Speak EV - Electric Car Forums banner
1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Kia e-Niro MY20 64 kWh - Gravity Blue
Joined
·
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, my house has a 3-phase connection (very rare in Spain)!. I wish to install a charger. My electrician has suggested I change to single phase and install a 32A charger.

But why would I do that? Could I not just install a 3-phase charger and limit the current to a max of e.g. 36A? I can go up to 10 kW with my installation and that is the max for regular domestic rates in Spain.

Would there be any advantages of going to single phase? Or should I stick with the 3-phase meter and get a 3-phase charger?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
Interesting question.
Are there any local rules about load balance? Technically you can install a single phase charger in a 3 phase installation but it would likely be the highest load appliance so would unbalance the load on the supply.

You could install a 3 phase charger but many EVs are single phase so whilst the installer might be happier, it reality, it wouldn’t make much difference in terms of impact on the supply.
 

·
Registered
Kia e-Niro 2 LR, Seat Mii
Joined
·
413 Posts
Are there any local rules about load balance? Technically you can install a single phase charger in a 3 phase installation but it would likely be the highest load appliance so would unbalance the load on the supply.
That would still be better than converting the whole house (including charger) to single phase.

I'd guess the best way to keep the 3 phase supply and install a singe phase charger would be to put the charger on one phase and divide the rest of the house as equally as possible between the other two phases.

If the vehicle is capable of 11kW AC charging then it will be 3 phase and that would be ideal.
 

·
Registered
Kia e-Niro 4 MY20, Zoe Z.E.50 GT Line
Joined
·
1,563 Posts
Most cars are now available with a 16A three phase charger. There’s often debate about the value of this, if it’s an option, in the UK. If you have domestic three phase, this would let you equally load the phases and charge the car slightly faster.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
I hadn’t spotted that most cars have a 3 phase option. Even at 16A/ph that’s 50% faster than a 32A single phase charger so would be well worth having if you have a 3 phase supply, which is pretty uncommon in the UK. I guess they may become more common as heating goes electric.
 

·
Registered
Kia e-Niro 2 LR, Seat Mii
Joined
·
413 Posts
I hadn’t spotted that most cars have a 3 phase option.
I don't know if it's most cars, but any car that can AC charge at over 7kW (11kW, 22kW or 43kW) has a three phase charger. Renault Zoe has always had three phase, otherwise it tends to be newer or high end cars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
Obviously, three phase gives you more options, and higher power outputs are supported.

However...

I would guess that your electrician is more familiar with single phase installations, and that is why they have suggested the change. You say yourself that three phase is uncommon where you live, so you might find it easier/cheaper to get help if you changed to the more common system.
 

·
Registered
Kia e-Niro MY20 64 kWh - Gravity Blue
Joined
·
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the replies. I forgot to mention that my car indeed has a 3-phase OBC. It's an e-Niro that accepts 11 kW 3-phase, 7.4 single phase.

I also believe it's the electricians preference. Although, the company also install public chargers and there are quite some 3-phase street chargers to be found here. I will suggest to him we leave the 3-phase in place and ask him for a quote on a 3-phase charger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,499 Posts
I guess the question is - why?

I have one of the original 16 amp chargers installed for free before we even thought of getting an electric car. I've always found that perfectly adequate to charge my car fully for the next day, and same will still apply no matter how big a battery my next car has, because I'm only ever replacing what I used yesterday and what I actually need today. In reality my 6 amp granny charger would suffice.

Don't over-complicate things and waste money on something you don't need.
 

·
Registered
Kia e-Niro MY20 64 kWh - Gravity Blue
Joined
·
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, but the question is whether changing the installation from 3-phase to single-phase is the simplest option or if it's easier to maintain the 3-phase installation and install a 3-phase charger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
363 Posts
Yes, but the question is whether changing the installation from 3-phase to single-phase is the simplest option or if it's easier to maintain the 3-phase installation and install a 3-phase charger.
Or perhaps the electrician is trying to get lots of money for rewiring your property to be single-phase, rather than actually being what suits your needs?
If your current vehicle can't do three-phase charging, and if it only has a single phase on-board AC charger at up to 7.2kW, then your electrician may have a point, if it's not possible to spare a 32A circuit on one of your property's existing three phases, so the charge point may have to be turned down to 20A per phase, or less. Plugging a vehicle with single-phase charging will charge slower if they power had to be turned down.
If your current vehicle has an 11kW three-phase on-board charger (which is an option on the e-Niro), then it's probably easier to install a three-phase charge point, and it will draw about 3.6kW on each of the three phases, making about 11kW, so your vehicle could charge faster.
 

·
Registered
Kia e-Niro 2 LR, Seat Mii
Joined
·
413 Posts
Converting a house that is already 3 phase to single phase looks to me like a retrograde step. In any case, there may be a good reason why it was 3 phase in the first place.
 

·
Registered
Kia e-Niro MY20 64 kWh - Gravity Blue
Joined
·
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, the installation has a 3-phase connection, but all the circuits are single phase, so I wouldn't have to rewire anything I suppose, just change the breaker circuit
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,075 Posts
I guess the question is - why?

I have one of the original 16 amp chargers installed for free before we even thought of getting an electric car. I've always found that perfectly adequate to charge my car fully for the next day, and same will still apply no matter how big a battery my next car has, because I'm only ever replacing what I used yesterday and what I actually need today. In reality my 6 amp granny charger would suffice.

Don't over-complicate things and waste money on something you don't need.
A three phase charger compared to a single phase charger is probably no more than £50 difference. You would be mad to install a single phase charger in Spain if you already have 3 phase supply and a 3 phase charging car. It's a complete no brainer.
 

·
Registered
2018 Nissan Leaf 40kWh Tekna - love it
Joined
·
1,333 Posts
Err I have a 3 phase supply and my 7kW charger is on one phase. Clearly there is no technical reason that you can't do this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Err I have a 3 phase supply and my 7kW charger is on one phase. Clearly there is no technical reason that you can't do this.
I read the thread and wondered why this wasn't the answer... After all traditionally it's all 3-phase in the street... Just each single phase house is on its own phase...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Depending on country it is common to have a 3 phase supply with a low current allowance on each phase, so adding 7kW to a single phase might not be possible. For example there was a recent thread where someone had a 3 phase 25A/phase supply. In that case there is even more bias towards using a 3 phase EVSE, otherwise you’d be limited to 20A on a single phase EVSE.
 

·
Registered
Kia e-Niro MY20 64 kWh - Gravity Blue
Joined
·
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Exactly, in my case the 7 kW would be distributed as 2.3 kW per phase. I think it depends on how the meter is configured. I would possibly get cut-offs as soon as one phase exceeds its limit. I don't want to risk it so I have decided to go to one phase.

Moreover, should I want to install solar panels it's easier and cheaper to do it on a single-phase installation.
 

·
Registered
2018 Nissan Leaf 40kWh Tekna - love it
Joined
·
1,333 Posts
Depending on country it is common to have a 3 phase supply with a low current allowance on each phase, so adding 7kW to a single phase might not be possible. For example there was a recent thread where someone had a 3 phase 25A/phase supply. In that case there is even more bias towards using a 3 phase EVSE, otherwise you’d be limited to 20A on a single phase EVSE.
Depending on the Country? But in which Countries is there such a low current limit?
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top