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Re: Nissan L1 EVSE third-party upgrade to both 120V and 240V

Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:40 pm
by EVDRIVER
garygid wrote:Does that mean that if the OEM gets one resistor from a different supplier, the original Listing no longer applies?

Legally, what is the "Listing" law (if you already know)?

Or, are you just guessing?

Most items can be repaired and serviced, right?

No, but a repair person "may" put in a part that is not the right value in a power supply causing a hazard. You get the point and it was not tested with the new value, it is no longer UL approved based on the operating spec. The important issues around UL are wire gauge, power handing, protection, insulation, etc, etc. I have many UL approved Leviton devices I don't think are safe at all and I have some that are not that are far safer. UL is not a govt regulator and there are also other testing labs and certifications. There are many crappy unsafe UL products out there for sure.

Re: Nissan L1 EVSE third-party upgrade to both 120V and 240V

Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:00 pm
by garygid
I agree, the correlation between "UL Listed" and "safe", is not perfect, or even "strong", but perhaps better than nothing as "an indicator" to those that do not know better. It might also be used as a legal "CYA" tool?

A "UL Listing" (or similar) is usually required for RETAIL sales to CONSUMERS, if the product has over about 25 (or so) volts, right?

Doing after-market mods, even to the "Listed" components, is legal, I suspect, as long as it is not for Retail sales to Consumers, right?

But, in doing the modification, "should" one cross out (or cover) the original UL Listing symbol? Is there any "custom" that is "usually" followed.

However, USING a non-Listed device (modified or home-built) is "technically" not permitted for "code-spec" EV charging according to NEC 625, right?

Re: Nissan L1 EVSE third-party upgrade to both 120V and 240V

Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:28 pm
by GeekEV
Man, you guys better not scare this guy off of making this mod! :p

Re: Nissan L1 EVSE third-party upgrade to both 120V and 240V

Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:06 pm
by Herm
garygid wrote:1. The 2011 LEAF's max charging current draw appears to be just shy of 16 amps. Thus about 3800 watts (not just 3300 watts) when using 240v source.
The charger in the Leaf draws 3800 watts, but only 3300 watts makes it into the battery, its not a 100% efficient device.

Re: Nissan L1 EVSE third-party upgrade to both 120V and 240V

Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:37 pm
by EVDRIVER
I think the vendor may want to start a "no sell" list:)

Re: Nissan L1 EVSE third-party upgrade to both 120V and 240V

Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:34 pm
by rainnw
I am not trying to set out any flame bait here regarding this "third party" or myself, but are there any other EE's that are just a tad bit skeptical about this? Don't get me wrong, I really want to believe in this mod.

But looking at pictures of a factory charger with some new power connectors wired up, and then statements like "oh, it won't run on 240VAC 'very long' before it blows up" and "just need to swap out a few parts, but don't know how much that will be" have got me a bit worried. Especially with no specifics eluding to this being just their 'secret sauce', when in reality, nobody in their right mind is going to want to de-pot and re-pot some high wattage electronics on their own, without fear of burning down houses/damaging property/shocking themselves/etc.

This is all compounded with the fact that in the name of japanese speed, cost efficiency, and globalization, would make much more sense for Nissan to make only one autoranging 50/60Hz, 90VAC-240VAC charger.

You don't just 'swap out a few magical parts' in a 120VAC only charger and suddenly double the wattage, pushing nearly 4 killowatts through it...unless that was the design from the start.

Re: Nissan L1 EVSE third-party upgrade to both 120V and 240V

Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:47 pm
by smkettner
I believe most of the power circuits are going to be rated 600 volts. It is just the control circuits need to be engineered to use the wide range.

Re: Nissan L1 EVSE third-party upgrade to both 120V and 240V

Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:22 pm
by johnr
rainnw wrote:You don't just 'swap out a few magical parts' in a 120VAC only charger and suddenly double the wattage, pushing nearly 4 killowatts through it...unless that was the design from the start.
Here's the important difference - this is an EVSE, not a charger. It doesn't do any transformation of the power passing through, as a charger would. Essentially, it just switches the power on and off, and signals to the car what amperage to draw. So, theoretically there should only be a small number of components relating to the signal generator and control circuits that would need to be changed. So I'm actually not at all skeptical about this mod, but I do agree that it would be a LOT easier if the potting didn't have to be removed to do it.

Re: Nissan L1 EVSE third-party upgrade to both 120V and 240V

Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:04 pm
by DarkStar
I'm not sure exactly which components need to be replaced on the main board either, but Panasonic makes the power supply so easy to replace, I have to believe that they use a 200V transformer with the same board in Japan. Now, since the relays are only rated for 250V, I can understand why someone would want to replace them (since 240 is pretty high to that specification), but I'm not sure why anything else would need to be replaced.

We're really in just a "wait and see" mode since it appears EVDRIVER and the rest are still working on an exact process on what needs to be replaced and how to replace it. Hopefully they continue to provide updates and information as I'm sure a lot of us will be performing our own hacks and mods on these! :D

Re: Nissan L1 EVSE third-party upgrade to both 120V and 240V

Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:28 pm
by garygid
Right, the EVSE is NOT a charger. It is more like an (intelligent) extension cord. The wires and relays are already rated for the current (12 amps), and the "contacts" and insulation for AT LEAST 120v AC. Probably many parts are rated for 240v AC service, but some are not.

It is unlikely that very much of the potting needs to be removed to do the mod to future units.

The "greater" removal was apparently necessary on the first unit to find out how it works, what to change, and the best spots to make the cuts and attachments.

Without doing the same myself, or perhaps seeing Phil's work, I cannot judge his work and decisions, but it all sounds feasible to me, from my estimate of how it works and what was likely to have been necessary to modify it.

The "surprise" for me was their statement that the original L1 EVSE was "out of spec.", which still remains to be revealed, and verified. Apparently it is not something "serious" that keeps the EVSE from "working" in L1 mode. But, what is "wrong", and how serious is it?

Although it MIGHT be something like a misuse of the 120v Neutral and Ground, I would like to think that a direct connection would have been caught by UL "testing".

Other more subtle things are possible, like not fully and properly measuring the Control Pilot before energizing the power Relay(s).

Hopefully, Phil will at least tell us what was "wrong" with the stock L1 EVSEs. Please?