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Discussion Starter #1
So yesterday, without too much research (apart from the odd YouTube journo clip), I took the plunge and ordered a Polestar 2. Current car is Volvo XC90 T8 hybrid, which I've been reasonably happy with from a technological perspective, except for the poor electric mileage. (I've been reading many of the comments here and hope I haven't plunged in too early :unsure:) At home I have just been using a 13 Amp plug for charging, but now want to get a professional installation.
I am confused, as it literature indicates that car can take a charger with 11Kw, but most home chargers seem to be 7.2kw. Obviously I want to minimise charge time. Any advice on how to proceed and recommendations for installation companies in the UK most welcome.
 

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Hi
I will let the more tech savvy explain the why’s but in the UK on domestic single phase 240v the max is 7.4kw.
some nations I think can have 3 phase and so get higher.
I got my home charger 3 years ago; Chargemaster, tethered. Not “smart”.
Used it for my Merc e350e phev which had a small battery and could only charge at 3kw. Wired into my consumer box in a spare 30A breaker.
Very occasionally (once a quarter) had to reset the Chargemaster unit by switching off and on via the consumer unit breaker; because there is no on/off switch.

I got my Polestar yesterday and am only now using the full potential. Sat in the car at the moment trying to figure out what’s going wrong....
Got up this morning to find it hadn’t charged. Breaker tripped. In the car I noticed it was set to 32A, and the breaker is 30A... so hey Ho! Set it to 30A. After 5 minutes it tripped again. So tried at 28A and again at 26A. Still tripping after 5min. Now set on 25A. Holding good so far.
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Tethered means one less connector to go wrong, and means you don’t have to keep getting your cable out of the car....cables can get dirty in winter and on ground ... you don’t want to keep putting that in your car.
 

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In addition to helping EarlyAdopterMan, can anyone advise what size breaker switch in a domestic consumer unit should be used to maximise full charging capacity? 32A for 32A Max charging, or do you need headroom so eg 40A for 32A charging?
 

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Thanks for that @ChiefEngineer - it seems a like case of trial and error. Good luck - lots to learn I guess on day 1.
Unusually for me, I had the foresight to install a 30A (or 32A) cable from fusebox to outside sockets, in anticipation of future upgrade for the day I would progress to a full EV. By the way, on my Volvo XC90, if the charging stops for any reason, the App alerts you. Sometimes it is just the case of plugging in again, but it rarely happens anyway. I know the P2 App is not due until 2021, but XC90 one is also great for recording mileage on business journeys and reporting on MPG and Electric usage. In the winter, the Parking Climate and Remote Starting features are also useful. (as well as the ability to remotely lock the car if needed). I'm sure the P2 app will be worth waiting for.
I'm interested to hear other thoughts on charging companies as I need to order because I understand there is an increasing delay between order and installation.
 

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In addition to helping EarlyAdopterMan, can anyone advise what size breaker switch in a domestic consumer unit should be used to maximise full charging capacity? 32A for 32A Max charging, or do you need headroom so eg 40A for 32A charging?
The circuit breaker is there to protect the cable so it doesn't become a giant fuse. A 32A breaker will allow 32A through. But your cable needs to sized to run greater than 32A. Any electrician will know what to do.


I'm interested to hear other thoughts on charging companies as I need to order because I understand there is an increasing delay between order and installation.
 

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My house has/had a 60A supply fuse (the one before the meter), but the installer for my charging point recommended this was upgraded to 100A because a 7.4kW charger (the best you can get on a single phase supply) is 32A on its own (7400W/230V = 32A).

My charger is getting installed in a couple of weeks - have been waiting for the Distribution Network (Electricity Northwest in my case) to 'unloop' us from next door and get the supply fuse upgraded. This is happening next week - for free!

I ordered the charger from SmartHomeCharge.co.uk and went for an Andersen charger (due to the appearance and long cable!). It's currently sitting in my garage in a box.

SmartHomeCharge do a remote survey - they ask you to take videos and pictures of the meters/fusebox/installation site so they can recommend any prep first. They've been helpful so far, but the proof of the pudding is in the installing!
 

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For what it’s worth I recommend the Zappi charger, a few of us on here have them. I’m make and slightly more expensive than some of the basic units. The Anderson is also good from what I’ve read.
The Zappi has a remote hub for app use so that you can schedule charging, something not currently possible with the car.
also Zappi doesn’t need a specific earthing rod from what I understand.
Whereabouts do you live as I could recommend installer but not if you hail from Devon!
 

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Also check out this thread.


A lot of pictures there of people's set up. Might give you visual guidance as well.

And this one.

 

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I don't know about European standards, but breakers in the US will trip if the continuous load is more than 80% of the breaker rating. That seems to match what you've found through trial and error. 30 amps times 80% = 24 amps maximum continuous load.
 
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Thanks for that @ChiefEngineer - it seems a like case of trial and error. Good luck - lots to learn I guess on day 1.
Unusually for me, I had the foresight to install a 30A (or 32A) cable from fusebox to outside sockets, in anticipation of future upgrade for the day I would progress to a full EV. By the way, on my Volvo XC90, if the charging stops for any reason, the App alerts you. Sometimes it is just the case of plugging in again, but it rarely happens anyway. I know the P2 App is not due until 2021, but XC90 one is also great for recording mileage on business journeys and reporting on MPG and Electric usage. In the winter, the Parking Climate and Remote Starting features are also useful. (as well as the ability to remotely lock the car if needed). I'm sure the P2 app will be worth waiting for.
I'm interested to hear other thoughts on charging companies as I need to order because I understand there is an increasing delay between order and installation.
Another recommendation from others is to have an electrician fit a commando socket, and then buy an Ohme cable £200 when you go with Octopus. Given you have already ran a cable, did you already put a commando socket in?
 

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For a zappi you will pay approximately £900.(of £1250).The government olev grant of £350. Makes up the balance. So not cheap. Great if you have solar panels. It will enable you to trickle charge any excess. Won't be much until next spring now for me though! It will also allow timed charging. Great for overnight cheap electric. Check Artisan electrics on you tube for a run through of installation. No delays in fitting in Northampton though.😇
 

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The zappi also protects your consumer unit by restricting the charger automatically if you are approaching your main fuse rating. Mine is rated at 63 amps. No problems so far.
 

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Intersting, our breakers are specified to activate @ 105-120% of the rated limit for continuous loads and @ 300-1000% for short circuits, depending on the type.
Huh. That's counter-intuitive to me. I would think a breaker would function better if it could handle a short-term amperage up to the listed capacity but might trip at a lower, continuous load that could heat up wires and equipment.
 

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Not being able to load a breaker up to the rated current seems counter-intuitive to me ;) I would be quite surprised if I couldn't use my 11kW charger on a plug rated for 16A and secured by 16A breakers.

These characteristics are no problem as long as you size the wiring accordingly. It's only a matter of where you put the extra safety margin - into the wiring or into the breaker.

If you're curious, here is a link to the various breaker characteristics: https://www.schutzschalter-online.de/images/Auslosecharakteristik.jpg
 

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Like every engineering design problem I've ever worked on, there are different solutions with pros and cons. This is a great example of that, eh? Thanks, krheinwald.

Here's a, somewhat overcomplicated, technical explanation of how it works in the U.S. StackPath
 
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So there are a million types of circuit breakers (ok ... about 4-6 MCB's ... but that's not the point :) ), each one does a different role. For example there are some that will not trip on start-up current - e.g. lets say you have a large fan/pump motor, that's rated for 3P 32A ... it might pull 40-50A on start up for more than a few seconds but then run at a smooth 28A. As long as they don't spike too much the breaker will not trip. That's just one example.

So you cannot generalise that X will do Y.

Generally (see what I did there!) house MCB breakers are you bog standard stuff. They can and will exceed the rating for a very short period but not if it's over X Amps or Y Time.

As I mentioned here or else where, the Breaker protects the CABLE. Nothing more. Really really really OLD people will remember the little wired fuses you had to manually replace, get tired of doing it and stick a nail in there, then wonder why their house burnt down. Well basically the Breaker stops the Cable being a rather large fuse wire! If it melts it will turn into a very expensive fire lighter.

Gas you can smell.
Water you can see (and smell if damp)
Electric's just screws you when you are not looking!

Please don't mess or assume anything with electrical wiring etc... and get a professional to do it.
 

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So fairly recently, in the U.S., we're required to install breakers that do more than just limit current. Often, GFCIs are required (ground-fault circuit interrupters) which will trip if the current "coming back" is different from that "going out." More recently, more and more breakers are required to be AFCI (arc-fault circuit interrupters) which will trip when an short-circuit arc (or spark, if you will) is detected.

The electrician who wired the 50-amp receptacle for my charging box (technically, an EVSE), installed a 50-amp GFCI at the panel. Chargepoint discourages this and suggests a direct-wire installation (which wouldn't require the GFCI) as the GFCI may trip when using the charger. We'll see if that happens.

Meanwhile, per the Chargepoint instructions, and as matches my understanding, I've told the Chargepoint Home Flex, that the maximum charging amperage is 40 amps. From what I've learned here, the maximum amperage that the car will request is 32 amps, so I've got plenty of headroom.

I note that the standard breakers were pretty cheap.. maybe $10 each for a 20 amp. The GFCI (yellow buttons) and AFCI breakers (white or blue buttons) are around $40 for a 20 amp, single-pole or a whopping $100 for a double-pole (240 volt) and require much better wire management at the panel as you have to deal with an additional neutral wire.
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When I grew up, this was standard and people sometimes removed the plug and inserted a penny to deal with annoying fuse breaks. (Don't try this at home, kids.)

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As we're slowly drifting down memory lane, here is my current home-charging setup.

Did not install a wallbox, but had a ready built fuse box with meter (for the IRS), breakers, GFCI (mandatory) and overvoltage protection (also required) installed. I can pull 11kW (3P/230V/16A) from the red CEE plug and 3.6kW (1P/230V/16A) from either of the blue plugs at the same time. Charger is a Juice Booster, a portable charger with adapters available for every outlet in the world, capable of charging from 110V/6A/1P to 230V/32A/3P depending on the source. It has overcurrent, temperature (also for the plugs) and ground-fault (AC and DC, required) protection built in and a regular Typ 2 connector to connect to the car. As long as you can find eletricity, you can charge with it.

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This is how the wiring looked before, dating from the 70s. The plug and breakers would still have been legal to use @ 11kW as it was an existing installation, but as I would be sleeping on the floor above, I didn't think this was a good idea. ;)

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Yeah... that old setup looks a bit iffy.
 
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