SanDust
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Re: Charging Interrupt By Utility?

Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:03 pm

Spies wrote:I agree with DarkStar in that you experienced a Blink software bug. Many such bugs have been discussed on this forum. Just do a search.
It may well be a bug but I don't think it's at the charger. I have looked at the Blink software issues and most of these are what I'd call WiFi networking and handshake issues. Second, the car was charged when this happened so the Blink unit wouldn't have been doing anything other than sitting there. Software usually doesn't crash when nothing is happening. Third is that it's not an error message and it was a specific message. If the Blink had been confronted with an error or an exception which it wasn't prepared to handle you'd expect a freeze or a crash, something like that. This was a very specific message that the utility had interrupted the service and that the service would start at exactly 11:51 AM, which is exactly what happened.

The only reason I'm concerned is that Nissan has said that one way you can shorten battery life is to constantly top off. Well, if this is a bug then that's more or less what is going to happen. The car is fully charged, but if the connection between the Blink and the car is broken and then restarted, the charging process will start even if the battery is just below 100% charged. In essence the battery will be topped off, which is not what you want to have happen. It would be equivalent to you constantly unplugging and plugging in the charger.

I'll call Monday and see what Blink has to say. No reason trying to call on a Sunday. If it was in fact a test then I'm OK with that though it would have been nice to know about it. But if it is a bug or something unknown then that's disturbing. It could happen anytime and any number of times -- I just happened to be there at the right time to see it. It's not like you can wait for it to repeat since might never see it. But even if you aren't seeing the problem it could shorten your battery life if your charging to 100%, which is what I was planning to do. Makes me nervous and I'm not a nervous type.

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walterbays
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Re: Charging Interrupt By Utility?

Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:07 pm

Are you in the EV Project? The utility could have been testing the capability to interrupt charging by interrupting it for just a minute. Probably something in the fine print of the project agreement gives them the right to perform such tests. Eventually they'd like to be able to remotely defer EV charging at times of high grid load, in return for a lower price per kWh.
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Re: Charging Interrupt By Utility?

Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:14 pm

I am sorry SanDust. I realize now that my comment was not very helpful at all and I will try to expand a little. Bug or no bug I know I have read about this behavior with the Blink on this forum before. I don't recall if there was a solution or a satisfactory response though. I'll see if I can find the topic or comment about the behavior.
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GroundLoop
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Re: Charging Interrupt By Utility?

Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:15 pm

Doesn't seem likely.

The demand-control stuff SDG&E uses for A/C is Zigbee based, like their smart electric meters and gas meters.

It could be a false signal received by the Zigbee receiver in the Blink, but that seems unlikely. Most likely either another software glitch in the Blink, or a test signal received over Internet. I just can't imagine they're already that tied into SDG&E's demand control to even test it.

SDG&E load shedding happened exactly once in all of 2010. It's a rare event, and I'd expect it only at daytime hot-day peak loads, not at night.

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Re: Charging Interrupt By Utility?

Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:51 pm

So the following is what I remember reading but I don't see a follow up comment about it. Should be interesting to hear what Blink support says about it.

From http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... &start=479
rclams wrote:I even had a "Charging Suspended by Utility" event around 6:30pm which stopped the charge for about 20 minutes (displaying a BRIGHT RED message on the Blink screen and web browser) and then re-engaged exactly at the time specified (we're served by PG&E). Perhaps this was the Blink techs "exercising/testing" my Blink?
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SanDust
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Re: Charging Interrupt By Utility?

Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:57 am

I talked to Cindy at Ecotality. Very professional and knowledgeable. She said that this was definitely NOT part of anything that the Ecotality Network would do. So no test or anything like that. Her opinion was that the Blink had interpreted something that has happened on the power side as a service interruption and had shut down any charging and rescheduled a restart time on the assumption that service would be running at this later time. That's certainly logical and fits the facts.

Obviously no fix resolution or anything. She did say that she had never heard of this error message before. Since we have three now from a fairly small sample, it seems that the message is either not being seen, which is quite possible unless you live by the charger, or, if seen, is being discounted as a "one-off" and not being reported.

whoami
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Re: Charging Interrupt By Utility?

Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:04 pm

SanDust wrote:She said that this was definitely NOT part of anything that the Ecotality Network would do. So no test or anything like that. Her opinion was that the Blink had interpreted something that has happened on the power side as a service interruption and had shut down any charging and rescheduled a restart time on the assumption that service would be running at this later time. That's certainly logical and fits the facts.
Tell her she may want to check with the developers before she answers incorrectly. It indeed comes through their web polling channel. In their code they refer to it as

Code: Select all

		bool demandResponse; /*!< True if the unit is in a demand response mode, else False */
		bool delayedCharge; /*!< True if the charge has been delayed due to staggering, else False */

DarkStar
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Re: Charging Interrupt By Utility?

Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:23 pm

whoami wrote:Tell her she may want to check with the developers before she answers incorrectly. It indeed comes through their web polling channel. In their code they refer to it as

Code: Select all

		bool demandResponse; /*!< True if the unit is in a demand response mode, else False */
		bool delayedCharge; /*!< True if the charge has been delayed due to staggering, else False */
Umm... I never gave Blink permission to do load-shedding via their network connection. Verifying with the utility, load-shedding is performed via a separate connection to a smart-meter. This is definitely no bueno!

Is this part of the 15 minute updates that the Blink pulls from the network or are they commands pushed by Blink (and can be blocked via my firewall)? :evil:
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SanDust
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Re: Charging Interrupt By Utility?

Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:06 am

When this interruption occurred one of the first things I did was to check the Blink log to see if there was any activity or messaging which could have accounted for the interrupt. The only record was of the standard "check-in" which had been done almost 12 hours earlier. Let's not go too far down the "Big Brother" road. Just because there is a "stagger" feature, whatever that is, doesn't mean it's been implemented, and her explanation that it was something on the electrical side makes sense.

Something which I didn't know before last night is that, around the time of the Blink interrupt, my wife's computer wouldn't turn on until she had physically unplugged it and then plugged it back in. Never happened before. Completely weird. No idea of what this might be or whether it is related at all, but my assertion that there wasn't any evidence of anything untoward happening on the power side was wrong.

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Re: Charging Interrupt By Utility?

Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:59 pm

http://www.blinknetwork.com/news-room/e ... -mark.html
...the Blink Home Charging Station incorporates a variety of intuitive features and benefits, including:
...
* Smart Grid ready to interface to utilities for demand response and load control
...
https://www.frogdesign.com/press-releas ... 72010.html
...the chargers work in conjunction with smart grid systems, and their integrated communication capabilities will be a key part of utilities’ demand response solution...
http://www.blinknetwork.com/media/kit/B ... harger.pdf
...Controllable output to support utility demand response requests...

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