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Discussion Starter #1
Remind me if this is a bad idea or not?

If I have the 13 amp standard house plug adaptor, will it automatically limit the power to the Zoe at 13 amps?

Just thought about taking it with me tomorrow when I pick the car up. Good to have a backup...
 

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In the US, the North American UMC is modified to J1772 by Quick Charge Power to make the JESLA.

We originally purchased the Jesla to charge my wife's Roadster (coupled with the CAN (now CAN JR)) until we got our own Roadster proprietary charger.

We've then used the UMC with the ActiveE and Nissan Leaf. So, the charger itself is quite flexible.
 

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Very bad idea ;)

The UMC is cross wired to put a single phase across the three pins. In the Tesla this is fine because effectively each charger is like three independent single phase units.

The Zoe uses the windings of the motor as part of it's charging system, so requires a proper 3 phase supply if the 3 pins are live.

Something will go pop, and the magic smoke all electrical things contain will escape. ;)
(I believe @mgboyes tried this experiment and it damaged the car AND the UMC)

Tesla in my view are a bit naughty here, because they have diverged from the standard, without ensuring it is physically impossible to do what you are suggesting.

Of course the designers of EVSE protocol also missed a trick in my view, the standard should have been digital and explicitly instructed the car exactly what was being provided, as well as tell the EVSE the VIN of the car to avoid RFID cards ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sure, but from looking at @mgboyes posts, it looks like it went pop because he was using the red commando adaptor?

I was specifically asking about use the 13 amp plug adaptor on the UMC...in which case wouldn't it work like the Renault granny cable?
 

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Sure, but from looking at @mgboyes posts, it looks like it went pop because he was using the red commando adaptor?

I was specifically asking about use the 13 amp plug adaptor on the UMC...in which case wouldn't it work like the Renault granny cable?
Ah good point. I have no idea. I guess you could use a meter and ring out the pins to see how the adaptor is wired. I'd be wary of just giving it a go, as you have no idea.
 

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A US UMC is a single phase device and so none of the issues I ran into would apply (but it won't plug into a UK 3 pin outlet or a Type 2 car so that's not much consolation!)

It is probable that if you use an EU 3 phase UMC with a red 16A commando adaptor, or 13A UK adaptor, or 16A Schuko adaptor then it would work just fine with a Zoe. As far as I know these are all wired totally conventionally. However I don't have any of these adaptors so cannot check for certain. You'd want to get a multimeter and check whether the live pin on the 13A plug is connected through to just one or all 3 of the live pins on the socket where the adaptor connects to the UMC body.

However for (unpleasant) historical reasons the Blue 32A Commando adaptor for the UMC is wired so that the single live input to the commando plug ends up finding its way down all three power pins on the Type 2 plug.

The result with a Model S is that it sees a signal from the UMC telling it there's a limit of 32A, and it gradually ramps up power until it any of the power pins hits the 32A limit (in this case the neutral), at which point there's 10.6A down each of the three phase pins and all is well.

A Zoe on the other hand sees an instruction telling it to draw 32A so it does just that, down all 3 phase pins at once, without any kind of gentle ramping-up. This puts 96A through the neutral wire, UMC contactor, and through the commando connector.

In my case the result was that the UMC contactor fused closed, something popped in the Zoe's CBC (which I believe is a type of junction box inside the car) and then finally my 32A MCB tripped.

Luckily both Tesla and Renault replaced the dead components for free, but the Zoe ended up on a flatbed back to Renault Orpington.

Ultimately it's unclear who is in the wrong. The Type 2 standard does not specify a phase relationship between the three live pins, but equally it's clear that it was intended that it be 120 degrees. And it is equally ambiguous whether the current limit signaled on the CP pin should apply to the neutral conductor or if it was intended to represent the limit on the live pins.
 

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Ultimately it's unclear who is in the wrong. The Type 2 standard does not specify a phase relationship between the three live pins, but equally it's clear that it was intended that it be 120 degrees. And it is equally ambiguous whether the current limit signaled on the CP pin should apply to the neutral conductor or if it was intended to represent the limit on the live pins.
I think even if the Zoe monitored the neutral for maximum current, bad things would happen. The motor in the Zoe is an integral part of the charging system, effectively acting as the first stage of rectification, working a bit like a three phase rectifying transformer. (In this configuration it might not even use the neutral leg BTW)

Rectifier - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Simply running a single phase concurrently into three sets of windings, I really can't see being a good idea. At best you'd be throwing a very choppy DC feed into the charging circuitry of the car. There's also the possibility you would be spiking the voltages as the single phases would be complimentary and induce a greater voltage than expected into the secondary side of the windings.

I'm pretty sure the spec states 4 modes for a type 2 plug: AC Single phase using L1, AC Multiphase when using L1,L2,L3. DC, and DC + AC. I don't have the formal spec (it costs £70 or so) but even if it doesn't directly specify 120 phase angle, it will probably reference a CENELEC standard on 3 phase supply.

However this is all moot, Tesla knew full well the it is accepted practice that L1 L2 L3 refer to 120 phase angle AC , and the bridging of the pins is a hack to get around adding extra cost to the cars to charge at respectable rates without requiring dual chargers / additional contactors on board the EU cars.
 

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Remind me if this is a bad idea or not?
If I have the 13 amp standard house plug adaptor, will it automatically limit the power to the Zoe at 13 amps?
Just thought about taking it with me tomorrow when I pick the car up. Good to have a backup...
Old-post-revival-time,

@cah197 same situation, about to pick up a little ZE20 R240 runabout this w/e and want to know if you succeeded with the 13A 3pin-UK plug UMC (no not using the red adapter) on the Zoe as shelving out ~£400 for the Renault-branded one seems like a waste.

Thought it'll be good to get SWMBO into the plugin-habit as a interim solution until I can get the leccy-man to come around to wire up the 2nd WC I just received (yay for self-referrals) :)
 

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Old-post-revival-time,

@cah197 same situation, about to pick up a little ZE20 R240 runabout this w/e and want to know if you succeeded with the 13A 3pin-UK plug UMC (no not using the red adapter) on the Zoe as shelving out ~£400 for the Renault-branded one seems like a waste.

Thought it'll be good to get SWMBO into the plugin-habit as a interim solution until I can get the leccy-man to come around to wire up the 2nd WC I just received (yay for self-referrals) :)
The UMC with 3 pin adaptor will charge a zoe safely at 10A (I’ve been doing this myself since June) but it’s not always totally reliable - the car and umc both occasionally decide they don’t like it and sulk until restarted.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks.

Of course I used the Tesla UMC on the weekend with my dodgy French extension lead to reverse the polarity. Worked a treat and woke up to hotel that wasn’t on fire in the morning. :)

So do you think there would be any issue using the 32 Amp blue commando adaptor with the UMC to charge the Zoe? It would be a rare occurance as I think I’m going to need another dodgy adaptor to convert to the 16 amp socket.

I may have answered my own question...
 

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Thanks all - charged the newcomer a couple of times from the UMC with the standard UK 3pin plug without blowing the Zoe up, it seemed to be pulling 9A when I checked at about 51% SoC. Might be just me but there is a distinct lack of in-car charging technical detail visible without an OBD reader.

BTW - fantastic little 2nd-car runabout and cheap as chips, last ICE being taken away next week :)
 
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