MKH
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:48 am
Location: Dallas

Re: New i3 owner from TX

Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:02 am

I looked at several, including Juice Box, but was a little leery of the raft of negative reviews on Amazon.
Was looking for US made with adjustable amp settings in the hardware, not the (sometimes flaky) software - as I have only a 100 amp panel, which will take another 30 amp double-pole 220 breaker, but not a 40 amp.

Found this one, with good reviews, in several "best of" articles, and has internal dip switches to set the amps. Really heavy-duty, and seems very well engineered. So far, working great

https://www.evocharge.com/product/evoin ... -cord.html

I got it on Amazon (best price).
https://www.amazon.com/EVoCharge-EVoInn ... VoInnovate

My electrical panel is in the attached garage, and after local electricians quoted anywhere from $800 to $1200 to wire in a 220 receptacle, with a little Internet/Youtube "how-to" research, I ran 25 feet of PVC conduit from the panel to the back of the garage, and put in the 30 amp breaker, 10 gauge wiring and NEMA 6-50 receptacle myself, for not much over $100 in materials from HD. Easy afternoon project. Suppose I could wire in a disconnect switch next to it, but don't think it vampires much electricity in it's wait-state. You can usually tell when an appliance is sucking up a chunk of electrons while "on" but not in use, as it will generate enough heat that the appliance is warm to the touch. This unit is pretty much stone-cold, unless plugged in to the car and charging, and only barely detectably warm then. And adding a mechanical switch adds in a wear-point, which as it is used and ages, will itself start to vampire electricity through worn connections.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 20 inch wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

alohart
Posts: 1445
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: New i3 owner from TX

Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:25 pm

MKH wrote:I looked at several, including Juice Box, but was a little leery of the raft of negative reviews on Amazon.

"Raft" might be a bit strong with only 6% of 500 reviews either 1 or 2 stars. JuiceBox has been available for many years (ours is 4 years old and has never had a problem) and is one of the most popular U.S. EVSE's.

MKH wrote:My electrical panel is in the attached garage, and after local electricians quoted anywhere from $800 to $1200 to wire in a 220 receptacle, with a little Internet/Youtube "how-to" research, I ran 25 feet of PVC conduit from the panel to the back of the garage, and put in the 30 amp breaker, 10 gauge wiring and NEMA 6-50 receptacle myself, for not much over $100 in materials from HD. Easy afternoon project.

Most EVSE's use a NEMA 14-50 plug, so if you decide to replace your EVSE, you'll likely have to install a NEMA 14-50 receptacle.

MKH wrote:Suppose I could wire in a disconnect switch next to it, but don't think it vampires much electricity in it's wait-state. You can usually tell when an appliance is sucking up a chunk of electrons while "on" but not in use, as it will generate enough heat that the appliance is warm to the touch. This unit is pretty much stone-cold, unless plugged in to the car and charging, and only barely detectably warm then. And adding a mechanical switch adds in a wear-point, which as it is used and ages, will itself start to vampire electricity through worn connections.

Energy Star certifies EVSE's that consume, on average, 40% less power while idle (i.e., not plugged in or plugged in but not charging). The JuiceBox Pro 40 is Energy Star certified and consumes ~3 W while idle, but the Evocharge doesn't appear to be Energy Star certified. The Energy Star certified EVSE that consumes the most power while idle consumes ~7W of power, so it's likely that the Evocharge either consumes more than 7 W or hasn't been certified by Energy Star yet. That's not a huge vampire drain, but it's 24/7/365, so it could add up. I try to eliminate all vampire drains, so I installed a power switch in our charging circuit and turn it on only while actively charging.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

MKH
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:48 am
Location: Dallas

Re: New i3 owner from TX

Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:33 pm

Hi Alohart:
Thanks, good info.

Yeah, JuiceBox was one of the three top contenders I was considering, Clipper Creek being the other. If eMotorworks still made the classic model, without the wifi and voice control, which I don't need or want, and adds to the cost, I might have been tempted - but 6% translates into 1 out of every 17 shipped getting knocked on Amazon, usually for total failure after a few months, or on-going issues with flaky software for the added bells and whistles.

Most of the Evocharge product line is commercial stuff, for public charge stations at apartment complexes and office buildings, so hopefully their lower-end home unit will stand up.

Would be interesting to see what draw the Evocharge does have on standby. A 30 amp double-pole switch is only $8, so I may need to install one in the circuit, like you have. And as far as switching out to a 14-50 receptacle sometime in the future - that's $10 bucks and 3 minutes with a screwdriver, so not a big deal.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 20 inch wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

alohart
Posts: 1445
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: New i3 owner from TX

Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:02 pm

MKH wrote:If eMotorworks still made the classic model, without the wifi and voice control, which I don't need or want, and adds to the cost, I might have been tempted - but 6% translates into 1 out of every 17 shipped getting knocked on Amazon, usually for total failure after a few months, or on-going issues with flaky software for the added bells and whistles.

Interesting! I didn't know that the basic version without WiFi was no longer available.

Our apartment parking garage parking space is ~300' from and 2 floors below our apartment, far out of range of our WiFi base station, so I bought the 60 A JuiceBox kit without the WiFi option but with updatable open source software and the optional small color LCD and wireless remote so that I can adjust its maximum charging current, charging start delay, total charging time, etc., using the wireless remote and LCD.

If I had to buy an EVSE today, I would probably not choose a JuiceBox because of its dependence on WiFi and a smartphone app.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

MKH
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:48 am
Location: Dallas

Re: New i3 owner from TX

Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:55 pm

I bought the 60 A JuiceBox kit


Yeah, those are long-gone. eMotorworks has gone main-stream, and with maybe a few growing pains.

Now to get open source kits, you would need to go to Open EVSE

https://www.openevse.com/
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 20 inch wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4197
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: New i3 owner from TX

Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:11 pm

An EVSE doesn't need much power when in an idle situation...none of the idle circuits are power hungry. There are probably a few things running...a status LED, the low-voltage power supply to turn it on and power the PWM generator, GFCI logic, and the interlock sensor circuit...none of those things need much power. Once a vehicle is plugged in, probably the biggest load that isn't being directed to the vehicle is the power to activate the contactor. Some triacs would likely be more efficient, but not provide the safety disconnect of a contactor.

My Clipper Creek unit seems to draw all of a few watts when in standby. A few years ago, I added a power/voltage meter in-line with mine. It also can give an accumulated Kw/hr use. I added an in-line fuse to the thing and an on/off switch (for the meter, not the EVSE). Spent all of about $25 on parts that included a box extension and cover that I cut to allow the panel mount meter to be inserted, the box extender gave me enough depth to not overfill the box. FWIW, in the winter, my normal supply voltage is about 247vac and about 10vac lower on average in the summer. My unit is older, and rated at 30A, but with my inlet voltage, it can max out the i3's on-board charging circuit (7400W on most).
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

MKH
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:48 am
Location: Dallas

Re: New i3 owner from TX

Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:12 am

Asked a friend, who is an electrical engineer (designs solid state chips and circuitry for high-end video cards) what he though stand-by power draw would be on my EVSE. He said with a pic of the circuitry "innards" he could do a calculated guess - but he also said something interesting. That if the "appliance" didn't have an on/off switch, then it was designed to be kept powered up in a wait-state. He said it is actually harder on solid-state circuitry to be powered up and shut off repeatedly, than to be left on in a wait-state, unless specifically designed for the repeated on/off cycles.

He also said that the few watts, energy star certified or not, that an EVSE uses on standby is pretty negligible. If the EVSE uses 7 watts on standby @ 12 cents a kilowatt hour, you are looking at something like $8 bucks a year's in electricity costs if it is on standby 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 20 inch wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

alohart
Posts: 1445
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: New i3 owner from TX

Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:05 pm

MKH wrote:That if the "appliance" didn't have an on/off switch, then it was designed to be kept powered up in a wait-state. He said it is actually harder on solid-state circuitry to be powered up and shut off repeatedly, than to be left on in a wait-state, unless specifically designed for the repeated on/off cycles.

A problem with adding an on-off switch to an EVSE is that it would need to be able to operate only when the EVSE is not charging or it would have to be a heavy-duty, relatively expensive switch capable of switching high currents. If an EVSE loses power while charging, the EV's on-board charger would register a charging error. I never turn off our charging circuit's power switch while our EVSE is charging, but to prevent that with an on-off switch on an EVSE would add additional complexity and cost to an EVSE.

Most solid-state electronics have on-off switches and work quite well. An EVSE is a very simple electronic device that includes a CPU that runs software in a continuous loop. It's not difficult to design software that doesn't do anything bad when it suddenly stops executing due to a loss of power.

MKH wrote:He also said that the few watts, energy star certified or not, that an EVSE uses on standby is pretty negligible. If the EVSE uses 7 watts on standby @ 12 cents a kilowatt hour, you are looking at something like $8 bucks a year's in electricity costs if it is on standby 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

As all of us begin to understand the serious environmental cost of wasting energy, especially as EV and EVSE numbers increase, such unnecessary wasting of energy leaving an EVSE running continuously when it's absolutely unnecessary will become an issue that is addressed because it's so easy to do so. We are urged to eliminate vampire loads in our homes which are generally no larger than that of an EVSE idling, so why ignore an EVSE?
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4197
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: New i3 owner from TX

Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:53 pm

Electronic devices tend to fail during power on cycling. Note, though, that that exposes them to power line anomalies that can also cause damage long-term. This is one reason why a whole house surge suppressor is useful. Some products include inlet power conditioning circuits, but not all. IMHO, it doesn't hurt to try to protect everything, and local conditioning for things that are more expensive.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

theothertom
Posts: 345
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:08 am
Location: South Carolina

Re: New i3 owner from TX

Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:04 pm

jadnashuanh wrote:Electronic devices tend to fail during power on cycling. Note, though, that that exposes them to power line anomalies that can also cause damage long-term. This is one reason why a whole house surge suppressor is useful. Some products include inlet power conditioning circuits, but not all. IMHO, it doesn't hurt to try to protect everything, and local conditioning for things that are more expensive.

Jim,
I'm contemplating a whole house surge suppressor. is there one (or more than one) that you would recommend ?

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