From June 2009 to June 2010 I had the privilege of Driving an All Electric MIMI E for a year, it was a great experience, and got me hooked on electric cars. I've since moved on to other electric cars which I will blog about.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dirty Power or Grounding Fault

I've had a frustrating evening trying to charge my MINI E using the 120V 15A charger, after spending a great day Driving it and returning with only a 40% charge. At first it seemed to be charging fine but when I checked on it the charging light on the MINI E was out. I replugged things in and left it to charge, only to come back later and the Charger was showing a blinking charging fault, this indicates an EV ground fault trip, but I checked the MINI E and saw no error messages on the computer, I double checked that the Amperage setting was 12A and it was. So I tried again, later I had the same problem, tried again come back to no lights on the charger, a bit of searching revealed its on a GFI circuit and the GFI had triped, so reset and tried again then came back and the Power fault light was on solid on the Charger, indicating no Ground on the wall socket...
you get the idea I maybe a bit off in the order of some of those errors, about this point I couldnt even get get the the MINI E charger light to come on for mor then a minute. During this time I started to notice that lights all through my house were flickering every now and then, at first I thought the MINI E's charging problems were causing this, but after I gave up on charging the MINI E still only at 47% charged, I noticed the flickering didnt go away.
So tomarrow going to call and see what the experts say, I have a few possible Ideas.
1. Im getting very dirty power from the power company, and thats causing all these problems, if so I just need to wait and try later when the power company has fixed the problem.
2. There is a grounding fault in the MINI or the charging plug, looking at the charging plug that connects to the MINI E, carefully I saw a number of contact points that were not symetric, and could easily be a point of poor contact, going to have to speak to the experts on this.
3. the cuircuit I'm plugging into is not properly grounded, I tend to doubt this as this is a GFI cuircuit that goes to my main bathroom, and I had this checked out when I bought the house, but maybe I shouldnt be charging through a GFI cuircut, I'm going to have to have this tested.
Will know more tomorrow.

[addendum]
Took the MINI E and charger into the dealer, but they both worked fine there, I hope it was just a temporary problem with dirty power.

4 comments:

  1. Hi Robert...does the cord itself have built in GFI protection?

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  2. The charger is listed as having Ground Fault Protection, I know you shouldnt have 2 GFI's on the same circuit, but not sure how to get around this short of a long extension cord. the chager is a Clipper Creek PCS-15 specs here: http://www.clippercreek.net/images/ClipperCreek%20PCS-15%20Brochure.pdf

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  3. Thanks Robert for the link. This is the first info I've seen on the cable.

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  4. I was having the same problem with the GFI outlet. I moved to another one - which is on a new circuit and everything seems to be fine now....

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