charging circuit

Posted on Feb 4, 2014

Building battery boxes for the Speedster. While not an exciting topic, in converting almost any car to electric drive, most new builders are surprised to learn that making the car run on battery power is almost trivial. But 50% of the work centers on placing batteries and building structures to hold them. So to avoid making this episode a total yawnfest, we`ve decided to tackle a probably useful element we

charging circuit
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promised almost a year ago when we did our episode on the new J1772-2009 standard/plugs/connectors. That is, how to wire your car to actually do J1772 charging. With the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf finally shipping. er. more or less shipping. we think you`ll finally begin to see some J1772 charging stations begin to appear. We build our cars to charge quite automatically from either 120VAC single phase or 240vac two phase power. And we almost always use a NEMA 5-15 recessed male connector on the car so that we can universally connect the car anywhere and to virtually any ordinary household extension cable - albeit you do generally want to use a heavy one. This is mildly illegal in most respects. First, NEMA5-15 is entirely meant for 120vac operation at 15 amperes or less. In practice, we charge the Speedsters at about 25 amperes and 240vac. We simply make up a cord or "adapter" with a NEMA L6-30 or NEMA 14-50 connector on one end, and the usual NEMA 5-15 female on the other. This is not good frankly. But it is very convenient. If you go to gramma`s house, you can still plug in and get a toke on her good juice, even though there`s no charge station there. We buy the best cables and connectors we can find, and while they get warm, so far no incidents. But it isn`t really kosher. And soon it will even be a disadvantage. As J1772 charge stations start to appear, at the least in the garages of friends with Nissan Leaf or...

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