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 Post subject: L2 portable generator charging
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:40 am
Posts: 121
Location: San Diego
Portable charging at L2. After getting stuck and towed 300 yards to my friends house decided I needed a portable emergency charge solution on board the car, sort of a spare tire which is another project. Looking for portable generators at 240 volt the list gets short here in America. Found one, a Pramac S2800 http://www.zoro.com/pramac-portable-gen ... lsrc=aw.ds
Desc:
Portable Generator, Rated Watts 2400, 160cc
by PRAMAC
Technical Specifications
Zoro #: G8491594 | Mfr #: S2800
Fuel Tank Capacity: 0.45 gal. Fuel Type: Gasoline
Run Time Hour Meter: No Cylinder Material: Cast Iron
Engine Alternator: Mecc alte Outlets: (1) 120V 5-20R
Voltage: 120 Engine Size: 160cc
Standards: EPA Height: 16-5/8"
Warranty: 3 Month Commercial Use Sound Level dB: 74
Run Time @ Full Load: 2 hr./Tank Run Time @ 1/2 Load: 2.6 hr./Tank
Circuit Breaker: Yes Width: 14-3/8"
Engine Brand: Subaru Engine HP: 6
Length: 21-3/4" Full Power Switch: No
Low Oil Shut Down: Yes Surge Watts: 2800
Rated Watts: 2400 Starter Type: Recoil
Amps @ 120/240V: 20/10 amps
Air Cleaner Type: Paper
Item: Portable Generator Zoro Number: G8491594
Mfr Number: S2800
Product Description
Portable Generator, Rated Watts 2400, Surge Watts 2800, Engine Brand Subaru, Voltage 120, 20/10 Amps @ 120/240V, Circuit Breaker Yes, Engine Size 160cc, Engine Alternator Mecc Alte, 2 hr./Tank Run Time @ Full Load, 2.6 hr./Tank Run Time @ 1/2 Load, Sound Level dB 74, Engine HP 6, 0.45 gal. Fuel Tank Capacity, Recoil Starter Type, Air Cleaner Type Paper, Low Oil Shut Down Yes, Length 21-3/4 In., Width 14-3/8 In., Height 16-5/8 In., Full Power Switch No, Gasoline Fuel Type, Outlets (1) 120V 5-20R
Some modifications were needed for my application, Unit arrives set up tor 120 volt only with both coil outputs tied together on a 1 pole 20A circuit breaker.
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Removed the 20 amp circuit breaker and separated the generator coil outputs then rewired for 240 volt output. (see Mecc Alte Brushless diagram above)
Image
Picked up a double pole circuit breaker: http://www.ebay.com/itm/201185736018?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT
Then added a right angle cable clamp from the hardware store to the back cover with a L14-20 female plug and some cable.
http://stevon.myevblog.com/wp-admin/upload.php
My calculations of load being 8 amps@ 240 volt + 1920 watts total. purchased a portable EVSE charging station kit
http://store.openevse.com/products/open ... tion-combo
Image (clear cover my modification)
It accepts available input voltage from 100 to 250 volts, switches upon detecting voltage and communicates via the SAE J1772-2001 standard protocol through the J1772 cable. EVSE charger sets voltage and available amps on the vehicle's onboard charger. plugged in open EVSE charger, connected generator, set dashboard current to 8 amps for a test, started generator and let her rip!
N.G. Problem, generator voltage dropped to 200 volts and car disconnected EVSE. Gen sped back up, voltage returned to 248, car re-engaged charge, then 1 minute later, same scenario ~ loop! WTF! Looked into non-linear loads and harmonic distortion as the possible problem and solutions for it. Bad power factor? Harmonic Distortion?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_factor and a possible solution https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=worppwXhezI and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPFKcUxbNuQ . In order to solve this problem I needed precise information to make calculations and to arrive at precise values to purchase parts and design a solution. What was needed was a power analyzer like a Fluke 43B meter. At $1600 dollars a little pricey for one project. Decided on a used meter found in Bakersfield CA. for $300, He wanted cash only, face to face, living in San Diego 400 miles + away, that was impractical. Talked him into a postal money order and it arrived last Friday. As a test made a "bread board" for easier measurements See picture
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hooked up meter, connected the car to house current then started a charge session with dashboard current set to 8 amps. Load seemed quite linear at 240 volts, 0.99 Power Factor with 12 percent THD. A puzzle, why did the generator overload? Second test, connected car, generator and openESVE charger, set dashboard current to 8 amps for the test, started generator and it loaded down again! meter read 14 amps @ 240v or 3360 watts! No wonder 2800 max watt generator bogged down. the open EVSE charge station allows you to program amps so I reset station from default 16a to 10a @ 240v and the car charged OK (no stalling) on the generator @ L2 2.4 kwatts. PF is 0.98 @ 12percent THD! SUCCESS :mrgreen: Next concern was that if involved in an accident Gen would cruise through the cabin if it was not secured. Chose vinyl coated 1/4 inch aircraft cable and a lock to secure generator to the car with an antitheft side benefit as well. Generator stock cradle had to be modified with some steel and welding.
Image
Total cost in parts was less than $900.00 US
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Last edited by stevon on Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:23 am, edited 51 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: L2 portable generator charging
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 6:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am
Posts: 922
Location: KC,MO
I too have been considering a Plan B, other than AAA. (What do you tell AAA? "My car is broke and I need to tow it home." Period. Does AAA have a 'D.S.' policy for BEV drivers?)

I have only scanned your post but: Why go for a 240 V generator if it is not rated at 3500 watts continuous, L2. ? (probably too big and heavy to fit the hatch area and then be lifted out to run.)
Those tiny inverter controlled 120V / 1000 or 2000 watt generators will charge 120V @ 8 A or 12 A watts, L1. (Light weight and quiet but time consuming)

Another option is a bigass 12V UPS battery (+80 lbs, 112 Ah) with a sine wave inverter to make a clean 120V AC. (Silent, but then charge it immediately when you get home)

Do any Spark EV owners have a Plan B?

_________________
Used '14 2LT w/ DCFC.
In the middle of the country.
Far from any of its sibs.


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 Post subject: Re: L2 portable generator charging
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 8:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:02 am
Posts: 39
AAA is plan B.

I have several generators, none of which I plan to carry with my just in case. They are smelly dirty gas guzzling devices that do not belong in my beautiful EV. But if I were to carry one, it would be the little 2000w inverter genny that is light and quiet. It would take a long time, but it would get the job done. My 240v generator is big, loud and obnoxious.

_________________
2015 Electric Blue Spark EV 1LT


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 Post subject: Re: L2 portable generator charging
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:40 am
Posts: 121
Location: San Diego
A 70 lbs generator pushing 2.4Kw at 240 volts is more than enough for emergencies, car only takes 3.3Kw max anyways. I got stuck 300 yards from my friend's house, but it was up hill. Car just shut down, no warning or beeping or "limp" mode. Had to roll down hill backwards just to move to the side of the road!!!! Power brakes and steering still operated with power. Called OnStar and they sent a tow truck. Asked the tow truck driver for a jump but he said "sorry, we don't carry 400 volts DC". Chevy dealer picked up the tab, no charge for me, at least for one year then all bets are off. Gen would have taken 10 min total to add the juice needed. The Pramac S2800 fits neatly in the hatch area and is cabled down with 4 cables up to the added welded tab and locked to car with one padlock. the steel bottom plate added has a hole with a bolt to the spare tire hold down screw, a little over kill I know, but need it safe and secure with no squeaks or rattles. The gas tank on the gen is full, plan to add gas stabilizer. There is no gas can in the car, just pull up to station to top it off. very little fumes after a refill, leave the back windows open a crack. Been driving to work like this for a week, no problems so far but piece of mind is worth more than the $700 in parts I spent.

Stephen


Last edited by stevon on Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:42 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: L2 portable generator charging
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 4:58 am 
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Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am
Posts: 922
Location: KC,MO
I'm not sure if this 2.4 kW generator will play nice with your L2 EVSE,,, UNLESS the L2 can be adjusted to tell the car to only take 2.4 kW @ 240V. Normally the EVSE sends a pilot signal to the onboard charger to take 3.3 kW @240V.

I had a EMW juice box built with a cable capable of only the 3.3 kW spec. I had a demo BMW i3 for a few days and the first time I plugged it into my L2 I had to be ready with a clamp on ammeter and a small screw driver to turn down the pilot signal to 3.3 kW. It started out way higher than that!

So, if your L2 has an adjustable pilot signal you could pull this off with the generator. But then for home use you'd want to turn the L2 back up to 3.3 kW.
Wouldn't a small 120V generator and the stock EVSE do just as good for saving your bacon?

Also, that gas tank cap is vented. I'm sure it does not have an evaporative emission capture system.
This means you WILL get gasoline fumes in your car. No way around it. Just wait for the next hot day when the car has been sitting outside.

My Bigass battery/inverter method is smelling better all the time.

_________________
Used '14 2LT w/ DCFC.
In the middle of the country.
Far from any of its sibs.


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 Post subject: Re: L2 portable generator charging
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 6:51 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:40 am
Posts: 121
Location: San Diego
NORTON wrote:
I'm not sure if this 2.4 kW generator will play nice with your L2 EVSE,,, UNLESS the L2 can be adjusted to tell the car to only take 2.4 kW @ 240V. Normally the EVSE sends a pilot signal to the onboard charger to take 3.3 kW @240V.

I had a EMW juice box built with a cable capable of only the 3.3 kW spec. I had a demo BMW i3 for a few days and the first time I plugged it into my L2 I had to be ready with a clamp on ammeter and a small screw driver to turn down the pilot signal to 3.3 kW. It started out way higher than that!

So, if your L2 has an adjustable pilot signal you could pull this off with the generator. But then for home use you'd want to turn the L2 back up to 3.3 kW.
Wouldn't a small 120V generator and the stock EVSE do just as good for saving your bacon?

Also, that gas tank cap is vented. I'm sure it does not have an evaporative emission capture system.
This means you WILL get gasoline fumes in your car. No way around it. Just wait for the next hot day when the car has been sitting outside.

My Bigass battery/inverter method is smelling better all the time.

Norton,
Thanks for your input! Set OpenEVSE combo charger to 10 amps when using generator. Yeah a hot day will add fumes but there's always a little wind and almost no rain in San Diego so leaving both back windows open a crack has done the trick so far. Smaller gen set would have worked but wouldn't be any cheaper. Inverter grade was not necessary. UPS is a cleaner solution, just never occurred to me. 1440 miles so far charging @L2 90 percent at work 10 percent home has cost me about $30 extra so far in my electric bill, haven't seen this months home bill yet. :roll: What is good is that at work they are using a CEP power distribution box outside.
Image

http://cepnow.com/temp-power-boxes/6506gu
Description:
"G" Series GFCI Protected Boxes
Rating:
50A 125/250V
Looked up the required plug for 240v Image and made an adapter whala! Set openEVSE combo charger to 240 volt @16 amps. CEP box sits right in front of a legitimate parking spot. Very fortunate for Me indeed!
Also keep in the car charge opportunity outlet adapters Image


Last edited by stevon on Sun Jun 07, 2015 8:13 am, edited 9 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: L2 portable generator charging
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 9:23 am 
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Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 12:19 pm
Posts: 496
NORTON wrote:
Another option is a bigass 12V UPS battery (+80 lbs, 112 Ah) with a sine wave inverter

12V at 112Ah = 1.344 kWh. Assuming bit under 80% efficiency, that's 1 kWh. At SparkEV at 4mi/kWh at wall socket, that'll get 4 miles. I don't know if carrying around 80+ lbs for 4 miles is a good idea.

NORTON wrote:
Do any Spark EV owners have a Plan B?

One idea I had was to have a trailer with big generator, but SparkEV cannot tow and it would be more than 100lbs.

Another idea was to always have gorgeous blonde babe who weighs under 100lbs to flag down F350 driver (it seems only guys drive F350) to give a tow while SparkEV is in L mode to charge the batteries while moving. I see about 36 kW of regenerative braking, which is similar to eVgo DCFC, so 20 minutes of tow should get 80%. But finding such babe to ride with me all the time, let alone tell me the time, is impossible. At least for me. But it may be possible for some of you out there. Hook me up! It's too bad I wasn't born as gorgeous 80lb blonde bombshell...

Even so, maybe there's opportunity for some clever towing companies to provide charge-while-towing service without involving a babe.


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 Post subject: Re: L2 portable generator charging
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 9:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:40 am
Posts: 121
Location: San Diego
A big ass 240 volt UPS would be the same weight as generator with no smell of gas! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005SQ ... e=UTF8&me=
Has built in inverter and charger too!
Image
Max Configurable Power 2700 Watts / 3000 VA Buy used for around $800 bucks with shipping
SparkevBlogspot wrote:
NORTON wrote:
Another option is a bigass 12V UPS battery (+80 lbs, 112 Ah) with a sine wave inverter

12V at 112Ah = 1.344 kWh. Assuming bit under 80% efficiency, that's 1 kWh. At SparkEV at 4mi/kWh at wall socket, that'll get 4 miles. I don't know if carrying around 80+ lbs for 4 miles is a good idea.

NORTON wrote:
Do any Spark EV owners have a Plan B?

One idea I had was to have a trailer with big generator, but SparkEV cannot tow and it would be more than 100lbs.

Another idea was to always have gorgeous blonde babe who weighs under 100lbs to flag down F350 driver (it seems only guys drive F350) to give a tow while SparkEV is in L mode to charge the batteries while moving. I see about 36 kW of regenerative braking, which is similar to eVgo DCFC, so 20 minutes of tow should get 80%. But finding such babe to ride with me all the time, let alone tell me the time, is impossible. At least for me. But it may be possible for some of you out there. Hook me up! It's too bad I wasn't born as gorgeous 80lb blonde bombshell...

Even so, maybe there's opportunity for some clever towing companies to provide charge-while-towing service without involving a babe.


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 Post subject: Re: L2 portable generator charging
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 10:06 am 
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Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 12:19 pm
Posts: 496
stevon wrote:
A big ass 240 volt UPS would be the same weight as generator with no smell of gas! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005SQ ... e=UTF8&me=

That's 3000VA. Assuming that's close to 3kW, that may be enough to charge SparkEV with some EVSE tweaking. But how many miles will you get out of it? Judging by the weight (guessing ~60lb lead battery), I guesstimate less than 2 miles, maybe even less than 1 mile. I don't think that's worth almost $1000 + 100lb additional weight all the time.

Here's a better idea. It only weighs 40lbs.

http://www.amazon.com/Schwinn-20-Inch-L ... lding+bike

Ride into town and get a gorgeous blonde babe to come back to SparkEV with you and do the flagging down F350. Or you can simply rent a U-haul to tow, although you still need a blonde bombshell to drive the other car. How you get the babe to come with you, I'm still trying to figure out. Buying dinner apparently doesn't work. :D


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 Post subject: Re: L2 portable generator charging
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 11:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:40 am
Posts: 121
Location: San Diego
There is another option and way less expensive than a cute blonde also easier than picking her up in a goofy sub compact car.
Image
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A car dolly!
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I own a 4 Door Tacoma truck long bed rated at 3500lb towing capacity
Image

SparkevBlogspot wrote:
stevon wrote:
A big ass 240 volt UPS would be the same weight as generator with no smell of gas! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005SQ ... e=UTF8&me=

That's 3000VA. Assuming that's close to 3kW, that may be enough to charge SparkEV with some EVSE tweaking. But how many miles will you get out of it? Judging by the weight (guessing ~60lb lead battery), I guesstimate less than 2 miles, maybe even less than 1 mile. I don't think that's worth almost $1000 + 100lb additional weight all the time.

Here's a better idea. It only weighs 40lbs.

http://www.amazon.com/Schwinn-20-Inch-L ... lding+bike

Ride into town and get a gorgeous blonde babe to come back to SparkEV with you and do the flagging down F350. Or you can simply rent a U-haul to tow, although you still need a blonde bombshell to drive the other car. How you get the babe to come with you, I'm still trying to figure out. Buying dinner apparently doesn't work. :D


Last edited by stevon on Wed May 27, 2015 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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