maxvamp
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2015 11:34 am

Conversion to DV charging

Sun Jul 05, 2015 11:04 am

I was looking at the GM bulletin for the Spark EV, which covered how to disconnect the electical cabling and links without illing emergency and technical personnel.

It looks like the charger and cabling that handles both the 220v charger and the DC charger is the same component.

I do plan on getting the service manuals from Helms to see if this is indeed the case, and if so, wait until I can find a Spark EV that has been totaled and see if I can find one of these units in a year or two when the DC chargers become more common, and totaled cars become more available. To my knowledge, GM is demanding mad chargers to be swapped with the factory, so buyin a new converted one is probably out of the question....

I can see GM being reluctant to allow a swap out, due to the danger and possible liability, even if a mistake is made on the technician's part.

I am wondering if there is anyone here that could speculate what other issues might be hurdles in converting one of these.

I look at it that GM must provide a way to replace this unit, unless they plan on every broken EV going back to the factory.

I will know more when I get the manual, but has anyone already gotten a manual and possibly confirm this theory?

Max.

aviatorjames
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:17 pm
Location: Moss Beach, California

Re: Conversion to DV charging

Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:29 am

What the heck are you talking about?
" ...someday's it's not even worth chewing through the restraints... "

Jedi2155
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:05 am
Location: SoCal

Re: Conversion to DV charging

Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:27 am

I believe he's referring to obtaining a spare power converter unit (240v AC-DC charger, and DC-DC converter) to tinker with and where he might be able to find one.

Max, the likely story is that the DC/DC converter board is on the same unit because there isn't a good reason to separate them in the first place. Were you hoping to increase default charge capability for the Spark EV? Hoping to double them to 6.6 kW?
Tesla Model 3 Performance (9/28) | Blue | White Seats | 20" | Full Self Driving
2014 Spark EV 2LT - Summit White - Sold as of 8/11/18
http://www.voltstats.net/SparkEV/Stats/Details/6330
My previous 2012 Volt
http://www.voltstats.net/Stats/Details/578

bicycleguy
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 5:19 pm
Location: Torrance, Ca

Re: Conversion to DV charging

Thu Aug 13, 2015 2:26 pm

The charger and dc/dc converter are separate units.

You can buy the charger here or from GM
http://store.evtv.me/proddetail.php?prod=Learcharger

sTeeve
Posts: 166
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:02 pm
Location: Decatur, Georgia, USA

Re: Conversion to DV charging

Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:11 am

bicycleguy wrote:The charger and dc/dc converter are separate units.

You can buy the charger here or from GM
http://store.evtv.me/proddetail.php?prod=Learcharger
I just recently got my 2014 Spark EV out of the shop (after 82 days...grrrr).

The Volt-certified tech that worked on my car said that the Lear charger on the Spark EV is not the same as the one on the Volt.

I asked specifically about that charger because we were talking about adding a second 3.3 kW charger.

-Bob K.
2014 Spark EV

bicycleguy
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 5:19 pm
Location: Torrance, Ca

Re: Conversion to DV charging

Fri Aug 21, 2015 2:14 pm

sTeeve,

From the pictures the chassis look identical. The hose connections are at a different angle. The specs look compatible but I'm sure the programing is different too.

Functionally, if your planning on doubling up the Spark charger, the differences probably won't matter. Your going to be custom plumbing and running the second charger off some custom CAN code. That code will more likely than not shut off the second charger as the battery approaches full so the original charger can do whatever top off routine it normally does.

That is what people have done with the Leaf anyway.

sTeeve
Posts: 166
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:02 pm
Location: Decatur, Georgia, USA

Re: Conversion to DV charging

Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:02 am

bicycleguy wrote:sTeeve,

From the pictures the chassis look identical. The hose connections are at a different angle. The specs look compatible but I'm sure the programing is different too.

Functionally, if your planning on doubling up the Spark charger, the differences probably won't matter. Your going to be custom plumbing and running the second charger off some custom CAN code. That code will more likely than not shut off the second charger as the battery approaches full so the original charger can do whatever top off routine it normally does.

That is what people have done with the Leaf anyway.
Good points, all around.

The weakness in this car is its 3.3 kW charger; it's just too slow to be practical other than for charging at home, for the most part.

I've had my Spark EV out on the roads in Ga., going from Decatur to Gainesville (58 mi), DC charge at a Kia dealership, on to Athens (57 mi), DC charge at a Georgia Power DCFC, then back home, DC charging 8 miles from home. The Spark EV handled that with aplomb; didn't even break a sweat. My 2013 Leaf would have been a smoking hole by then.

However, the Leaf has a 6.6 kW charger. Huge difference.

Finding room for that second charger may be an issue (unless we follow some of the Leaf crowd and install it in the rear, under the "trunk"). The Volt tech may just have been trying to discourage me.
2014 Spark EV

dangerHV
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:48 pm

Re: Conversion to DV charging

Fri Oct 16, 2015 12:11 pm

The responses to this post seems to have gone off track, then ended. I'm reviving it as best i can.
Max's question was about upgrading a non DCFC spark to a DCFC capable one. What he was looking at was the 1st responder guide GM published for the Spark EV (google it). It is a bit confusing the way they labelled the charger(s) on pages 8 and 9. I had to read it many times before I figured out what they were talking about (GM, not Max).
Max, the Level 1 & 2 AC input, 3.3 Kw true "charger" is apparently the upper box on left side. The lower right box appears to be, as they say, a junction box for high voltage connections which is needed w/ or w/o DCFC. I think this "box" is likely missing the contactors needed for DCFC.
maxvamp wrote:It looks like the charger and cabling that handles both the 220v charger and the DC charger is the same component.
maxvamp wrote:I am wondering if there is anyone here that could speculate what other issues might be hurdles in converting one of these.
I'll speculate here and if I'm wrong again, I'm prepared for a correction from Norton again. (go for it!) I don't think GM would route cables capable of +/- 40Kw, (400v/100 amps) when the 3.3Kw charger only needs 240v/14 amps to the battery. ("Amps" is the determining factor in cable sizing for those who don't already know) The cabling, contactors, and likely a small PC board may make the (yes- Dangerous) conversion. 400 volts across your heart is lights out folks! I would think this difference would be explained in the service manual quite clearly.
Did you get the Helms yet Max? If so, maybe you can answer your own question for me. Sure would appreciate the answer since there are very few 2014 w/ DCFC to choose from at the moment.

David
Edit: After re-reading this, I remembered the possible software changes that GM may not allow.....?

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