Monday, April 13, 2009

Choosing A Charger

Just when I thought I was decided on a charger, a new charger on the market is complicating matters for me. Now I'm having a tough time deciding which one to go with.

While I was in contact with the Zivan distributor to purchase the NG3, I was asked if I was sure that I really wanted to go with a 120 VAC charger and was reminded that it would take approximately 15 hours to charge my battery pack. This is when I was told about the PFC 3000W charger. This new charger has dual voltage capability (120VAC & 240VAC) and has selectable algorithms for a user to program various types of batteries. The price is also exactly the same as the NG3 ($1029). It is however bigger and heavier and cannot be mounted in certain orientations. It also appears that the PFC 3000W does not have a built-in interlock relay for AC mains. It also does not incorporate fans for cooling but instead has heat sinks on both sides of the unit. On the other hand, it is probably not as noisy as the NG3 which is equipped with two fans.

Charging Times for 160AH capacity:

NG3 @ 120VAC = 9A / 15-17 hours
PFC @ 120VAC = 12A / 13 hours
PFC @ 240VAC = 20A / 8 hours

This is the PFC 3000W.

This is the Zivan NG3:

I like the idea of having the flexibility for dual voltage. On the other hand, I planned to mount my charger in the trunk in an upright orientation since the space is quite crammed with the battery box installed on top of the existing trunk floor which was not cut and sunken down. I am actually trying to find a good spot for my spare wheel since the spare wheel well is no longer accessible. Going with the PFC would mean that I would have to mount the charger up front where there is space but would require running additional cable and conduit. Also, since this is a new charger, it does not yet have a track record.

With my batteries delayed for several more weeks, I still have some time to contemplate things but want to decide soon so that I can install the charger and be ready for when the batteries arrive.

If anyone has any useful information or comments, feel free to voice them.



Nick Drouin said...

Hi Jim,

I believe the PFC charger you are refereing to is a knockoff of the Delta-Q units I have installed in my car.

I really like the plug and forget aspect of the delta-q's -- and the support has been great. They are canadian made and distributed by CanEV. If you have any questions, contact Roger Stockton, who supports them and is an active contributor on EVDL. In particular, you will have to provide specs to Roger as to what kind of algorythm to follow; he can then recommend something from their algorythm library. You might also ask him what is required to get a custom algorythm created -- something you should consider if you go with that PFC.

I have two 72V/12A models to charge my 144V 100Ah(C20) pack.

As for track record, the Delta-Q's are used in both the Think's and the Zenn's -- hard to beat. Randy at CanEV mounts them 'in the elements' so they can take a bit of abuse.



Anonymous said...

Hello, awesome what you are doing. Had an idea for that spare tir eof yours. I have a 2002 protege and under the backseat cushion which pops out easily, is an access panel used to get to the fuel pump etc. easily. if the tire would fit under the car in this spot which it seems like it might, you could but a bracket there and be able to drop the tire without having to get underneath if you get a flat. not sure if your year protege had this panel but it popped in my head. if there isn.t an access panel there you could always install one there.

Jim and Elizabeth Karamalis said...

Indeed the 2000 Protege is the same in this respect. I did think of this spot for the spare wheel but my wire conduits are crossing right under this spot. It is a great idea though (bracket and all).

After looking at the clearance on top of my battery box, I just might be able to squeeze it into the trunk and find a clever way to fasten it.

Thanks for pitching in with your comment :-)


MindMil said...

Hi Jim,

This looks interesting. I am still procrastinating about the charger myself and still haven't decided about it. This PFC would fit ideally in the rear part of my HR-V's belly. No moving parts and sealed construction is a big plus.

Did you get the pricing from Canadian company or from manufacturer themselves?


Jim and Elizabeth Karamalis said...

Hi Mindaugas,

I purchased my unit from electric conversions in California ( - Gregory McCrea). I received it yesterday. This is a big charger. I will be installing it in the front which was not the original plan but this is not a problem.