wildfire
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:10 am
Location: Victoria, BC

What is the BEST outdoor all-weather Level II Charger?

Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:21 pm

I'm noticing a real difference in price for seemingly very similar products. What do you think is the most reliable Level II Charger that can be installed outside in all weather? Also, are there any chargers available with built in meters to tell us how much power they are actually drawing?

Don
Site Moderator
Posts: 2753
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: What is the BEST outdoor all-weather Level II Charger?

Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:35 pm

The charger is in the car - You're asking about the EVSE

I have no idea, but I'm guessing the BEST all weather unit would likely be north of $1000, while a perfectly suitable substitute could be had for half that. Whatever you pay, they should all be 100% reliable . . . . all they are is a computer controlled relay, plain and simple

Unless you have a current adjustable unit, a readout of the amps being drawn is of little use. If the EVSE is not adjustable and is capable of 15 amps or more, a power readout would always say 3300 watts, or whatever the exact number the car charger can draw. If the breaker can't handle that, it will trip. If the EVSE (and the breaker) can handle 20 or 30 amps, it will still only read 13.5 to 14 amps because that's all the car can draw

I wouldn't pay a bunch extra to get a meter for that reason . . . . it's going to say the same thing day after day, so whatever it reads is of little consequence

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1979 Honda CBX six into six

aarond12
Posts: 388
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:21 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: What is the BEST outdoor all-weather Level II Charger?

Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:48 pm

@wildfire: Where are you located? That will help us determine availability of products for your country. You can also add your location in the User Control Panel, so it shows up on the left side of your posts.


<===
2015 Nissan LEAF S

wildfire
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:10 am
Location: Victoria, BC

Re: What is the BEST outdoor all-weather Level II Charger?

Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:00 pm

Right. The charger is in the car. I knew that, its all fresh but I'll figure it out soon enough. I'm in coastal BC, very rainy, and have been just getting used to the car while I shop around for a level II charger that I will install on the outside of my house. So far I do notice that the charging fluctuates depending on the weather. It charges more slowly when it is cold. So I figure I should be mindful of my environment in order to find the right plug for the car.

iDriver
Posts: 105
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:01 pm

Re: What is the BEST outdoor all-weather Level II Charger?

Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:49 pm

@Wildfire.

I own a GE Wattstation, its fantastic for outdoor use. It's actually rated for just that. The plug is gaurded from the weather, and the LED ring makes it really easy to manage in the dark. Mounting it on wall or a pole is also easy, thanks to the included bracket, the Wattstation actually includes keys that lock it to the bracket so stealing it will require the thief to burn some calories. The plug end also has a locking hole, so you can pad lock it to your car or to the holster if your worried about random kid or wondering hobo unplugging your car our messing with it while you're away.
[url]
http://www.lowes.com/pd_107343-76863-EVWSWBC-CP01_0__[/url]

psyflyjohn
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:47 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: What is the BEST outdoor all-weather Level II Charger?

Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:18 am

I second the GE Wattstation. I've used it for almost a year, with no problem. It is partially outside, under the eve of our house.
GE will be around for a while for service / parts. Some other types - who knows?
Super easy to use. Attractive. Well illuminated for nite use.

iDriver
Posts: 105
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:01 pm

Re: What is the BEST outdoor all-weather Level II Charger?

Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:16 pm

here's a picture taken in total darkness with no flash. It should give you an idea of just how bright the LED ring is. The picture was taken using a smart phone, so that also made it tough to get a good image. It's way brighter in real life than even the image can show.


Me and the Wattstation

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3553
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: What is the BEST outdoor all-weather Level II Charger?

Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:13 pm

wildfire wrote:...So far I do notice that the charging fluctuates depending on the weather. It charges more slowly when it is cold.
wildfire, I had not heard of nor seen any charging rate variation as a function of temperature. At 240vac my iMiEV absorbs about 3.08kW; however, you raise a good point and I'll try paying attention to this.

I like the fact that the GE Wattstation consumes ZERO watts when turned off. Our Mitsubishi (Panasonic) L1 EVSE consumes 5W, which over the course of a year means 5W x 1kW/1000W x 24hr/day x 365days/yr x $0.10/kWhr = $4.38 :roll:

For myself, I preferred a transportable L2 EVSE (SPX Xpress), so I could take it with me to friends' houses and typically plug into their dryer outlets for a recharge. At 33lbs, the GE Wattstation is perhaps a bit too heavy/bulky to do that. Besides, you'll be mounting it outdoors so you should have a totally watertight setup and not utilize some type of external 240vac connector, and the SPX Xpress needs to be carefully sealed against rain (there's a post somewhere by jray3 where he ran into trouble with it because of that).

iDriver - that's an 'interesting' photo :)
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

iDriver
Posts: 105
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:01 pm

Re: What is the BEST outdoor all-weather Level II Charger?

Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:21 pm

JoeS wrote:iDriver - that's an 'interesting' photo :)


ha! thanks. I actually didn't want to be in the picture, but i felt like the light on my glasses actually provided some reference.

Don
Site Moderator
Posts: 2753
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: What is the BEST outdoor all-weather Level II Charger?

Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:55 pm

JoeS wrote:I like the fact that the GE Wattstation consumes ZERO watts when turned off. Our Mitsubishi (Panasonic) L1 EVSE consumes 5W, which over the course of a year means 5W x 1kW/1000W x 24hr/day x 365days/yr x $0.10/kWhr = $4.38 :roll:
After the EVSE Upgrade, the stock unit draws only 1.6 watts which will lower that to just $1.40. Lets see, that $3 savings will pay for the upgrade in about . . . . 100 years ;) :lol: :mrgreen:

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1979 Honda CBX six into six

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