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Does stop/start charging harm the battery?

  • 01-09-2021 12:51pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 198 ✭✭ Caspero


    I got a Zappi and have solar. The Zappi can be configured to just use solar surplus when available. In my house I have surplus sometimes but not other times. That means in this mode the Zappi is constantly starting and stopping charging.

    Is that bad for my EV's battery or charging unit?



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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,387 ✭✭✭ redcup342


    No, as long as the battery is between 50 and 80 percent this is optimal, the BMS in the car will take care of the rest



  • Registered Users Posts: 17,862 ✭✭✭✭ ELM327


    Nope



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,992 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    I think OPs concern is not level of charge but the impact of multiple start and stops over a (cloudy) day.

    The part that will be impacted is the high voltage battery connectors, these make a loud click when you start charging and once engaged remain engaged during charging, there will be a loud click when they disengage.

    These are designed for a certain number of cycles, your car will be different on another EVs setup, most EVs should leave the connectors engaged for a short period of time right after charging stops soas to avoid repeated use

    From memory I think I read if a Tesla is "off"/stationary and charging stops then the connectors remain engaged for up to 30minutes, that could be jibberish?

    Also, whilst the Zappi2 ECO++ mode is solar excess only it is not strictly true because it will import from the grid to keep a minimum charge should there be a sudden drop in sunlight, it will do this for a short period of time before stopping charging, you will find that once you unplug your car that the ECO++ will probably be something like 98% solar only, this information is available on the Zappi2 unit itself via it's logs, not on the App.



  • Registered Users Posts: 198 ✭✭ Caspero


    Thanks slave1 that's interesting! There's also an Ecomode of course (without the plus) which will keep charging at min 1.4kw with any surplus available taken from solar and the remainder from the grid. I'm deciding between that mode and Eco+ with the frequent stops/starts hence the question. I know the clicks you're talking about, will check it out by sitting for a while and seeing how many times it clicks in and out.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,177 ✭✭✭✭ KCross


    Is that bad for my EV's battery or charging unit?

    It is more wear and tear on the contactors, for sure. But this is designed into the cars now.

    For example, VW have their own charge point that is going to support Solar PV integration in the same way that the Zappi does it, so if VW think its alright to do it with their charge point and their EV's then you can be sure the car can handle the on/off's fine.

    VW do have a limit built in that the car doesnt continuously turn on/off every few seconds. It was one of the things that blocked the Zappi from working with the ID cars at the start. They have since fixed that so that it works now and allows the on/off cycle. I wouldnt worry about it.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,868 ✭✭✭ zg3409


    I also hear a click on my zappi v1 on stopping a charge. While the contactor is moving the power flowing through it should be zero, as the power level is controlled through software. So the wear and tear should be mechanical moving, but not be sparks and arcs.


    I know some cars struggle with this start stop too as the car keeps waking up, going to sleep and this can cause the 12 volt battery to drain as in some cases the car is 90% awake while waiting, but not charging, and the 12 volt can drain as the high voltage battery is off, and not charging the 12 volt battery.


    I am not saying we should not charge our cars on solar, but it will result in more contactor wear, and possibly 12 volt battery issues.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,813 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    While I like the idea of charging your car on the sun (and I do this myself), and while bidirectional charging in the near future is essential for stabilising the grid and storing more renewable electricity, the benefits of a Zappi or other smart charge point at the moment are very, very limited.

    Let's say a Zappi costs €400 more to install than a basic charge point

    Let's say your car does 15k km per year (national average) and let's say you charge a third of this from the sun for free. So 5k km at an average of 17kWh/100km, so 850kWh per year saved. My night rate is well under 5c/kWh incl VAT, so the savings would be a bit over €40 per year

    With a lifespan of say 10 years it means the extra cost of the Zappi will never pay for itself. And I'm not even taking into account any interest / opportunity costs of money. And then there is the hassle of always having to have your car plugged in while at home (during the day) to get the use of it

    It's a gimmick really. For pub talk. I'm guilty of this myself (our second EV was charged almost entirely from the sun this summer). But that is all it is...

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,177 ✭✭✭✭ KCross


    Let's say a Zappi costs €400 more to install than a basic charge point

    Your argument falls down at that point!



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,813 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    Does it? I admit I'm not up to speed with current pricing, but last time I looked a Zappi, plus additional paraphernalia it has to come with like (wireless) clamps, costs significantly more to buy and in extra costs to install and configure. A new excellent ABL unit costs as little as €400 and I've seen them go for less than half of that second hand. If I were to buy an EV now and avail of the €600 subsidy, I would make sure I'd get one installed for under that amount (so basically get it for free). And I haven't heard from a Zappi install for under €1000 (before subsidy) in years

    Anyway, even if the additional cost was zero, do the savings of less than €1 per week really outweigh having to plug the car in up to several times per day, almost every day? I say not.

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,992 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    Get your point, but apart from the financials there's also the environmental saving of not using the grid, avoids export to grid when the grid might not need it (assuming house/water/battery load covered) and it also allows charging of EV during the day if you happen to need the car/range that evening/night which would be at higher cost than night rate.

    Pretty sure my Z2 was around €900 installed as I already had cabling etc in place.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,177 ✭✭✭✭ KCross


    Anyway, even if the additional cost was zero, do the savings of less than €1 per week really outweigh having to plug the car in up to several times per day, almost every day? I say not.

    Thats a very different point. I wouldnt be recommending someone going the SolarPV integration route to save big money. The gains are relatively small, as it is for most things Solar related.

    The reasons for buying a Zappi are more than just Solar integration. I would see the Solar feature as the icing on the cake rather than the reason to buy it. And if the car is at home and the sun is shining, why not. As I said, icing on the cake rather than the reason why you bought it, so money in your pocket.


    The Zappi has other, much more important features, as standard (load sensing and DC leakage protection being the two primary ones but there are others) which make the installed price gap between a bog standard cheap Rolec (which to be honest is a very poor quality product that I wouldnt buy again) and a Zappi much the same.

    There are also some new kids on the block for Solar integration, which are cheaper than the Zappi (Hypervolt and the VW ID Charger are just two) so its also a case of price around. The Zappi is a premium priced product.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,813 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    Most people don't need load sensing. And so you say the Zappi is a premium product but not anywhere near €400 premium (to get it installed compared to the cheapest option). You said I was wrong, I would have expected some qualification?


    And yes, as I already admitted myself, I plug the (second) EV in on a blue sky day sometimes. Don't need a Zappi to help me there, the car starts charging by itself


    I've recommended the Zappi to people in the past, but maybe going forward I should put a caveat on it even if they already have PV installed. And that's obviously not even taking into account any feed in tariffs. Like an immersion diverter, it sounds great and is good for pub talk. Charge the car on the sun for free. Heat the water on the sun for free. But in reality the net savings are almost zero, sometimes even negative. And guaranteed severely negative with any sort of FIT

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,783 ✭✭✭ the_amazing_raisin


    In the case of the VW ID cars, they've a bug where if the charging session is less than 30 mins or something, the car goes into a deep sleep mode afterwards and can't be woken up again by the charger. MyEnergi and VW know about this and currently the Workaround is to use Eco+ as opposed to Eco++ on the Zappi to ensure the charging session lasts long enough



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,177 ✭✭✭✭ KCross


    Most people don't need load sensing.

    Based on what data? The current popularity of electric showers and increasing popularity of heat pumps would suggest otherwise. I dont have data on it but adding a 32A load to any house, which typically has a 60A fuse, is going to be an issue for alot of people.

    The reasons I gave are just a few examples, not the only reasons.

    Everyone looks at what is on the market and makes a choice on what charge point they buy. They may want app support, load sensing, aestethics, etc. They then have to cover the install items (possible priority switches, extra Type B RCD). When you put it all together there is nothing between them because the likes of Zappi, Hypervolt, ID. Charger etc have the electrical extras(some of which will be mandatory) built-in by default, regardless of whether you want Solar integration or not.


    And so you say the Zappi is a premium product but not anywhere near €400 premium (to get it installed compared to the cheapest option). You said I was wrong, I would have expected some qualification?

    They're your numbers and your argument, you should be providing the data! ;)

    Anyway, a bog standard Rolec is about €550. Add in the Type B RCD and a priority switch plus labour and you are at similar prices to a Solar integrated charge point. And you are still left with a bog standard charge point. I'd prefer the many extra features for much the same money. Again, this is just one example. By the way, I paid €585 for my own Zappi. They are gone up since, but so have they all. The Hypervolt and ID. Charger are about €765.


    People buy all different types of charge points for their own reasons. You cant neatly fit everyone into the one "buy the cheapest charge point" bucket even if it is your preferred route. Loads of people would like the app support and wouldnt care less about SolarPV so they would be spending Zappi style prices regardless.

    You are over simplifying it, imo, by sying any premium is all attributed to the Solar integration. There is alot more in the charge point than Solar integration.

    If someone wants cheap and cheerful and no apps and they are fortunate enough to not need a priority switch and they get a second hand one for €200 then more power to them. I know people on here have done that... but thats not the primary market.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,177 ✭✭✭✭ KCross


    That was fixed, or at least significantly improved, a good while back. Last Mar, I'd say.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,813 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    @KCross - I don't know where to start with you, you're making it overly compliated for most people new to this to understand any of it ;-)


    1. I'm no electrician but I think the Type B RCD is not in the Irish recs? None of the recently installed charge points I have seen in Ireland came wiht one. It's new in the UK recs, that's why the Zappi (a UK product) comes with one.
    2. Most houses don't have electric showers, they are cheap and nasty and cost a lot to run. Typical for cheap 1990s apartments / bedsits for sure. Not for houses owned by homeowners who are in the market to buy EVs. More brand new higher end houses will come with heatpumps, I grant you that, but they still only account for a tiny fraction of the housing in Ireland. I doubt more than 2-3%
    3. Can you get a Zappi installed for €1000? I bet you can't. I for sure can get a basic charge point installed for €600. QED

    I agree with your point that people who want fancy looks, apps on their phone that give them general bragging rights, they save not a cent but they do cost a lot of extra money. Personally I couldn't give a toss about any of that. Most of those people seem to live in Irish FB groups though, not on boards 🤣

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,177 ✭✭✭✭ KCross


    I don't know where to start with you...

    Maybe start with some facts and figures! 😀

    What am I over complicating exactly? Some of the electrical detail like RCD's and priority switches etc might be complicated to those that have no idea about it, but its a reality of getting a charge point installed. I cant help it if the regs are complicated.

    1. Its in the Irish regs. Do I need to pull those out for you now too?
    2. No arguments about the electric showers but the reality is that alot of Irish homes have them. Most new houses now have heat pumps and have done for years. I built my own house 10 years ago and it has one. If you have either, you likely need a priority switch or a load sensing charge point. Whats your estimate for an install in that scenario? Is it still €400!
    3. Maybe with mates rates, avoiding some of the regs and buying second hand you might. Look up the price of a type B RCD, a cheap charge point and the rest and come back to me with a total material price. And as I said, you dont have to buy the high end Zappi. There are cheaper alternatives that do the same as the Zappi so dont focus on the price of just that. By your own admission you havent researched any of this recently!


    I agree with your point that people who want fancy looks, apps on their phone that give them general bragging rights, they save not a cent but they do cost a lot of extra money. Personally I couldn't give a toss about any of that. Personally I couldn't give a toss about any of that. Most of those people seem to live in Irish FB groups though, not on boards

    And this was my main point. Alot of people do want more than the bog standard, for their own reasons. A cheap white Rolec sticking out the front of your house isnt for everyone. Plenty examples of that on boards too. We have alot of Zappi owners on here and other charge points with app support. They all fools, are they?

    Basically, the Solar integration isnt the only thing you get when you buy one of those charge points. It's a unique selling point that they have in addition to the other things... so you cant just say that Solar integration costs €400 more therefore its all a gimmick. Thats just not true. I'm not sure you get the point. I think you see the Zappi as having nothing extra to offer other than Solar integration.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,813 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    I wasn't aware it was mandatory in the Irish recs yet, that sure changes that argument in your favour, those RCDs are expensive. I wonder how many electricians actually do fit them though!

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,177 ✭✭✭✭ KCross


    Probably the same number that fit the isolator, which is now also mandatory but often not done! ;)



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,813 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    Mandatory but not needed at all 🤣

    Those isolators look ridiculous on outside wall installs particularly when you know there is a disconnect switch only a few centimeters from it on the inside wall.

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,177 ✭✭✭✭ KCross


    +1

    The isolators are a joke. No need for them and they are particularly ugly in a high profile position on your house. Regulators being overly cautious.

    Just to add salt to the wound, I'm betting in the next round of regulations they are going to add "PEN fault detection" to the regulations which will add additional expense (another few hundred) to charge point installs. Its already a regulation in the UK and we seem to follow anything the regulators do over there. That safety feature is starting to become a standard built-in feature to some charge points and if you install one in the UK that doesnt have it you have to buy/install it separately.... same as the Type B RCD thing.



  • Registered Users Posts: 198 ✭✭ Caspero


    Speaking of PEN fault detection, if that does enter the Irish regs it'll provide another reason that the Zappi is competitive on an all-in basis: it doesn't require Earth Rods for  protection against a damaged PEN conductor : https://myenergi.com/pen-protection/


    • Cheers for a great discussion lads, lots of interesting points raised by all sides
    • We do have an electric shower :)
    • But we also have 3-phase so I didn't need load protection because the shower is on a different fuse :) :)
    • I got the Zappi for a lot of reasons. I do like being able to use the solar surplus but hear the arguments on night charging...perhaps as eco-friendly for now given network balancing advantage of doing that. My main reason however with my 3-phase supply I wanted a 21kw AC charger for the times in the future when I do need to charge quickly. Zappi was one of the highest quality 3-phase charger choices. I wanted high quality/reputable brand because I place a premium on the comfort that the stuff in my garage isn't going to burn the house down (I know...very low probability even for cheap chargers but very high consequence and I've been burned by low probability high consequence stuff before....)


    On the topic of ugly isolators, did you see that the same Safe electric bulletin which noted isolators were mandatory also said you can connect directly to the meter box rather than the fuse box? Might help with some installs. Pages 6 and 7 here: https://safeelectric.ie/contractors/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2021/03/MarchNewsletterSafeElecFinal-1.pdf



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,813 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    If I had 3-phase I could charge my car at home at 23kW 😎

    And of course, install even more PV. I'm not jealous at all, Caspero (that is a lie)

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 198 ✭✭ Caspero


    Hehe...well just to make you feel a little better unkel, the single to 3-phase upgrade was an absolute nightmare! The technician from ESB networks hadn't seen a solar export facility on 3-phase before and was reluctant to put our meter in. He kept asking for certification which ....a couple of months after he'd first said he'd sent it...my electrician had actually sent in along with our NC6 form to register the system. Then the ESB back office, who hadn't seen an 11kw solar install before either, wrote back and said 'no because the system is over 6kW we need a form NC5' - which is an application for an embedded generator (form NC5) and requires several planning steps, site surveys etc.

    You don't need a NC5 for 11kW if you have 3 phase however, 11Kw is the max per here https://www.esbnetworks.ie/help-centre/generator-connections/connect-a-micro-generator. Took months of us writing very detailed emails to the person in the back office who'd made that mistake and her completely blanking us and not replying at all to sort that one one out. In the meantime the 1 person at the ESB who seemed to know anything and we could work with went on holidays until...next January. Eventually I wrote to them and said I didn't know what else to do but contact a solicitor. The next day they rang me to say they'd found the certifications that we'd sent in and would install it that week 🙄



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,813 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    The ESB is a very competent organisation though when it comes to looking after their own salaries and pensions. They are excellent at that. As for everything else...

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,992 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    My word, we're being bombarded with free unlimited Protons and instead of doing everything humanly possible to stop using finite resources you have that to jump through🙄



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,834 ✭✭✭ garo




  • Registered Users Posts: 3,177 ✭✭✭ Kramer




  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,992 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    Stardust!! Should cover virtually everything!!!



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  • Registered Users Posts: 21,591 ✭✭✭✭ ted1


    I’ve an electric shower. Not that nasty ( can you fit cheap and nasty to tin in the same sentence , kinda if contradictory)

    it means we don’t need to use the gas boiler from March to September. Works out much better value than heating 300l of water for a shower.



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