Melting?

A few days ago I noticed during my car’s preconditioning that the plug to the charger was getting a bit warm to the touch. Our weather has been pretty mild recently which means that the precondition to 72F shouldn’t be using that much current–just a bit to run the fans, especially near the end of the precondition time. This is very odd since the plug wouldn’t get warm at all back in January when it was <0F out and was preconditioning to 85F.

This warmth raised a red flag in my mind: A similar thing had happened to my coworker. I haven’t mentioned him in a while–the same one with the battery problems at the plant before his car was even delivered. What had happened to him: Over the course of a few weeks his EVSE plug would get warmer with each charge until it eventually got so warm he couldn’t touch it and it was melting the connector on the vehicle side. At the time there was no clear indication if the heat was coming from the vehicle side of the connector or the charger plug. His Ford dealer replaced the car side plug under warranty but the heat and melting continued. This lead to the conclusion that the problem was the EVSE’s plug. Replacing the EVSE solved the heat problem.
Melted Vehicle connector

The reason that I’m a bit concerned about my charger is that we both had the Bosch PowerXPress EVSE installed as part of the deal with our electricity supplier. This unit has various current settings and can be setup for 16A (its default setting for the Volt) all the way up to 30A for cars with quicker chargers. We both had ours setup for 30A service. So far to date mine has never exhibited any kind of heat issue. Looks like I’ll be looking for a new EVSE–been looking for a portable solution for a while and that Clipper Creek LCS-25 looks like a really nice solution.

 

3 Thoughts on “Melting?

  1. Chris W on May 12, 2014 at 10:35 am said:

    It’s unfortunate that it appears that there may be a problem with the quality of the J-1772 connectors on the Bosch units. It’s good that you were aware of the other incident and noticed the warm connector before things got damaged. I also appreciate that you are making an effort to get the word out so that others may avoid damage as well.
    I echo your thought on the LCS-25 unit. I chose the L6-30 plug version of that charger as my level 2 EVSE and have been very happy with it so far, but it has only been a week 🙂 The plug version might also serve you well on camping outings where you have access to a 14-50 connection.
    Another option, if the only problem is with the J-1772 connector, would be to replace just the cord on the Bosch unit. When I was researching level 2 EVSE options, I noticed that OpenEVSE has reportedly high quality J-1772 cords available as a separate item.

  2. Doug K on May 12, 2014 at 8:59 pm said:

    You may also want to use a portable solution provided by the EMW Juicebox. Here it is in use:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7shdlmdv6idaHlGNE5WYjM2OWM/edit?usp=sharing

  3. jamiegeek on May 12, 2014 at 9:06 pm said:

    I actually have 2 different EVSE’s on their way to me..but more on them in a future blog post.

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