EVBob
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:06 am

16 amp vs 13 amp 120v EVSE charger?

Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:41 pm

Greetings All,

In an effort to make the most out of charging at a location frequently visited with the i3 - I have confirmation from the facilities manager that each of the level 1 outlets at the site are on individual circuits and are rated for 20 amps each.

So that means I can use a portable 16 amp EVSE charger instead of the standard 13 amp one that came with the car. Like this example: https://store.clippercreek.com/level-1- ... hgod_uwOxw or this one http://www.ebay.com/itm/Duosida-Level-2 ... LY&vxp=mtr

In theory charging rates would increase to 1.9 kw from 1.44 kw - roughly 32% faster? Equating to 4-5 miles per hour charge vs 3-4 miles per hour with the stock charger?

There is no limitation within the i3 itself that would prevent higher amperage charging for level 1/120v?

Thanks in advance!,

Bob

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4953
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: 16 amp vs 13 amp 120v EVSE charger?

Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:32 pm

FWIW, it should be easy to check if you can plug in a 16A device (note, it is allowed to install a 15A receptacle on a 20A circuit, but you can't install a 20A receptacle on a 15A one). Any 120vac device that draws more than 15A will have a different plug on it. A 20A 120vac plug will have one of the blades turned at a 90-degree angle from the other one. If the receptacle is only 15A, you won't be able to plug in the larger EVSE unless you can get them to swap the receptacle. Those 20A receptacles will have one slot that is T-shaped, to allow either a 15 or 20A device to be plugged in. If there's any corrosion or a loose connection, a larger load can cause excess heat, and destroy the receptacle or burn the wires going to it.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

alohart
Posts: 2046
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: 16 amp vs 13 amp 120v EVSE charger?

Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:52 am

EVBob wrote:So that means I can use a portable 16 amp EVSE charger instead of the standard 13 amp one that came with the car. Like this example: https://store.clippercreek.com/level-1- ... hgod_uwOxw or this one http://www.ebay.com/itm/Duosida-Level-2 ... LY&vxp=mtr
I'm not familiar with the quality of the Duosida. This EVSE is apparently made in China and purchased by various companies that attach their own branding. Clipper Creek is a respected brand but apparently doesn't make a dual-voltage L1-L2 EVSE which is a shame. If you don't have a Level 2 EVSE at home and have or would be willing to install a 240V 40A charging circuit, consider buying a semi-portable dual-voltage L1-L2 EVSE capable of delivering at least 32A so that you would be able to charge your i3 at full speed if necessary. Having only one additional EVSE that could charge at either L1 or L2 would cost less than buying an L1 and an L2 EVSE.

Our JuiceBox is easy to slide out of its wall mount so that we could take it with us if we need to charge away from home without using a public charging station. One would need a plug adaptor that would allow the JuiceBox to be plugged into a 120V outlet.
EVBob wrote:There is no limitation within the i3 itself that would prevent higher amperage charging for level 1/120v?
If the L1 charging rate is set to Maximum in iDrive, an i3 should be able to charge at 16A which is the maximum current in the L1 standard. I believe some have confirmed that an i3 would charge at 30A on a 120V 40A charging circuit.

EDIT: the Owner's Manual on my iPhone states that the L1 Maximum setting allows only 8A, 10A, 12A, or 15A, depending on the market. I thought that this Owner's Manual was supposed to be customized for the options on our i3 in our market (U.S.), but this customization apparently didn't extend to the table describing the L1 Maximum, Reduced, and Low iDrive settings. The Owner's Manual refers to the ampere rating printed on the included charging cable as "the limit which must be adhered to for the vehicle if the charge current is set to Maximum." That's an incorrect description of the way the car's charger and the charging cable interact. The charging cable tells the car's charger the maximum current that it can provide and then the car's charger asks the charging cable to provide no more current than the charging cable is capable of providing. So if L1 Maximum is 15A but the charging cable could provide only 12A, the car's charger would request no more than 12A. This is why I think that it might be possible to L1 charge at the maximum current that the car's charger can accept, ~30A, but there is no guarantee.
Aloha,
Art

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

EVBob
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:06 am

Re: 16 amp vs 13 amp 120v EVSE charger?

Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:36 am

alohart wrote:...
Our JuiceBox is easy to slide out of its wall mount so that we could take it with us if we need to charge away from home without using a public charging station. One would need a plug adaptor that would allow the JuiceBox to be plugged into a 120V outlet.
Our (refurbished) Juicebox pro is scheduled to arrive today :-D - I have only read about the earlier kickstarter models - I'm assuming the newer ones (either the silver or the black with orange honeycomb pattern) can autosense - and switch between 120 and 240 - is amperage also autosensing? If it can, I suppose it makes more sense to buy another refurbished (non-pro) juicebox along with plug adapters and keep it in the i3.

alohart wrote:...
If the L1 charging rate is set to Maximum in iDrive, an i3 should be able to charge at 16A which is the maximum current in the L1 standard. I believe some have confirmed that an i3 would charge at 30A on a 120V 40A charging circuit.

EDIT: the Owner's Manual on my iPhone states that the L1 Maximum setting allows only 8A, 10A, 12A, or 15A, depending on the market. I thought that this Owner's Manual was supposed to be customized for the options on our i3 in our market (U.S.), but this customization apparently didn't extend to the table describing the L1 Maximum, Reduced, and Low iDrive settings. The Owner's Manual refers to the ampere rating printed on the included charging cable as "the limit which must be adhered to for the vehicle if the charge current is set to Maximum." That's an incorrect description of the way the car's charger and the charging cable interact. The charging cable tells the car's charger the maximum current that it can provide and then the car's charger asks the charging cable to provide no more current than the charging cable is capable of providing. So if L1 Maximum is 15A but the charging cable could provide only 12A, the car's charger would request no more than 12A. This is why I think that it might be possible to L1 charge at the maximum current that the car's charger can accept, ~30A, but there is no guarantee.

hmm....I plugged in a Kill-A-Watt device at the start of charging last night (from 44%) and see the stock charger is only using 11.97 amps - not the 13 its rated for? Though I wonder, since its on a 10 ft surge strip (no other items plugged into it or the circuit) if that could be causing the EVSE to downgrade the output to 12 amps...I'll try again tonight with a single ended 12 gauge cord.

alohart
Posts: 2046
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: 16 amp vs 13 amp 120v EVSE charger?

Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:37 am

EVBob wrote:Our (refurbished) Juicebox pro is scheduled to arrive today :-D - I have only read about the earlier kickstarter models - I'm assuming the newer ones (either the silver or the black with orange honeycomb pattern) can autosense - and switch between 120 and 240 - is amperage also autosensing? If it can, I suppose it makes more sense to buy another refurbished (non-pro) juicebox along with plug adapters and keep it in the i3.
A JuiceBox functions on voltages ranging from 100 to 250V. You would just need an appropriate plug adapter to use a JuiceBox as an L1 EVSE. Rather than waste money buying a second JuiceBox, you could just unplug your JuiceBox and slide it out of its wall mount at home so that you could take it with you if you thought you might need to charge away from home and public charging stations.
EVBob wrote:hmm....I plugged in a Kill-A-Watt device at the start of charging last night (from 44%) and see the stock charger is only using 11.97 amps - not the 13 its rated for? Though I wonder, since its on a 10 ft surge strip (no other items plugged into it or the circuit) if that could be causing the EVSE to downgrade the output to 12 amps...I'll try again tonight with a single ended 12 gauge cord.
Are you certain that the EVSE included with your i3 rated at 13A? Those included with 2014 models were rated at 12A so that they would not overload a 15A circuit (15A x 80% = 12A). Those included with 2015-16 models were downrated to only 10A for some reason. I think I recently read that those included with 2017 models are again rated at 12A.

Be careful using a Kill-A-Watt device, an extension cord, or a contractor-quality 15A receptacle while charging. All are subject to overheating if there's a bit of wear, dirt, or anything that might increase electrical resistance. 12A is the upper limit for anything rated at 15A which assumes that everything is in good condition. We have seen photos of an overheated Kill-A-Watt device and even a partially melted receptacle that were used during 12A charging.
Aloha,
Art

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

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4953
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: 16 amp vs 13 amp 120v EVSE charger?

Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:41 pm

At least in the USA, it would not pass UL inspections if the EVSE had a 15A plug and was designed to allow more than 12A continuous output. To produce 16A on a 120vac circuit, the EVSE would require a 20A plug on it. The pilot signal pattern (duty cycle) the EVSE outputs must be adjusted (either automatically or manually by the user - automatically is MUCH safer, but a bit more complex) when it is plugged into different power sources so that it is impossible for it to overload the supply's load capacity. However it is connected, there's a maximum current level the i3 can accept, regardless of the EVSE's output, and that, at least for the USA, is 32A. Depending on the actual voltage, you will get different amounts of power available since power=volts*amps.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

EVBob
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:06 am

Re: 16 amp vs 13 amp 120v EVSE charger?

Mon May 08, 2017 8:41 am

alohart wrote:Are you certain that the EVSE included with your i3 rated at 13A? Those included with 2014 models were rated at 12A so that they would not overload a 15A circuit (15A x 80% = 12A). Those included with 2015-16 models were downrated to only 10A for some reason.
Hello Art,

My mistake the charger that came with the i3 is 12amp. Perhaps I was dreaming of having that extra amp ;-)

I guess I must have been lucky when getting my 2015 i3 Rex - the dealer just grabbed one from a bin of bmw i3 chargers when we paid for the car...so some unfortunate buyer of a 2014 may be getting the 10 amp charger that should have came with my 2015 :-/
alohart wrote:A JuiceBox functions on voltages ranging from 100 to 250V. You would just need an appropriate plug adapter to use a JuiceBox as an L1 EVSE. Rather than waste money buying a second JuiceBox, you could just unplug your JuiceBox and slide it out of its wall mount at home so that you could take it with you if you thought you might need to charge away from home and public charging stations.
Physically that would be too much work for my better half (the primary driver) ;-). That and one would need to either configure the juicebox to use 16 amp before unplugging and putting it in the car or reconfiguring the wireless connection of the juicebox once at the destination then setting the proper amperage.

Unfortunately - it looks like the Duosida is the only one besides the Juicebox that comes with a plug and can do 120v 16 amps (duosida does this automatically, as it can only do 16 amps on 120 or 240v)...though I guess one could just add a plug to the Clipper Creek ACS-120

EVBob
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:06 am

Re: 16 amp vs 13 amp 120v EVSE charger?

Tue May 09, 2017 8:55 am

Thinking more about it - one may not need to reconfigure the juicebox if moving from a 220v 50amp line to a 120v line 20 amp line?

If the i3 limits level 1 charging to 16 amps or below - there wouldn't be a possibility of it overloading a 120v 20 amp circuit.

Has anyone verified the amps used by Max, Reduced and Low settings for the Level 1 charging?

alohart
Posts: 2046
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: 16 amp vs 13 amp 120v EVSE charger?

Tue May 09, 2017 11:43 am

EVBob wrote:Has anyone verified the amps used by Max, Reduced and Low settings for the Level 1 charging?
maximum charging rate for 120V?
Aloha,
Art

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

jadnashuanh
Posts: 4953
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: 16 amp vs 13 amp 120v EVSE charger?

Tue May 09, 2017 8:26 pm

If the pilot signal announces a higher current available, and you don't tell the car to limit how much it can draw, it might attempt to draw more than the circuit can support. At least some EVSE's automatically adjust based on the plug adapter you use to power it. Others require you to reprogram it.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

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