Elektrobay user experience

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timpootle
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Elektrobay user experience

Postby timpootle » Wed Apr 23, 2008 3:10 pm

I have failed to write up properly my visit to Hanley for the opening of the charging points there, but I wanted to tell you briefly in case you go yourself.

The Elektrobay charging post starts when a cover is closed over the plug, a standard 13Amp 240v 3-pin socket. My charging lead had a large collar around the strain relief (cable exit) point, which prevented the cover from closing and charging to commence.

We got around this problem using a lead which Electrobay had provided, terminating in a modified 16Amp (commando) socket, coupled to an adaptor lead which I had made (16Amp plug to 13Amp socket, ready for campsite use) coupled to my normal charging lead.

The centre electrician wasn't very happy with this arrangement, as he had refused to PAT test the Electrobay lead. This was due to the modification- hacking off the dust cover to allow it to fit in a G-Wiz.

Also my home made adaptor lead was not PAT tested.

I have since replaced the 13Amp plug on my charging lead for one without
the fat bit, but I haven't been back to check that it fits (I can't see why it won't, now).

Photos and other minor points to follow, along with a proper write-up of the day in another thread.
Tim Crumpton

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qdos
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Postby qdos » Wed Apr 23, 2008 4:41 pm

Looking forward to the proper write up Tim. Please send it in to Plugged In

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aminorjourney
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Postby aminorjourney » Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:15 am

I'm reading this with real interest as the points that we had installed at Cribbs Causeway (another capital shopping centre owned mall) were simple 13A and 16 A sockets with appropriate trips and switches. You can see a photo of the points here: http://tinyurl.com/6ou9bw . However, I've heard from various sources that Cribbs Causeway will soon receive an upgrade to the elektromotive bays. Since the Elektromotive bays can only provide 13 amps and a maximum of about 3.1KW at 230V I wonder if it is a bit of a downgrade for those who have chargers capable of using up to 3.6KW at 230V on a 16 A source? Your tales of problems at the point certainly don't bode well.

Obviously these points seem to have G-Wizes in mind as they are the most popular EV in the UK at the moment. I wonder though if Elecktromotive need to examine the design and function for other EVs. For example, my City El's charger has a 13A plug on the end of a two meter cable. If I had to use an approved lead I'd have to hack a 16A inlet onto my EV!

Normally when I charge I keep the rather flimsy City El charging cable wrapped around the charger in the car and plug the 13 A plug into an artic cable extension lead, with a 13 A socket on one end and a 16A plug on the other. I find that way I'm pretty safe using points in non ideal weather and I know that the 16 A connector I use can actually lock onto an appropriate 16A socket to keep it watertight. (I can't remember what IP rating that is...)

On the outside of our house we had two points installed which have interlocks preventing power from being turned on unless there is a plug in the socket. http://tinyurl.com/5ye9tm You can't remove the plug until you turn the power off. The sockets can also be locked using a padlock in either the on or off positions. From memory it cost about £200 to have these installed as well as deal with the appropriate RCD and Load trips at the consumer unit. Bearing in mind that 16 A sockets are inherently a bit more robust and maybe a tad safer, wouldn't it make sense to have these as the standard charging norm for charging points? It's certainly cheaper than the elektromotive solution. Or am I completely missing the point?

Whatever the point though I advocate regular use to help raise the profile of EVs nationally as well as prove that putting them in was a good decision! We use the point at Cribbs when we're there in an EV - even though we're only five miles away and my car's range is at least 50 miles when driven conservatively.
Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield

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clnbrtltt
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Postby clnbrtltt » Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:02 pm

We are also reading these posts with considerable interest although there are no charging points anywhere near us :(

When we first had our Elcat Citivan 202 it had a 13A plug on it but we had a few problems charging it on the fast charge (3kW plus) using this plug. It was fine when charging at around 1kW which we do most of the time.

We have now had the Elcat fitted with a 16A plug and have a 16A external charging socket. Commando (IP67) and that works fine all round. We also have a lead that has a 13A plug on one end and a 16A socket on the other end so that we can charge it up at our daughter's (15 miles away) using her 13A socket.

We had assumed that official charging points would have 13A and 16A sockets available but it seems that this is not necessarily the case :roll:

Surely we need to lobby for standardised charging points :?:

What do others think :?:

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aminorjourney
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Postby aminorjourney » Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:37 pm

I had a very interesting phone conversation with the head of Elektrobay this afternoon. He seems very keen to try and illiminate any issues with charging Berlingos and any other large charger vehicles.

It appears that the design of the point comes in part from the current legislature from local councils and government on public charging points/scoekts in public.

He's just joined the BVS so it'll be very interesting to see him on the forums soon. I hope he'll be able to explain how the thing works in a more effective manner!

Nikki.
Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield

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http://about.me/aminorjourney/bio

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ChrisB
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Postby ChrisB » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:49 pm

The berlingo while is designed to be charged off a normal 13A socket does have the tendancy to distroy cheap plugs and sockets, I've seen it also weld a 16A plug and socket together due to what I suspect was a loose connection.

The problem I suspect is the duty cycle on a 13A plug and socket. While they are rated 13A most of the time they normally never run at that sort of level over a prolonged period, the berlingo will pull a full 13A for best part of 5 or 6 hours and its only the last part of the charge that it starts to drop off.

I think I know the close the lid and the power then comes on type 13A sockets, these are fine but as Tim has discovered they only work with some types of 13A plugs and if you have the larger type with integral strain relief then you cant close the door, where as if you have a cheap and nasty small plug its fine :wink:

I have found the MK range of plugs with screw pole type terminals to be very sucessful and dont tend to burn out.

ChrisB
I reject reality and substitute my own !!!!!!

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aminorjourney
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Postby aminorjourney » Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:14 am

Hi Chris,

Yes... Wasn't that on Rob's Berlingo last year? I seem to remember he had a welded 16A connector?

I guess when the berlingo was designed it was with commercial premises in mind, not the home 13A sockets. I think commercial ones do tend to be rather more heavy-duty. Perhaps that's it?

Nikki.
Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield

EVangelist and Media Relations Coordinator, www.ZeroCarbonWorld.org
Host, www.transportevolved.com

http://about.me/aminorjourney/bio

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timpootle
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Postby timpootle » Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:42 am

Nikki- you say the Elektrobay man has joined us? This is good. We need to sort out the problems I and Tim Strutt encountered if these posts are to become widespread. I should have emailed him myself, but haven't, yet.

As well as the door closing issue, either car or post stopped the charge after 2 minutes. We need more diagnosis to say which and why. I will be very happy to assist Elektrobay in this. My feeling is that they have only tested it on the G-Wiz, not any Berlingos.
Tim Crumpton

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ChrisB
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Postby ChrisB » Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:31 pm

aminorjourney wrote:Hi Chris,

Yes... Wasn't that on Rob's Berlingo last year? I seem to remember he had a welded 16A connector?

I guess when the berlingo was designed it was with commercial premises in mind, not the home 13A sockets. I think commercial ones do tend to be rather more heavy-duty. Perhaps that's it?

Nikki.


Yes it was Robs, although I suspect the main reason it nuked was due to a loose connection inside one of the plugs :wink:

The Blingo can be charged on a 13A but you must use a decent quality plug and socket and not some no brand or unbranded set :wink:

One thing that one of the guys mentioned at the berlingo weekend was it was worth changing the fuse regularly as they tend to get a bit tired being max'ed out all the time, but the we also discussed the fact it might be just the fact the fuse holder got a bit of adjustment during the fuse change :?

ChrisB
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ChrisB
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Postby ChrisB » Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:33 pm

timpootle wrote:Nikki- you say the Elektrobay man has joined us? This is good. We need to sort out the problems I and Tim Strutt encountered if these posts are to become widespread. I should have emailed him myself, but haven't, yet.

As well as the door closing issue, either car or post stopped the charge after 2 minutes. We need more diagnosis to say which and why. I will be very happy to assist Elektrobay in this. My feeling is that they have only tested it on the G-Wiz, not any Berlingos.


We also chatted about this one and wondered if it might have been due to the Blingos soft start routine which confused the post into shutting down :?

I didnt realise the posts where so computerised :roll: Why on earth did they feel the need to make the dam things so complicated :roll:

ChrisB
I reject reality and substitute my own !!!!!!


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