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GeekEV
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Re: EVSE Plug Adaptors, Cords and Modifications Info

Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:46 am

Here's the write-up I promised of the "experimental" adapters Phil made for me to use with his L1-to-L2 EVSE mod. His mod replaces the stock connector with a 240v 20a rated NEMA L6-20 connector. He also offers a NEMA L6-20 to NEMA 5-15 (120v) adapter option which I strongly recommend. You'll severely compromise your ability to "emergency charge" without it.

Please reference this chart (below) as it will help explain my comments.

Image

Here's what I've learned about these adapters and wiring in general. Sorry if my comments are a little disjointed, hopefully they make sense. If not, ask...
  • The Nissan L1 EVSE (modified or not) will not function without a ground and will show a trouble light. Thus, you can be comfortable in knowing that it is grounded if it's working at all.
  • 120v circuits use 3 wires (hot, neutral and ground).
  • 240v circuits use 3 wires (hot, hot and ground).
  • Some circuits use 4 wires (hot, hot, neutral and ground) to offer both 120v and 240v in one plug. When using the modified EVSE with this kind of an outlet, the adapter will simply not connect the neutral line to the L6-20 plug side.
  • The modified EVSE uses a standard 240v L6-20 plug as it's "native plug".
  • Because electricity flows between hot and neutral on 120v and between hot and hot on 240v, Phil's optional 120v adapter works by connecting one of the L6-20 hots to the 120v neutral. Because the modified EVSE now has an auto-sensing transformer, this arrangement works just fine. Since 120v and 240v aren't normally compatible, you are unlikely to find this adapter anywhere else, so please do purchase it from Phil as part of your upgrade. :!: Also, do NOT try to use it with anything BUT this upgrade or you're asking for trouble.
  • The red X's in the diagram indicate where similar plugs differ from each other.
  • NEMA 5-15 is the common 120v 15a household plug.
  • NEMA 5-15 and 5-20 are very similar. An unmodified 5-15 plug will also fit a 5-20 outlet.
  • NEMA 6-50 is a common RV plug and is also used for industrial welders and similar equipment.
  • It is common to find 6-50 plugs that allow you to unscrew them and rotate the pin orientation. With this kind of a plug (such as this leviton one), and a screwdriver, you can make an adapter that will fit both 6-30 and 6-50 outlets.
  • If you buy a NEMA 6-30 or 6-50 adapter pre-made, it may not use an adjustable plug type - so double check that or make this one yourself with parts from your local hardware store. Just be sure to use a properly rated wire.
  • NEMA 10-30 and 10-50 are the older style appliance plugs commonly used by older dryers and ranges. Most appliances use both 120v and 240v internally, but this plug does not have separate neutral and ground pins - so the appliances would use the ground as a neutral (which is why the diagrams above label that pin as W). This practice is no longer considered "safe" and modern appliances now use the NEMA 14-30/14-50 outlets instead.
  • However, since the wall outlet side of a 10-30 or 10-50 is typically connected to ground, it is perfectly safe to use the modified EVSE with this outlet since it doesn't need neutral in 240v mode anyway. In the event that you do actually find an outlet that is wired to neutral, the EVSE will not function and will show an error light, so you're safe either way.
  • NEMA 10-30 and 10-50 plugs differ only in the shape of the "neutral/ground" pin. With careful modification using a dremel (or similar tool), one adapter can be made to fit either outlet. Simply remove the X'd out portion.
  • Because 10-30 and 10-50 plugs often use the ground as a neutral (as per above), you are unlikely to find pre-made adapters as most places aren't willing to connect the W pin on it with the G pin on the L6-20. You'll likely have to special order this, or make it yourself. :!: Like the 120v adapter, for safety's sake do NOT use this adapter with anything other than the modified EVSE.
  • NEMA 14-30 and 14-50 are the modern appliance plugs designed to replace the old 10-30 and 10-50 plugs with a safer design that has separate neutral and ground lines. These are also commonly used at campgrounds and some industrial settings.
  • NEMA 14-30, 14-50 and 14-60 plugs differ only in the shape of the neutral pin. Since the modified EVSE doesn't use neutral at all in 240v mode, carefully remove the (X'd out) neutral pin with a dremel (or similar tool) and one adapter will fit all three plug types. To avoid accidental contact between the removed pin and the outlet, cover it with electrical tape.
  • Most residential and industrial 240v outlets are NOT GFCI plugs. If you use an extension cord with this kind of non-GFCI plug, for safety's sake keep the extension cord and the EVSE "brick" indoors. The J plug can safely be used outdoors because the EVSE itself has GFCI protection built in - but that only protects between it and the J plug, not between it and the wall!
Stay Online is a handy place where you get some adapters made for you, as well as a handy L6-20 extension cord. I'm sure you can also find them elsewhere if you look. Feel free to post additional sources to this thread.
There you have it. Between the native plug and 4 carefully made (or modified) adapters, your modified EVSE can fit 10 different plug types. My brother and I have also teamed up to offer these adapters for sale should you not want to make your own. See this thread for details: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... 85&start=0



EDIT: Fixed a typo and added emphasis as per LEAFer's suggestions. Also revised the wording about "properly grounded" as per Wayne.
EDIT 2: Added link to thread where you can buy the adapters.
Last edited by GeekEV on Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:59 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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mwalsh
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Re: EVSE Plug Adaptors, Cords and Modifications Info

Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:47 am

GeekEV wrote:Here's the write-up I promised of the "experimental" adapters Phil made for me to use with his L1-to-L2 EVSE mod. His mod replaces the stock connector with a 240v 20a rated NEMA L6-20 connector. He also offers a NEMA L6-20 to NEMA 5-15 (120v) adapter option which I strongly recommend. You'll severely compromise your ability to "emergency charge" without it.

Please reference this chart (below) as it will help explain my comments.
P.S. I am not an electrician, or an electrical engineer. All of this is information I've gleaned from other electricians or electrical engineers. If you believe something is inaccurate, please PM me and I'll investigate and correct this post. Thanks!
Nice writeup GeekEV! Thanks for taking the time to do it.
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Adrian
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Re: EVSE Plug Adaptors, Cords and Modifications Info

Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:32 am

Thank you as well GeekEV.

I purchased Ingineer's L1 to L2 mod and was surprised to see the single most common plug (a dryer plug) for L2 charging was not available for sale on his website along the 110V plug adapter. Now I understand; looks like a liability concern. I'll have to follow your write up and maybe get some help from a friend to put together a bag with the most common plug adapter to carry in my trunk.
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EVDRIVER
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Re: EVSE Plug Adaptors, Cords and Modifications Info

Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:58 am

Adrian wrote:Thank you as well GeekEV.

I purchased Ingineer's L1 to L2 mod and was surprised to see the single most common plug (a dryer plug) for L2 charging was not available for sale on his website along the 110V plug adapter. Now I understand; looks like a liability concern. I'll have to follow your write up and maybe get some help from a friend to put together a bag with the most common plug adapter to carry in my trunk.

The 120V adaptor is for sale, it is the second option on the EVSE purchase.

Adrian
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Re: EVSE Plug Adaptors, Cords and Modifications Info

Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:15 am

EVDRIVER wrote:
Adrian wrote:Thank you as well GeekEV.

I purchased Ingineer's L1 to L2 mod and was surprised to see the single most common plug (a dryer plug) for L2 charging was not available for sale on his website along the 110V plug adapter. Now I understand; looks like a liability concern. I'll have to follow your write up and maybe get some help from a friend to put together a bag with the most common plug adapter to carry in my trunk.

The 120V adaptor is for sale, it is the second option on the EVSE purchase.
ok, let me clarify: the 220/240 adapter for use with dryer outlets is not for sale. I already have a 110/120 plug on my EVSE. The fact that a 110/120 plug is considered optional is strange. What exactly can I plug my "upgraded" EVSE in without any plugs? I'm not complaining about the price; the price is great. I simply think the 120V adapter should have been included and the price should have reflected it. It is not "optional"; without it the EVSE is useless.

And I understand that this is likely a liability concern. No problem with that.
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LEAFer
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Re: EVSE Plug Adaptors, Cords and Modifications Info

Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:20 am

GeekEV wrote:Here's the write-up I promised ...
  • Because electricity flows between hot and neutral on 120v and between hot and hot on 240v, Phil's optional 120v adapter works by connecting one of the L6-20 hots to the 120v neutral. Because the modified EVSE now has an auto-sensing transformer, this arrangement works just fine. Since 120v and 240v aren't normally compatible, you are unlikely to find this adapter anywhere else, so please do purchase it from Phil as part of your upgrade. Also, do NOT try to use it with anything BUT this upgrade or you're asking for trouble.* :!:
  • NEMA 10-30 and 10-50 are the older style appliance plugs commonly used by older dryers and ranges. Most appliances use both 120v and 240v internally, but this plug does not have separate neutral and ground pins - so the appliances would use the ground as a neutral (which is why the diagrams above label that pin as W). This practice is no longer considered "safe" and modern appliances now use the NEMA 14-30/14-50 outlets instead.
  • However, since the wall outlet side of a 10-30 or 10-50 is typically connected to ground, it is perfectly safe to use the modified EVSE with this outlet since it doesn't need neutral in 240v mode anyway. In the event that you do actually find an outlet that is wired to neutral, the EVSE will not function and will show an error light, so you're safe either way.
  • NEMA 10-30 and 10-50 plugs differ only in the shape of the "neutral/ground" pin. With careful modification using a dremel (or similar tool), one adapter can be made to fit either outlet. Simply remove the X'd out portion.
  • Because 10-30 and 10-50 plugs often use the ground as a neutral (as per above), you are unlikely to find pre-made adapters as most places aren't willing to connect the W pin on it with the G pin on the L6-20. You'll likely have to special order this, or make it yourself. Like the 120v adapter, for safety's sake do NOT use this adapter with anything other than the modified EVSE.
I agree, VERY NICE WRITE-UP. And thank you for your time for doing this for everyone. :!:

I changed one word from "or" to "of" (blue/bold/underline).

Above I emphasized in RED some of the safety concerns just to repeat the CAUTIONs. And anyone who does not understand GeekEVs comments with regard to the Neutral/Ground pin wiring ... DO NOT ATTEMPT WIRING YOUR OWN ADAPTERS. And that last comment is appropriate in RED also :) Instead get it done professionally, as suggested.

*: And where GeekEV uses the word "trouble" I would use "DEATH or MAJOR INJURY or FIRE"

(Sorry for going a little over-board ... but we don't want anyone to get hurt and there are many "novices" reading these forums.)
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EVDRIVER
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Re: EVSE Plug Adaptors, Cords and Modifications Info

Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:23 am

Adrian wrote:
EVDRIVER wrote:
Adrian wrote:Thank you as well GeekEV.

I purchased Ingineer's L1 to L2 mod and was surprised to see the single most common plug (a dryer plug) for L2 charging was not available for sale on his website along the 110V plug adapter. Now I understand; looks like a liability concern. I'll have to follow your write up and maybe get some help from a friend to put together a bag with the most common plug adapter to carry in my trunk.

The 120V adaptor is for sale, it is the second option on the EVSE purchase.
ok, let me clarify: the 220/240 adapter for use with dryer outlets is not for sale. I already have a 110/120 plug on my EVSE. The fact that a 110/120 plug is considered optional is strange. What exactly can I plug my "upgraded" EVSE in without any plugs? I'm not complaining about the price; the price is great. I simply think the 120V adapter should have been included and the price should have reflected it. It is not "optional"; without it the EVSE is useless.

And I understand that this is likely a liability concern. No problem with that.
The reason he is offering it as an option is to save people money. He could charge the price of the upgrade and add the 120V cord in for a single price however some people don't want or need the 120V adaptor as they will only use 240v so they can order it without the 120V cord at a savings. I'm sure if it were only available bundled some would complain that they don't need the 120V cord and why should they have to get it. It's pretty simple and well thought out to meet a variety of needs as best as possible, I see it as a smart decision.

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Re: EVSE Plug Adaptors, Cords and Modifications Info

Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:24 am

EVSE "Detecting" Ground or Not:

In using an old-style (3-pin) dryer socket, how can the EVSE distinguish between a Grounded Neutral and an Un-Grounded Neutral, or even just a Ground or a Neutral?

They are both just a wire that runs back to the earth ground that is attached to the Main Breaker box, right?

What an I missing?
How is the "detection" done?
Thanks, Gary
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Yanquetino
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Re: EVSE Plug Adaptors, Cords and Modifications Info

Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:30 am

Thanks, GeekEV, for your write up! It will really help those who want to wire together their own adaptor plugs.

When I get my LEAF, and order this L1 modification, I will probably use PowerGrip Plugs for my adaptors. If I understand your guidelines correctly, I can safely remove the bottom blade on the 14-50 plug (X'ed out in the photo below), and then use it with all three outlets: 14-30 (which my dryer outlet has); 14-50 (the GFCI outlet in the Milbank RV box in my garage); and even 14-60.

Oddly enough, I see that the other PowerGrip in the photo doesn't seem match the NEMA outlets you illustrated, because it has slanted blades on the bottom, like the 10-30 and 10-50 outlets, but a pin rather than either a straight or angled blade on top. Do you think the manufacturer purposely installed the pin to accommodate both outlets? If so, that would sure simplify matters! If not, does it fit some other type of outlet not included in the above illustration?

Image

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Re: EVSE Plug Adaptors, Cords and Modifications Info

Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:38 am

Looks to me like a 7-20 plug and not a 30 amp plug like it is listed on eBay.


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