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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
Does anyone know whether there is a way to setting a timer for charging the Renault Zoe, which would also allow me to limit the current draw?
The use case is as follows:
- I will soon have a 5 kWp PV system, which will generates 4 kW
- I have a ChargeMaster 32A system (which effectively charges the car at 7kW)
- I have an immersion heater that in the summer heats the hot water tank by 11am.
- I therefore want to tell the Zoe to start charging at 11am, but want to limit the charge to 3 kW (I accept that it will take a lot longer to charge the car, but at least it would mainly use generated electricity, rather than drawing from the grid. This is particularly important as I am thinking of moving to an electricity tariff that will be more expensive during the day and cheaper at night.

Thanks for any help or advice.

Fabre
 

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You'll probably need to use a 'granny cable', but as I'm typing this I've remembered that you can use a Zappi charge point to do what you want as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've thought of replacing my (free) ChargeMaster with a Zappi actually. However I remember reading somewhere (but can't remember where) that the Zoe might not be keen to work with a fluctuating charge (which would most likely happen with the Zappi in Eco (ie. diverter) mode).
Does anyone have experience of that?

Fabre
 

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I did some experimenting on my 2013 ZOE and if I remember correctly if you break the charge from the house end (e.g. via the isolator) - to represent a simple on-off diverter - ZOE does not restart charging.

I suspect it would be less sensitive to a fluctuating current so long as the charging wasn't completely interrupted.
 

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Looks promising - I'd just say don't assume that what works for a Leaf (or any other EV) also works for a ZOE.
It works for a Zoe (I know someone in Germany who runs a similar setup) however the trick for the Zoe (& Leaf afaik) is to not keep turning it on and off again.

Once a set power level is met you can scale the power up and down based on your power generation but it you should set a minimum power level even if that means using a bit from the grid.

As you say if you keep turning it on an off bad things can happen. I believe the blog post and videos explain this for the Leaf too.
 

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Wabiloo

I did change out my free chargermaster for a Zappi, you can limit the charger current down when using from the grid, ( mine set to 5Kw just depends what else is in use in the house) and you can also set the miminium changer current rate when in eco modes.

just waiting for some sun to charge up my powerwall and then try out the Zoe in eco + mode.
 

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ZOE Q210 Oct'13
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I did a mod to my Chargemaster connector to allow 3 different charge rates. This was done by changing the resistor value between PP and PE in the plug, which tells the car the rating of the cable. This involves adding 2 resistors to the existing one. The charge rates are 13A, 20A and 32A.

Variable Rate Charger
 

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Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
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Careful now :)

The way do dynamically change the intake power is to change the PMW signal the chargepoint sends to the car. ZOE is absolutely fine with this. However, depending on your house wiring / inverter setup, this might work out less fantastic than expected.

ZOE only reliably charges when allowed to take 10 (preferably 12) amps. Below that, no go. If the chargepoint is 3.7 kW (16A), the dynamic range is pretty limited. Better of course if you can ramp up to 32A and have decent solar system to support that.

In a three phase environment, things get more complicated. Is the solar inverter 3 phase too? Is it reasonable to assume good yields (> 3 times 12 amps) when the car is connected? It is NOT possible to dynamically change between 3 phase and 1 phase charging.

And as said above, if you simply cut power to the chargepoint, ZOE will simply fall asleep and won't wake up when power is established. This should be done properly through the signaling protocol.
 

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Zappi works fine with Zoe. I know they tweaked the software to make sure it does. The type-2 protocol allows for a pause in charging I believe, so the charge remains active, although no charge power is being provided. There is a minimum (?1.3kW) below which Type-2 charging doesn't work, so Zappi pauses charging until the power available rises above this. @Wabiloo if you are having a PV system installed, then I wonder if you could get a Zappi at the same time and benefit from the 5% VAT? I don't know if it counts or not, just a speculation on my part. Also, if you are wanting to use the immersion heater, you could look at Eddi, one of @myenergi 's other products, which can work with Zappi to allow you to prioritise PV energy to immersion heater or EV charging. There's other info about their products in various threads on here, or perhaps look at the information over at www.myenergi.uk
 

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I believe there's also an option from Rolec, the EVWP2020-SOLAR-SWITCH. So far as I can tell it's a rotary switch on the side of the wallpod that lets you select 6/10?/16/32amp. So purely a manual solution.

The Rolec EVWP2020-SOLAR-SWITCH is part of the Rolec EV charging WallPod HomeCharge range. The Rolec EVWP2020 is a great entry level home electric car charging point that uses 32Amps to offer full Mode 3 charging via a IEC 62196 socket. This electric vehicle (EV) charging WallPod comes with built-in RCD protection and LED status indicator. The solar selector switch changes the unit to charge from 6amp solar, 13amp domestic, 16 or 32amp fast charge.
 

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What kwp are your panels? The problem will be that solar panels rarely produce anything near the full power. The Zoe uses ~1A when charging just to manage things, so becomes much less efficient at lower charging power. If your panels are producing less than 2.5kw [Edit - this figure should be 1.5kW], the Zoe basically won't charge. It's even more useless for us as we tend to charge overnight, so we get little benefit from solar unless we installed storage as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My PV system is a 5.36kWp, but as it's on 2 strings on both sides of an E-W roof, it won't get anywhere near that. At best it would be 3.68kW as the inverter is limited to that max power.
@ThudnBlundr, I don't quite understand the 2.5kW figure you are stating. Can you elaborate? Even assuming that the house is using 500W (mine doesn't when empty of occupants), wouldn't the remaining 2kW correspond to 8.3A, more than enough to at least trickle charge?
 

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Sorry - a typo in my earlier post. I understand that my Zoe won't charge at less than 1.5kW (6A), so that was the figure I meant in my earlier post. I've added an amendment to that for future reference. I was unaware of a difference between 'Q' and 'R' models, but that's interesting to know
 
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