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Charger Lockout

Discussion in 'Charging and Infrastructure' started by JWardell, Aug 3, 2017.

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  1. JWardell

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    I'm doing a little early research on which charger to get for my home.
    Of course I would prefer the convenience of the Tesla Wall Connector for simply being able to hit the button to open and close the charge port (can any others do this?).
    But as this will be on the side of my house in my driveway, which will be vacant much of the day, it would be important to lock out access to anyone just pulling up and deciding to steal power for free.

    Is there a way to program Tesla's Wall Connector to only charge your Tesla? (And can you temporary allow others to use it?)
    Are there any that require a code or something? Of course that would be less convenient.
    More obvious is installing a Chargepoint or other network charger, where I could allow myself access, block others, or even assign hours where I can charge a fee (I AM just off a highway exit after all...)

    Finally there is OpenEVSE which I could potentially customize and program with some kind of unlocking ability.
    Any thoughts?
     
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    • Panda

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      I
      The same problem exists for many buildings that have GPO's freely available outside. I can predict electricity theft a problem in some areas.
       
    • SoFlaModel3

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      Why not just a Nema 14-50 in a weatherproof box? Though as I type it, I'm thinking it wouldn't be very weatherproof when you're plugged in...

      I know Trev did a write up on his install of the Tesla Wall Connector and it's outside.
       
    • JWardell

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      @SoFlaModel3 I don't want to have to keep removing the mobile charger from the trunk every day, and I can see the potential for my wife to forget to bring it along... I may still do a 14-50 but plug a wall charger in it and physically lock the box with the 14-50.
       
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      That makes sense and it's too risky to leave the mobile connector outside.
       
    • Brokedoc

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      Leave the mobile connector at home. You will never need it unless you need to use it as and adapter to plug into any non-Telsa charger but with Superchargers everywhere, that doesn't seem necessary.

      Tesla's Wall Connector is nice and pretty but unnecessary unless you can take advantage of the daisy chaining circuit for multiple connectors. Plus the Wall Connector works best with a 70 or 90A circuit that could overwhelm many standard home service panels.

      All Tesla connectors - Super, Destination, Mobile, and Wall all have the same head with the same button to open the charge port door. The main difference is the thickness of the wire attached to the connector - Supercharger wires are MASSIVE and get really hot when used a lot.

      I have a thought about your situation. Why not install the 14-50 inside the garage and make a small pass-thru in the wall next to the garage door - like a doggie door for the cable. It's a 20 foot cable so that should be plenty long to connect to the car parked outside the garage door. You can put it back in the garage any time you want, charge a car parked in the garage, or leave the connector outside for a buddy to use.
       
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      • JWardell

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        If you would like to include a free garage with the charger, by all means I'll take it!

        Remember I am looking for a lock-out solution because I only have a driveway, and the charger would be easily accessible by anyone.
         
      • ModFather

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        I think I'm not understanding the conversation. The TESLA UWC is hard-wired into your electrical system. The TESLA connector is hard-wired into the UWC. Currently the only vehicle that can steal that electricity with that proprietary connector is another TESLA. What is the potential of that happening? What am I missing?
         
      • JWardell

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        Yes, any other Tesla can pull in and hook up. There will be hundreds of thousands of them driving around very soon!
        Tesla should add control from the phone app to lock down your charger to your particular car(s). Someone else must have done this somewhere...
         
      • Brokedoc

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        I mistakenly thought that you had a garage at the end of your driveway.
        After seeing the new Mobile Chargers that will be included with the M3, your solution can be a little easier since there is no longer the huge 14-50 NEMA adapter sticking out of the wall.
        Might I suggest a lockable weatherproof receptacle box like this? the lower right hole on the cover allows a padlock so the UMC can't be unplugged and stolen.
        For your concern about others stealing power from you, an old fashioned lockable cutoff switch would be the easiest fix but would force you to lock it in the off position after every use.Weather Resistant Receptacle Box.jpgElectrical Cut Off Switch.jpg
         
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        • ModFather

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          Wow! my mind and ethics just aren't wired that way. I am ashamed other people might do that. SAD! :(
           
        • JWardell

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          I realized this isn't possible with the home version of the Chargepoint charger either.
          I might need to build my own OpenEVSE if no one else does this, because I can imagine many others could be in a similar situation. Better yet, I wonder if the charge port door activation commands are available somewhere.
          Technically everything should be there so that it all happens electronically, no need for physical locks or codes or access cards. There is communications in the charge port.
          Good thing I have a few months to research and prototype.
           
        • Tesla2ElectricBoogaloo

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          I'm in a similar situation, but with a slightly different twist.

          We commute into Boston every day, and we walk to the commuter rail station closest to our house 3 days/week. I work from home one day/week and the other day, we drive to a different station for schedule convenience. So really, my parking spot and TWC would only be unoccupied one day/week.

          However, I'm friends with the Town Clerk/Tax Collector......there are currently no Teslas registered in my town, and I live off on a little side street. I'm hoping there won't be roving bands of electron thieves in Teslas, riding through my town like wild west bandits......but one can never be too sure.

          My main reasoning for getting the TWC over any other charging solution (other than the button opening the flap :cool::cool::cool:) is the safety aspect. It won't be a live wire dangling off the side of the house. No power flows through it until it and the car have performed their electronic handshake.
           
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          • ChargePoint

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            #14 ChargePoint, Aug 6, 2017
            Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
            Although I replied to your comment over on our thread - if you're still considering commercial station options (since the Home doesn't offer a lock), I wanted to share our commercial charging info page with you - these do allow for restricted use.

            Were you considering offering neighbors & passerby's the option to charge for a fee?
             
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            • Matthew Morgan

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              I built a 240 volt relay that only allows power to my charger from midnight to 5 am. I like to only charge when it's cooler out or else the car sounds like a jet engine trying to cool itself during AZ summers.

              The relay is controlled via wifi and has two different methods for timed charging. The first method is specifying certain times during the day, the other is a countdown timer. Alexa can also also turn on the charger.

              All parts cost about $60. In the picture, it's the grey box plugged into the wall.

              This could be a possible solution for you if you hardware the box instead of using a NEMA 14-50 plug that is shown.

              IMG_0511.JPG
               
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              • JWardell

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                All chargers switch off power to the cable when not communicating with a car, that is pretty much their main function. They should all be safe. The difference is I want to be able to only enable power when connected to just MY car, not any valid car.

                It crossed my mind as a potential may to make some money back on the charger when I'm not home, but then remembered I probably will only be able to run a 30A feed, so no one is going to want that. That was when I was incorrectly assuming there was a small single-port home version with the commercial functionality. Now I see the only way to obtain that is to buy one of the big commercial chargers, which I assume are significantly more expensive than $500.

                Nice. I may build a similar DIY solution if it comes down to it. I would love to know the parts you used.
                Maybe Tesla or Teslab will add some IFTTT support so when the car is nearby (GPS) or on WifI LAN, then automatically enable charger relay.
                 
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                • Matthew Morgan

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                  You could use any 120v relay to turn on/off the 240v relay. The main components are:
                  • Packard C240B Packard Contactor 2 Pole 40 Amps 120 Coil Voltage

                  • Laqiya Sonoff - ITEAD WiFi Wireless Smart Switch Module ABS Shell Socket for DIY Home
                   
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                  • JWardell

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                    I just did some research, it turns out the the J1772 communications is just analog, with a 1kHz PWM with max charge current represented by duty cycle. No digital communications. How idiotic. Was this standard conceived in the '60s?
                    So no way to automatically lockout with communicated car ID to the charger. I'll need to think of a separate system that automatically enables power to the charger.
                    To be clear, I just want to pull up and plug in. Not fiddle with padlocks and giant switches every day! This is 2017 dammit!
                    Next to research if the Tesla wall charger can be modified in some way to enable/disable...
                     
                  • Matthew Morgan

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                    I have no actual basis for this but It is my assumption that the Tesla Wall Charger uses the car to determine when to charge since it's not connected to the internet. Unless Tesla pre-programs every car, I don't think there would be a software lock for the Tesla Wall Charger..
                     
                  • Brokedoc

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                    There is definitely a data channel in the Tesla Charger. Not sure if the data is encoded into the charge current or if there is a separate data connection/wire. The internal charging diagnostics communicates with the charger to adjust the current. It takes about 45-60 seconds from plugging the UMC connector in before the current reaches steady state. For the Superchargers, is even more complicated than that so that the Superchargers can bill your account if you don't have free supercharging or won't charge if you do not have a current account with Tesla.
                     

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