Saturday, May 19, 2012

Charging station

My Eaton charging station arrived yesterday from California.

It doesn't seem to be packed with much padding, so hopefully it has made it through the rigors of logistics without something breaking.  In particular, the actual charging unit itself is just resting on the bottom of the shipping box.

This unit was what the Fisker dealership in Vancouver recommended and indeed helped to order.  It does seem to be semi-official as it is branded "Fisker Automotive".

The supplier was (via the Yahoo! store).

The next step is to find a domestic electrical contractor to install this.  Hopefully that won't cost and arm and a leg (maybe just an arm!).  I'll probably get them to install a few 220V outlets in the garage while they're at it.

I now get to find out if British Columbia's rebate scheme for EV charging stations actually pays out.  This is supposed to refund $500 on the cost of a domestic recharging station.  They seem to be using it partly to find out who is installing the equipment (address and electricity account!).  You have to be installing a charger model on an approved list, for charging a vehicle that's on another approved list.  You need to supply copies of the charger invoice and the vehicle transfer document.  I'm actually not quite in possession of the right invoice at the moment as the order was made via Yahoo and the only receipt I got was an email that didn't include the supplier name/address/phone number etc. that the invoice is mandated to have.  Hopefully the evconnect folks can supply a more righteous invoice for my rebate application needs!

Also, they're just rolling out electrical smart meters in our area right now, which I believe will eventually have the ability to network with specific loads/equipment to get a breakdown of electricity usage - and maybe even allow controlled consumption times.  I doubt these chargers are ready for this yet, but I imagine all this is coming.  You can imagine the electricity companies having schemes to control when different residences' EV charging occurs overnight, offering discounted rates in exchange for this control - so they can better manage the demand on the grid.  I've seen discussion on a UK forum about washing machines, dishwashers and other sundry household appliances all being fitted with the requisite controllers to enable this kind of remote controlled operation.

Hopefully all this extra electric equipment and the radio communications to link it all up doesn't adversely affect one of my hobbies: being a radio amateur.  I haven't noticed anything untoward yet, but I'll have to undertake a survey of the HF bands when the Karma is charging (soon, on the 220V system).  Hopefully there's nothing nasty propagated in RF, or indeed back through the household supply.

I've noticed that the Eaton charger has an RS232 port for outputting diagnostics.  Should be fun to plug a terminal into that, when its all installed, to see what sort of output it produces.  Maybe I'll integrate this data with my planned Red Carmeleon web page.  The latter should show vehicle travel and stats - once I've figured how to source all the data and have received my Raspberry Pi (just ordered!).

No comments:

Post a Comment