DBMandrake
Posts: 84
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:57 am
Location: Scotland

Peugeot Ion not charging with high AC voltage

Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:50 am

Hi All,

Occasional lurker who has owned a 2011 Peugeot Ion for a year now, and thought I would pass on a tip/warning for those driving an Ion and (presumably) C-Zero or i-Miev in the UK or EU...

In the extreme snow conditions we had in the UK a few weeks ago I plugged my Ion in to charge after getting home and found that it would not charge... :( As I'd driven through some snow drifts that were deeper than the cars ground clearance I initially feared I might have damaged some HV related cables but it turned out this was not the case.

Normally when plugging in to a Level 2 charge point the red charge light on the dashboard will flash for about 3 seconds then go solid when charging commences. In this case it would flash for 3 seconds then the charging would abort along with the clunk of the wall mounted Rolec EVSE shutting off.

To rule out the wall mounted charger I tried the 3 pin granny charger with the same result. Hmm...

With no other clues I plugged in my Lexia 3 to check for fault codes and it came up with "Fault on the power factor correction module output voltage" from the OBC ECU. Aha! :geek:

I checked the mains voltage at the house and found it was 248 volts. This is considerably higher than the 233-238 volts we normally have at the house and I think 242 volts is the highest I've seen before.

To see if this was the problem I tried switching on the electric shower to pull the supply voltage in the house down a bit - which pulled it down to 243 volts. The car now started charging successfully. Phew! :D

I experimented a bit more with various loads in the house like oven, kettle etc and established the threshold where the car becomes unwilling to charge - 246 volts and below it is OK, 247 volts and above it refuses to charge and sets the above fault code...

The problem with this is that the mains voltage specification in the UK (post EU harmonisation) is 230 volts +10%/-6%, which means the acceptable voltage range here in the UK is 216 volts to 253 volts - so the 247 volts that is causing the car to refuse to charge is well within the allowed voltage range in the UK! :evil:

In fact the average supply voltage in the UK is 242 volts - only 5 volts lower than the point where the car will refuse to charge.

Has anyone else experienced this issue before ? The mains voltage at my house was only abnormally high for one day and is back to "normal" now, however it is worrying that the car cannot charge at 247 volts or higher when UK mains voltage can legitimately be up to 253 volts..

It may explain some unexpected charging failures that have been reported using public Level 2 charge points - as it likely that at least SOME of the public charge points in the UK have >246 volts at certain times of the day. I also confirmed that if the voltage rises above 246 volts during an already active charging session it will be aborted.

So if the car was left charging over night and the voltage happened to climb during the night past this threshold the charge would abort part way through without warning, leaving the owner to discover an incompletely charged car in the morning with no clues as to why it stopped unless they had the ability to check for fault codes as I do.

Does anyone know if the on board charger in these cars is a "world" charger ? Japan uses 90-110 volt AC and yet as far as I know imported i-Miev's will work in the UK so I am assuming the on board charger can work all the way from 90 volts to 246 volts ? If so why couldn't they have made it to work to 253 volts, and how did the car get type approval for use in the UK if it can't cope with the full range of AC voltages ?
- Simon

EV: 2011 Peugeot Ion
ICE: 1997 Citroen Xantia V6

kiev
Posts: 815
Joined: Sun May 03, 2015 7:15 am
Location: The Heart o' Dixie
Contact: Website

Re: Peugeot Ion not charging with high AC voltage

Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:24 am

DBMandrake wrote:...
So if the car was left charging over night and the voltage happened to climb during the night past this threshold the charge would abort part way through without warning, leaving the owner to discover an incompletely charged car in the morning with no clues as to why it stopped unless they had the ability to check for fault codes as I do.


Wow you have done a great job of troubleshooting. Thanks for posting your findings.

i had an unexpected shut off just yesterday that may have been this same sort of over-voltage event.
kiev = kenny's innovative electric vehicle

DBMandrake
Posts: 84
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:57 am
Location: Scotland

Re: Peugeot Ion not charging with high AC voltage

Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:56 am

kiev wrote:
DBMandrake wrote:...
So if the car was left charging over night and the voltage happened to climb during the night past this threshold the charge would abort part way through without warning, leaving the owner to discover an incompletely charged car in the morning with no clues as to why it stopped unless they had the ability to check for fault codes as I do.


Wow you have done a great job of troubleshooting. Thanks for posting your findings.

i had an unexpected shut off just yesterday that may have been this same sort of over-voltage event.

What country are you in ? Do you have 230v or 110v ?
- Simon

EV: 2011 Peugeot Ion
ICE: 1997 Citroen Xantia V6

kiev
Posts: 815
Joined: Sun May 03, 2015 7:15 am
Location: The Heart o' Dixie
Contact: Website

Re: Peugeot Ion not charging with high AC voltage

Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:02 am

USA, Alabama. 240vac mains to my Blink EVSE unit. i'm going to put a monitor on that line to see what it's doing.
kiev = kenny's innovative electric vehicle

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3584
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: Peugeot Ion not charging with high AC voltage

Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:37 am

Good data, thank you.

Inasmuch as my neighbor and I are at the end of the line and each of us has >11kW(ac) solar, our grid voltage regularly goes up over 250vac. I replaced a solar inverter that did not tolerate >256vac, but the i-MiEV has never hiccuped.

Interestingly, the local power company says its not their problem...
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

Aerowhatt
Gold Member
Posts: 434
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:52 pm

Re: Peugeot Ion not charging with high AC voltage

Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:17 pm

JoeS wrote:Good data, thank you.

Inasmuch as my neighbor and I are at the end of the line and each of us has >11kW(ac) solar, our grid voltage regularly goes up over 250vac. I replaced a solar inverter that did not tolerate >256vac, but the i-MiEV has never hiccuped.


Hmm that's interesting . . . perhaps it's a different unit in the clones since 50hz is the norm in most other countries.

When you need to replace a grid tie inverter again. There are now some available that do voltage regulation. I think it's great since that's what the utilities were getting all up in arms about concerning distributed solar. You would actually end up helping the utility on your sub finger of the grid keep their voltage within spec. It's pretty cool that you can actually push your production onto the local grid finger at a lower voltage than that fingers current voltage if it's voltage is too high. Simple leading or lagging the utility power frequency gets the job accomplished. Not trivial in practice, but a very simple concept.

Our power around here is pretty stable. TED has recorded a peak voltage at 249.1 VAC at our home, but more typically it's 240 - 244 VAC
So far we have never had a short charge on either of the cars, always time delayed charging at L2.

Aerowhatt
2014 cool silver ES, acquired new 4/2015 (42.7ah at ~26K miles)
2014 Labrador Black Pearl ES, acquired new 3/2016 (41.5ah at ~15k miles)

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