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Charge Scheduling: Use Leaf Carwings or Blink's ?

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:33 am
by mxp
Disclaimer: I have not received my Leaf but the Blink's currently installed at home.

I am reading the Blink forum and getting somewhat confused about the scheduling strategies used by different folks.....

On one hand, I read about the LEAF's Carwings being used for scheduled charging and then, at the same time there is reference to the Blink's charge scheduling program.

Can someone pls help explain it better and systematically, how Carwings and Blink scheduling can be used together effectively? Or should only one scheduling system be in use all the time?

Thanks!

PS: At the moment, I seem to like the Blink's scheduling and cost management program better....

Re: Charge Scheduling: Use Leaf Carwings or Blink's ?

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:51 am
by garygid
Blink's scheduling is primarily for EVs without built-in scheduling.

For the LEAF, best to use the LEAF's charging timer(s), I believe, since you can "schedule" charging to 80% (or 100%).

But, using a "Charge-Anytime" 80% timer (11:00 AM to 11:00 AM) in the LEAF, one MIGHT get successful charging to 80% with the Blink's timers.

Originally, trying to use both timers together had problems,
but that might have gotten "fixed"??

Re: Charge Scheduling: Use Leaf Carwings or Blink's ?

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:43 am
by ttweed
garygid wrote:For the LEAF, best to use the LEAF's charging timer(s), I believe, since you can "schedule" charging to 80% (or 100%).
+1. There is no way to charge to 80% effectively using the Blink timer alone, so we have always used the Leaf's timer and never scheduled the Blink to do anything but charge immediately on plug-in. When the timer is set and on in the Leaf and you plug in the Blink ahead of time, it starts to charge but stops immediately when the Leaf recognizes it is not yet time to charge and refuses the current. At the appointed time, the Leaf allows current to flow until the specified percentage of charge is reached and then terminates the charging event. I don't see any reason to complicate the scheduling by including the Blink timer in the process.

If you want to charge to 100% all the time, then setting the Blink schedule and not using any timers in the Leaf might be the way to go, but the Blink software has admitted "time zone issues" with the reporting and seems to often reboot itself for no obvious reason, so I have never trusted it to handle scheduling. It still collects and reports all your charging data when you use the Leaf's timer (with costs, if you enter a rate schedule), but my reports all show Eastern time zone in the history (3 hours off my Pacific time zone location).

If you want to charge to 100% only on selected days, you can use the Leaf's second timer to do that. AFAIK, the Blink doesn't have a second timer. Score another plus for the Leaf, although I wish that there was a way to toggle back and forth easily between Timer 1 and Timer 2--as it is now, you have to change which day is assigned to which timer instead. I keep Timer 1 set to 80% 7 days a week and Timer 2 set to 100% but with no days assigned, both scheduled for 12:00AM-5:00AM (my utility's super off-peak period), and then whenever I want to charge to 100%, I select the next day of the week and assign it to Timer 2 when I put the Leaf away at night and connect it to the Blink.

YMMV according to how you use the Leaf and the way you pay for electricity.
TT

Re: Charge Scheduling: Use Leaf Carwings or Blink's ?

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:39 am
by derkraut
I do my charging the same way as ttweed, (using the Leaf timers) and it has worked flawlessly for me. Of course, I have a 2nd meter from SDG&E, and schedule all my charging for super off-peak hrs. My Leaf timers are set for 80%, except for Saturday and Sunday, where I have them set to 100%. That's because we usually do more driving on weekends. I've had no problems with my Blink, since I installed the "powerlink" boosters to get a stronger wireless signal to the garage.

I LOVE this car!! :D :D

Re: Charge Scheduling: Use Leaf Carwings or Blink's ?

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:48 am
by opencar
ttweed wrote:
garygid wrote:For the LEAF, best to use the LEAF's charging timer(s), I believe, since you can "schedule" charging to 80% (or 100%).
+1. There is no way to charge to 80% effectively using the Blink timer alone, so we have always used the Leaf's timer and never scheduled the Blink to do anything but charge immediately on plug-in. When the timer is set and on in the Leaf and you plug in the Blink ahead of time, it starts to charge but stops immediately when the Leaf recognizes it is not yet time to charge and refuses the current. At the appointed time, the Leaf allows current to flow until the specified percentage of charge is reached and then terminates the charging event. I don't see any reason to complicate the scheduling by including the Blink timer in the process.

If you want to charge to 100% all the time, then setting the Blink schedule and not using any timers in the Leaf might be the way to go, but the Blink software has admitted "time zone issues" with the reporting and seems to often reboot itself for no obvious reason, so I have never trusted it to handle scheduling. It still collects and reports all your charging data when you use the Leaf's timer (with costs, if you enter a rate schedule), but my reports all show Eastern time zone in the history (3 hours off my Pacific time zone location).

If you want to charge to 100% only on selected days, you can use the Leaf's second timer to do that. AFAIK, the Blink doesn't have a second timer. Score another plus for the Leaf, although I wish that there was a way to toggle back and forth easily between Timer 1 and Timer 2--as it is now, you have to change which day is assigned to which timer instead. I keep Timer 1 set to 80% 7 days a week and Timer 2 set to 100% but with no days assigned, both scheduled for 12:00AM-5:00AM (my utility's super off-peak period), and then whenever I want to charge to 100%, I select the next day of the week and assign it to Timer 2 when I put the Leaf away at night and connect it to the Blink.

YMMV according to how you use the Leaf and the way you pay for electricity.
TT
My setup exactly mirrors TT's described above. one anomaly that you may note and I cannot yet explain is that I will sometimes (1 or 2 times per week) get a notification that charging has stopped in the middle of a charging event. most time, the 80% charge will ultimately be achieved, but there was one recent incident where I got left with 65% charge when I checked in the morning. i'll report if I can discover the reason for these anomalies, but so far the Blink customer support can't suggest possible cause. Overall, i'd also recommend the type of setup TT suggests above.

Re: Charge Scheduling: Use Leaf Carwings or Blink's ?

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:14 am
by stanley
+ 1. The Leaf timer is the way to go.

Re: Charge Scheduling: Use Leaf Carwings or Blink's ?

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:39 am
by DarkStar
If you're doing 100% charging, you should use the Blink scheduling exclusively, especially if you plan on doing any public charging. It would work using the Leaf timer, however you'll have to remember to disable your timers when doing public charging because people will mess with the plug.

I've seen some people set up their Leaf for 80% charging from 4am to 3:55am and then set up their Blink for the actual times they want to charge at home, that should work too.

Re: Charge Scheduling: Use Leaf Carwings or Blink's ?

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:17 pm
by SeattleBlueLeaf
DarkStar wrote:If you're doing 100% charging, you should use the Blink scheduling exclusively, especially if you plan on doing any public charging. It would work using the Leaf timer, however you'll have to remember to disable your timers when doing public charging because people will mess with the plug.

I've seen some people set up their Leaf for 80% charging from 4am to 3:55am and then set up their Blink for the actual times they want to charge at home, that should work too.
Thanks DarkStar - this is a method I'd like to try. I don't like remembering to turn off my charge timers at public stations (i forget easily) so this method would be best as I could trust the Blink to do night charging and the car to keep me at 80% max on weekdays.

Re: Charge Scheduling: Use Leaf Carwings or Blink's ?

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:04 pm
by ttweed
DarkStar wrote:It would work using the Leaf timer, however you'll have to remember to disable your timers when doing public charging because people will mess with the plug.
I am not worrying about this yet. I would love to have the opportunity to do public charging sometime, but the first chargers only appeared here two weeks ago, and Ecotality has not sent me a card to utilize them yet. :evil: I doubt I will ever do much L2 public charging anyway--I'm not patient enough to sit around somewhere for hours to get a few more miles, unless I was stranded, I guess. I plan on possibly utilizing L3 DC chargers on occasion for longer trips, perhaps, once they are available, but home charging is all I have needed so far.

When I do charge away from home finally, I think I will just depend on using the "timer bypass" button on the dash. I have gotten in the habit already of "reading" the dash lights on every plug in to make sure that the Leaf is connected, and listening to the beeps from the car and clunks from the Blink. If your timer is set and on, the dash lights blink in sequence, and if a charge is started immediately, only one light blinks and the others are either off or solid, depending on your current SOC. It is easy to notice if you didn't set something correctly--easier for me than remembering to open the charge port before I get out of the car, anyway! :oops:

As far as people messing with the plug--have you actually heard of this happening a lot? In all likelihood, I would not leave the car out of sight when doing public charging anyway, but I would like to think that our society and our respect for others has not deteriorated to the point where this would be a constant problem.

TT

Re: Charge Scheduling: Use Leaf Carwings or Blink's ?

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:59 pm
by DarkStar
ttweed wrote:As far as people messing with the plug--have you actually heard of this happening a lot? In all likelihood, I would not leave the car out of sight when doing public charging anyway, but I would like to think that our society and our respect for others has not deteriorated to the point where this would be a constant problem.
Hopefully you have your EV Charger Sharing Protocol card so that you can let others know when your car can be unplugged... Also, if you arrive at a charging station in use, wouldn't you like it if the other owner automatically plugged in your car when they were leaving? If you have a timer set that wouldn't work... :D