New charge point at Bury St Edmunds. Success or disaster?

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Grumpy-b
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New charge point at Bury St Edmunds. Success or disaster?

Postby Grumpy-b » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:55 pm

Today we used our Multispace electrique to launch the Charge points in Bury St Edmunds car park. The following is a link to a BBC interview on it.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/suffolk/hi/ ... 255887.stm

We were the first users of this.
However the installation by a company called Cale, is not good. You pay for the car park after selecting your charge bay, ok so far, but the bays are marked incorrectly. Having worked that out, we then find that to start the charge you have to close the cover of the unit. This wont close over the Berlingo cable, possibly over an LED christmas tree cable but nothing else. Eventually it seemed to charge. Wrong, may have done a half hour but no more. We got back to the car 2.5 hrs later, and tried to restart. No choice but to pay again. It seemed to start, still not easily closing on the cable. It then appeared to do about a half hour again. 6pm 26miles from home me the wife and a four year old. We did) 15miles (just to a friends where we spent two hours charging again. Finally getting home at 9pm.
Great for a PR stunt for the council. Its clear that a totally unsuitable system has been supplied to a council who knew no better. I hope they can get this sorted before someone else gets caught out. The supplier could not have tried this at all

Grumpy-b (Seriously grumpy after this)

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Kevin Sharpe
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Re: New charge point at Bury St Edmunds. Success or disaster?

Postby Kevin Sharpe » Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:15 pm

I've had similar experiences trying to use charge points run by the commercial players on behalf of local councils. It seems to me that many of the people making decisions have never owned an EV and have no idea what they are installing.

My view is that we should focus on deploying ultra low cost charge points everywhere that we stop for an hour or more. We should then leave the local councils to provide charging infrastructure for people who cannot charge at home.

The Zero Carbon World charity is close to deploying it's first charge points. These support simultaneous charging of two vehicles (1x32A 'commando' and 1x13A BS) and have a total installed cost of ~£500.... they don't have 'smart metering' or key fob access but they have very little to go wrong...
Kevin Sharpe - Founder and Patron for UK registered charity Zero Carbon World. Founder and Chairman Mainpine Group. http://about.me/kevinsharpe

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ChrisB
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Re: New charge point at Bury St Edmunds. Success or disaster?

Postby ChrisB » Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:26 pm

Dear dear me , not a great start :roll:

Whos points are they ??

One of the reasons West Sussex opted for Elektromotive points was they are already out and about and proven to be pretty good, not to mention made locally, so it ticked a lot of boxes 8)

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Grumpy-b
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Re: New charge point at Bury St Edmunds. Success or disaster?

Postby Grumpy-b » Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:59 pm

They were installed by a company called Cale Briparc.
http://www.calebriparc.co.uk/website1/1 ... t_grp-s1/1
The idea is that you choose the charging point.
Pay the car park fee.
Plug in close the flap.
And off you go for your 4 hour car park shopping trip.
If you stop charging / unplug the vehicle end, the flap opens, or if your parking time is up they un lock as well.
Problem
1, the points are wrongly marked, ie point 1 is known to the parking meter as Point 2,
2, The cover wont close over a heavy cable, there is a tiny slot for it to pass through.
3,when you can finally get the cover closed it appear to charge, but seems to shut off and release the flap (assuming it was ever actually latched) after about an hour.
4, Once charging has switched off you cannot re-start without putting more cash in the parking meter.
5, the 13amp socket is angled in such a way that a heavy cable is trying to push the socket /plug apart.
TAlking to the council today, they dont believe it was ever check out by the installers, If they had no ev to charge the least they could have done was saok test it with a 3kw electric heater.
If your charger was to go into a pulsed on / off cycle, then it would completely shut down and release the flap.
On an operational issue the council had decided to cease its operation at 6pm, its located beside a Multiplex cinema, so therby precluding its use by such visitors.

Knowing the council, they were led by the installers, who may be really slick with parking ticket dispensers, but havnt a clue about EVs

The council wont just put in an open socket as anyone could just unplug it. Hence the locking in, which I quite agree with in a public place.
They didnt want to use an RFID as ther is no way of getting one when the Carpark is unmanned. A valid reason, but a bit silly when they dont work after hours anyway.
Since the Parking machine is software driven, I have suggested that they get it to print a second ticket with a PIN, you could then enter the parking bay number and PIN to release the flap and stop charging, rather than have it as it is.
Every company has their own ideas, but some just dont work. Here is an example of that.
I feel very sorry for ST Edmundsbury council who have at least made the effort to do the right thing.

Grumpy-b

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ChrisB
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Re: New charge point at Bury St Edmunds. Success or disaster?

Postby ChrisB » Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:26 pm

Grumpy-b wrote:3,when you can finally get the cover closed it appear to charge, but seems to shut off and release the flap (assuming it was ever actually latched) after about an hour.


Ah well thats the Berlingo off loading to carry out a voltage check on the batteries, they all do this, I never realised this until I was charging off my genny one day, I suddenly heard the genny unload and thought something dreadful had happened (fuse blown, genny output failure etc) but as I reached the genny to investigate the possible problem I could hear the genny load back up again.
Further investigation with meters shows the vans charge off loads at regular intervals, the first being about an hour, presumably to carry out a open circuit voltage test.

As you say it seems that the council have been well and truely up sold by the sales man :roll:

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aminorjourney
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Re: New charge point at Bury St Edmunds. Success or disaster?

Postby aminorjourney » Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:50 pm

1) Oh gosh, another EV Bloomfield. Jolly good :) - Although I'm now double-barrelled so maybe that doesn't count...

2) Charging sockets can be a pain - although we've found down here in Bristol all the points are usable, even if it left a Tesla plug a little on the warm side, eh Kevin? ;)
Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield

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Host, www.transportevolved.com

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Grumpy-b
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Re: New charge point at Bury St Edmunds. Success or disaster?

Postby Grumpy-b » Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:14 pm

It gets better. Cale Briparc who installed the kit, were adamant it wasnt their fault, the charge points arnt theirs! Not sure whos they were,The controller does sense the unloading of the charger and interpret this as the end of the charge, so releases the cover and stops the charge. They believed they had set it up correctly and would not believe that one could not restart the device once it had unlocked. They also didnt try it on any EV as they dont have access to one. They didnt even try it on site with a 3+kwload. They intend to try a plugin Prius to test it, I suggested this wasnt reasonable as its unlikely that the Prius will pull the constant 3+KWh of a serious Plugin like the Berlingo. The chap then rubbished the Berlingo stating it used old Battery technology and therfore wasnt reasonable to expect modern kit to work with it.
He also started on the route that I hadnt used the Manufacturers cable, we did but that also blocked the tiny slot for the cable.
This was a first step on their part to break into a new market.
Its a shame for St Edmunsbury council that its been such a disappointment, and that Cale Briparc did not understand what they were dealing with.

Grumpy-b

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ChrisB
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Re: New charge point at Bury St Edmunds. Success or disaster?

Postby ChrisB » Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:58 pm

Grumpy-b wrote: The chap then rubbished the Berlingo stating it used old Battery technology and therfore wasnt reasonable to expect modern kit to work with it.


What the :roll: .............right yeah of course thats the problem, silly us :lol:

Some people eh

ChrisB
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Grumpy-b
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Re: New charge point at Bury St Edmunds. Success or disaster?

Postby Grumpy-b » Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:28 pm

Just had an email form Cale Briparc MD and the guy I spoke to earlier. They do accept they have problems and even took the bother to look at the outlet they have, and guess what they agree the cable slot is too small. There is hope.

Grumpy-b

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Re: New charge point at Bury St Edmunds. Success or disaster?

Postby ChrisB » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:00 pm

Grumpy-b wrote:Just had an email form Cale Briparc MD and the guy I spoke to earlier. They do accept they have problems and even took the bother to look at the outlet they have, and guess what they agree the cable slot is too small. There is hope.

Grumpy-b


Yay, they then just need to sort out the off loading issue as I'm pretty sure a number of chargers do this, not just Blingos

ChrisB
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