panels

Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:58 pm

NoInverter wrote:My dream of charging up the i3 from the solar panels , led solutions has been dashed. Here's the problem: Most inverters though labeled sine wave inverters do not produce a wave form close enough to the one produced by the utility companies. I have Xantrex inverters SW 4048 purchased in 2006. So the charge panel on the cable provided by BMW for 120 volts reads "power fault. My inverters run everything in the house-tvs, microwave ovens, electronic gear and so forth. Why is it necessary that the car have that perfect of sine waves?
Think about how simple it is to charge up a battery with a charger bought at WalMart. When I bought the car I told the sales Person that I intended to charge up from a solar panel setup. Does not denying that constitute misrepresentation. Somewhere in the BMWi3 hoopla was a section labeled Green Energy or similar. There it talked about charging up from solar panels.


Hello,
My experience will help you out , charging via the provided EVSE is that it can be a bit 'hit and miss' when it comes to starting the charge. If the start fails then I find that I have to disconnect the EVSE from the car and go through the start up process again. To my knowledge, there is no way of turning off the charge from the APP. Other EV users have reported using a wifi-controlled socket but bear in mind that this is another set of pins which could result in arcing.

EVMan
Posts: 221
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:31 pm
Location: USA, CA

Re: Can't charge up from solar panels

Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:48 pm

jhu321 wrote:the evse is just a power switch that advertises what the current capabilities are to the car and a really fast on/off switch. If the evse is reporting the error and not the car, it's most likely ground fault where the ground fault protection thinks ground isn't there or not wired properly. the supplied charger is extremely sensitive to ground fault, I got a different evse and never had a problem since.


Ya.
EVSE is just a safety extension cord. It does not power sample for quality.
Just try another EVSE. Likely some other issue ( ground , voltage etc )
2016 22KWH Rex ( Lease to Return ) ~ Model 3 Dual Motor, Long Range ( Wait-listed )
2017 33KWH Rex
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jadnashuanh
Posts: 4090
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Can't charge up from solar panels

Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:51 pm

There is a power supply in all EVSE devices that generates power to the internal interlock and control signals it uses to communicate with the car, i.e., a logic board that runs off of low-voltage DC. But, the power it passes through is just line voltage that the car then converts to the high voltage DC to recharge its batteries.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

iainventor
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:03 pm

Re: Can't charge up from solar panels

Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:18 pm

NoInverter wrote:My dream of charging up the i3 from the solar panels has been dashed. Here's the problem: Most inverters though labeled sine wave inverters do not produce a wave form close enough to the one produced by the utility companies. I have Xantrex inverters SW 4048 purchased in 2006. So the charge panel on the cable provided by BMW for 120 volts reads "power fault. My inverters run everything in the house-tvs, microwave ovens, electronic gear and so forth. Why is it necessary that the car have that perfect of sine waves?
Think about how simple it is to charge up a battery with a charger bought at WalMart. When I bought the car I told the sales Person that I intended to charge up from a solar panel setup. Does not denying that constitute misrepresentation. Somewhere in the BMWi3 hoopla was a section labeled Green Energy or similar. There it talked about charging up from solar panels.


hi I think its your inverter that is sine wave sure, but has a built in safety ground fault in the circuit of the inverter so that if you become the circuit interrupt to ground it shorts out to provide safety so you don't get electrocuted or something like that. so the 110 would be live wire 1 and neutral the return path through neutral will be unbalanced so the ground fault triggers.

that is why on my pure sine Aimes 8kw inverter L + N and L2 + N, or L1 + L2 for pure 240 VAC but not 3 wire L1 + N + L2 like a 3 wire drier wire would be.

L1 + L2 for pure 240 VAC have charged BMW i3 hooking up inverter to 20 Amp 240 VAC Level 2 Charger. It works for me anyways.
Maverick Inventor -- Who has an interest in getting our world off of Oil based fuels -- to EV Use


2009 ZENN Low Speed Vehicle 72 Volt GEM Controller
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NoInverter
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:39 pm

Re: Can't charge up from solar panels

Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:20 am

After all it wasn't the solar panels or the inverter that was the problem. A nice man from Clipper Creek (they make the charger cables) He said they don't work on GFI protected circuits. So I used an inside plug in the house and no problem. Most US houses have GFI protected circuits in wet locations, including outside plugs. The real question to me is why BMW didn't share this information with me. In spite of the fact that they have their so-calledgeniuses response for help and instructional materal are lacking

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