sputicus
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Setting up street charging solution next to my house

Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:38 pm

I really want to get a used Leaf or other EV to replace my current commuter car. The problem is my house has no driveway or garage to park the vehicle to charge.

I am hoping to come up with a way to charge my EV while parked at the sidewalk next to my house. While I have read other thread trying to get 240V power to the sidewalk, and then mounting or plugging in a EVSE there, I am thinking of mounting a EVSE on the inside of the wooden fence on my property and then running a long J1772 cord and connector through a conduit under the sidewalk.

See the attached picture of my sidewalk situation. The wooden fence is on top of a 3.5 foot concrete retaining wall. The sidewalk butts up to the retaining wall. From the edge of the sidewalk next to the retaining wall to the dogwood tree in the middle of the parking strip is 12 feet. The tree is 4 feet from the street.

My plan was to mount a outdoor EVSE at the inside bottom of the fence, run a 1" rigid conduit down and under the sidewalk and come up at the base of the dogwood tree in the parking strip. The J1772 cord could hang in the tree, perhaps in some sort of box to protect it from the elements and casual observers. I could either get a J1772 cord that would have enough extra length to reach to the curb, or I leave the J1772 socket at the tree and plug in an extension to that socket to reach the car.

I don't want to place the EVSE at the sidewalk due to fear of vandalism. I also like the fact the J1772 cord is not powered with 240V unless it is plugged into the car, which make me think putting it in the city's right of way is no worse than an extension cord.

To get to the dogwood tree, I calculate 3.5 feet down, plus 2 feet down to keep conduit deep enough for code, 12 feet over to tree, 2 feet up to ground level, then perhaps 3 feet up the tree for easy reach. Total 24.5 feet. I see some EVSE's come with 25 foot cords, but I would need to remove the cord, thread through conduit, and reattach.

So here are my questions.

Does this sound feasible or the right way to go?

What EVSE should I get that is outdoor ready and is easy to remove/replace the cord? Being able to monitor and turn on/off via smart phone would be nice.

Should I take a 25 foot cord to the tree and get an extension to reach the car, or should I order a cord long enough to reach the street where the car will be? Where would I order such a cord?

What drawbacks are there to such a long charging cord?

There is a lot of digging involved in this project, plus potentially cutting the sidewalk and repairing it in one weekend. Any advice appreciated.

Thanks in advance for all feedback.

Image
http://www.sputicus.com/misc/sidewalk_for_EVSE.jpg

LeftieBiker
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Re: Setting up street charging solution next to my house

Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:48 pm

Who, in the eyes of the city, owns the dogwood tree? Rather than dig under the sidewalk, I think I'd first consider mounting a Clipper Creek outdoor charging station on the porch behind the railing, with the EVSE cable then running into the tree, well above the sidewalk, using some sort of wooden "bridge" to carry the cable. Then you could end the cable at about head height in the tree in a wooden or plastic box-housing to protect the plug, and use an EVSE extension to charge the car, leaving the extension either in the car or in a lockbox on the porch. A further precaution worth considering would be a shutoff switch for the EVSE on the porch. I would not bet on this being legal, but it appears that none of your options are really very good, or very legal...
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wmcbrine
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Re: Setting up street charging solution next to my house

Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:03 am

Have you seen those old horse hitching posts that are in front of some houses? I was thinking one of those might be a good place to hang/hide a J1772, particularly if they're common in your area.

gshepherd
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Re: Setting up street charging solution next to my house

Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:04 am

I definitely would avoid regularly laying any cord across the sidewalk (or hose for that matter), so it's good you're already thinking of better approaches.

One thing I have seen in my neighborhood: new installations of line-voltage landscape lighting, say to uplight a tree, often includes:
1. Conduit coming up out of the ground
2. Junction box, optionally with an outdoor rated and covered outlet
3. Conduit from box to landscape lighting fixture

Since you have a nice tree there, what a great opportunity to add a subtle landscape light to it!

I wonder if it would be feasible / code to have a GFCI protected 240 VAC outlet in such a landscape uplight box. There are outdoor rated RV 14-50R boxes, as well, I have seen marine-style twist lock receptacles. At a very minimum, you could at least do a 20A 120V receptacle in such a box.

Once you have an outlet, then you could use any number of portable charging cord solutions, from the trickle charger to the AV TurboCord. Of course, you have to be aware of potential for theft or vandalism of your portable EVSE cord, but at least it is only exposed when your car is parked and plugged in.

Another path would be to find out if the city has any precedent for residential EV charging pedestals. I've seen those show up used from time to time, and being commercial grade for public use, I would imagine they are fairly vandal resistant. Put a security camera on it from the house, as well.

The bigger concern I'd have is how do you keep your own curbside charge spot from getting ICEd? I don't imagine you can limit curbside parking the same way a disabled person can get a reserved spot in front of their home.
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davewill
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Re: Setting up street charging solution next to my house

Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:31 am

If I were going to do this, I'd run separate conductors (Ground, L1, L2, and Pilot) from the EVSE, through the conduit to a junction box at the tree, and then connect my J1772 cable there. That way you don't have to pull such an expensive heavy cable through the conduit.
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knightmb
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Re: Setting up street charging solution next to my house

Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:31 pm

sputicus wrote:I really want to get a used Leaf or other EV to replace my current commuter car. The problem is my house has no driveway or garage to park the vehicle to charge.

I am hoping to come up with a way to charge my EV while parked at the sidewalk next to my house. While I have read other thread trying to get 240V power to the sidewalk, and then mounting or plugging in a EVSE there, I am thinking of mounting a EVSE on the inside of the wooden fence on my property and then running a long J1772 cord and connector through a conduit under the sidewalk......
When dealing with this, someone will always spoil it for you no matter how nice you try to be. My advice would be to get some power run to the inside of your fence (on your side) where you can mount your EVSE safety, etc. On the other side of the fence facing out, have a lock box that you can run your J1772 cable through (maybe drill a big hole in the lock box so you can thread it through your fence). When you want to charge, unlock the box, unravel the cable and plug it into your vehicle for charging. Lay it neatly across the sidewalk like anyone else would do with a water hose, extension cord, etc. When done charging, wrap it back up and coil back into the lock box. You don't expect it to sit in the way 24/7 across the side-walk so I don't think any neighbors will complain about it.

This is the easiest way to avoid some type of city conflict with aerial lines, digging lines, city property dispute, etc.
Here is a link to another Leaf Forum about this type of city/charging issue.
http://nissanleaf.guru/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=33
Last edited by knightmb on Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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sputicus
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Re: Setting up street charging solution next to my house

Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:29 pm

Thanks everyone so far.

I did consider going high over the fence, but thought that might attract more attention than a conduit coming up out of the ground. That would mean a lot less digging though and may be a good short term solution.

I also considered running individual conductors rather than using expensive J1772 cord. I thought you would need 5 such conductors though, not 4. Ground, L1, L2, Pilot and proximity. Is Proximity not needed? What guages would you need? I am planning to have the EVSE on a 50amp breaker.

I see OpenEV sells 35 foot cables on special order. Where else can I get longer J1772 cables?

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davewill
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Re: Setting up street charging solution next to my house

Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:51 pm

sputicus wrote:Thanks everyone so far.

I did consider going high over the fence, but thought that might attract more attention than a conduit coming up out of the ground. That would mean a lot less digging though and may be a good short term solution.

I also considered running individual conductors rather than using expensive J1772 cord. I thought you would need 5 such conductors though, not 4. Ground, L1, L2, Pilot and proximity. Is Proximity not needed? What guages would you need? I am planning to have the EVSE on a 50amp breaker.

I see OpenEV sells 35 foot cables on special order. Where else can I get longer J1772 cables?
Proximity is only connected within the handle. There's no connection at the EVSE end, although some cables have a conductor for it. The size of the wire depends on the size of the EVSE. If you're putting a 40a EVSE (charges at 40a) you need a 50a breaker and minimum #6 wire. If you're putting in a 30/32a EVSE, you need a 40a breaker and minimum #8 wire.
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jjeff
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Re: Setting up street charging solution next to my house

Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:40 pm

Just spitballing but would it be possible to cut a 3/4"?? wide slot in the sidewalk, maybe an inch deep? using a cement saw. It would sit there innocent enough but when you wanted to charge your EVSE you could tuck the j1772 cable in the slot. You'd have to keep the slot clean from debris but I'd think that would be easy enough. The slot would be just deep enough to rest your cable in without extending above the surrounding concrete. Might not work so well in the winter if you get snow and ice but that way you could keep your j1772 cable coiled on your side of the sidewalk when not charging. I really doubt anyone would notice the slot when not charging and when charging it would be almost filled with your j1772 cable.
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LeftieBiker
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Re: Setting up street charging solution next to my house

Thu Jun 02, 2016 3:42 pm

The best easy, non-invasive solution would be to make a cable protector that would lie flat on the sidewalk, with little 'ramps' on both sides, and just enough room underneath for the EVSE cable to lie. One 2/4 cut in half and shaved at the correct angles for three small pieces of 1/2" or 5/8" plywood to be attached, and you have a tiny pedestrian bridge going over the cable. It would be removed and replaced on the sidewalk with the cable.


____
/l l\


That's too steep on the sides, but gives you some idea what I mean. Oddly, it also gets distorted when I go from composing/editing to posting. Oh well...
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