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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2500W portable generator that fits nicely in the back of the ED.
I tried to use it to charge the car, but the charger (level 1 that came with car) faults out with both RED lights.


I know there are different types of generators and "cleanness" of the AC signal that might be the cause. Could it also be a ground fault issue?


It would be nice if I could go to destination that is more than 1/2 the car's rage away, and leave it running and charging for an hour or two to top up the battery a bit. could be going to a campground... or the beach.. anywhere that does not have readily available power.


Is there a signal conditioner or something that I could get to accomplish this?


Thoughts?
 

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I have a 2500W portable generator that fits nicely in the back of the ED.
I tried to use it to charge the car, but the charger (level 1 that came with car) faults out with both RED lights.
A couple of thoughts: The charger built into the ED is a 3.3KW (3,300W) charger. Your generator is only 2.5KW. So if you're going to use a portable generator, you'll need to set the EVSE (aka "Charging Cable") that MB supplies with the ED to something less than "Max" charging rate. There's a button on the charging cable to do this. You can also do this via the multi-function display in the car (see manual). Try it on the lowest setting (8A?). If that solves your problem, then you've identified the issue.

If that isn't the problem, then noise from the generator may be tripping the ground-fault circuit interrupter in the charging cable. I don't know what AC power filter to recommend, but it may help. You'll need one rated to at least 15A.
 

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A couple of thoughts: The charger built into the ED is a 3.3KW (3,300W) charger. Your generator is only 2.5KW. So if you're going to use a portable generator, you'll need to set the EVSE (aka "Charging Cable") that MB supplies with the ED to something less than "Max" charging rate. There's a button on the charging cable to do this. You can also do this via the multi-function display in the car (see manual). Try it on the lowest setting (8A?). If that solves your problem, then you've identified the issue.

If that isn't the problem, then noise from the generator may be tripping the ground-fault circuit interrupter in the charging cable. I don't know what AC power filter to recommend, but it may help. You'll need one rated to at least 15A.
The APC C20B may be sufficient to filter the power from your generator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks for the response.


The level one device supplied with the car will operate at the 12A setting just fine at 120 Volts - this would be 1440 watts ideally. the 2500W generator should be more than enough to run the 120V charger.


I think the numbers you are using is for charging @ 240 volts.












in any case... the level one thing faults out before it is connected to the car.
I am basically 100 percent certain that it is "dirty power signal" issue - potentially a ground fault issue.
the instructions with the device say one of the red lights is for ground fault... but the other light is not explained.


So, it could be a ground issue, or a sine wave issue, or a voltage issue. - each is corrected differently.


I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on solving this....


keep the ideas coming.
 

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I think the numbers you are using is for charging @ 240 volts.
You're correct...my bad!
It does sound like an issue with the power itself. If so, your options seem limited. The APC C20B filter may help, or may not. You could try a different EVSE like one of the Clipper Creek or the Turbocord to see if they're more tolerant of power noise, but that's an expensive option. Maybe a different generator? It's kinda nutty, but the ultimate option would be to run an AC power source like one of the California Instruments AC power sources from the generator and the charger from the AC power source. The AC power source is going to produce a really nice, clean sinewave.
 

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I'm getting the 2 flashing red lights just plugging into my garage outlet. When I bring the charger inside and plug it into any outlet in my house, I get green lights. I'm having an electrician come out to add a grounding rod or something. Do you guys really think line noise could be a problem? How can I test for it before buying the line filter mentioned?
 

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I'm getting the 2 flashing red lights just plugging into my garage outlet. When I bring the charger inside and plug it into any outlet in my house, I get green lights. I'm having an electrician come out to add a grounding rod or something. Do you guys really think line noise could be a problem? How can I test for it before buying the line filter mentioned?
I would go to Home Depot and buy one of those outlet checkers with the LED lights. The outlet in the garage may have ground and neutral swapped or missing its ground. The outlet checker will show all miswiring.

The noise issue is related to the fact that the OP is trying to charge from a generator. I seriously doubt that is your problem.
 

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What about wire gauge? What about a minimum voltage? Could these be factors? Why isn't MB or Smart engineers on these forums to help?
Wire gauge and voltage are unlikely to be issues. It's far more likely that the outlet in the garage is miswired. See my previous post. MB engineers have better things to do I suppose. FWIW, the smart USA website blows. Lots of misinformation and errors.
 

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I have one of those wire checkers and it tests ok. I'm guessing the ground is just weak because it's just a conduit ground and the pipe in the ground (runs back to the house 150ft) is rusty. Anything else? I think I showed 113v so I doubt it's low voltage. It's got to be a weak ground.
 

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I have one of those wire checkers and it tests ok. I'm guessing the ground is just weak because it's just a conduit ground and the pipe in the ground (runs back to the house 150ft) is rusty. Anything else? I think I showed 113v so I doubt it's low voltage. It's got to be a weak ground.
Is your "wire checker" capable of showing when the hot and neutral wires are swapped and/or the ground is bad? Mine can.

Is this a 15A or 20A circuit? Anything else on the same circuit?

Is the conduit large enough to accommodate another #12 (20A) or #14 (15A) wire? If so, it wouldn't be too hard to pull another ground.

It could just be that 150 ft of wire is too much. That's a really long run!

Another thought: Is the circuit in the garage on a GFCI breaker or a GFCI outlet? The two GFCI's (the one in the charging cable and the one in the outlet or load center) may be fighting with each other. My EVSE specifically said NOT to use a GFCI (also called GFI) breaker on the circuit that powers it.
 

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We have charged at several public L1 charging stations. They are all GFCI protected due to electrical code requirements for outdoor plugs. Never had a problem charging.
 

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Yeah, when I plug into a GFCL inside my house I have no problem, nor from a regular outlet. As for my tester, yes it does test for all wrong wiring. This is a 20a circuit with other things on it. The wire is #12 . I have an unused #12 which I could use to create a dedicated circuit or make it into a ground.
 

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We have charged at several public L1 charging stations. They are all GFCI protected due to electrical code requirements for outdoor plugs.
That's true here as well. However, the manual for my L2 EVSE (Schneider Electric EV Link) says "NOTE: A ground fault circuit interruptor [sic] (GFCI) circuit breaker will override the automatic reset function built into the charging station." I agree that this doesn't appear to the OP's issue, but it is worth considering when trying to debug a mysterious issue.

Here's what the 2015 ED manual says about the lights on the charging cable:
Indicator Lamp 1 Flashing Red: A malfunction is detected in the external power supply. The high-voltage battery will be charged when the current signal reaches a normal value.

Indicator Lamp 1 Steady Red: There is a malfunction. The charging cable must be unplugged from the power socket and plugged in again.

Indicator Lamp 2 Steady Red: The power supply on the control element is not permissible. The high-voltage battery cannot be charged.

Indicator Lamp 1 is on the left when holding the charging cable with the cable coming out of the lower end. Indicator Lamp 2 is on the right.

The manual isn't that helpful, but it seems to imply that the voltage on the outlet in the garage isn't high enough. OP: Have you measured the voltage on both the outlet in the house that works and the voltage on the outlet in the garage that doesn't work?

Another thing to try: Disconnect everything else from the circuit in the garage. Maybe something else on that circuit with a SMPS is kicking noise onto the power in the garage and causing the charging cable to throw an error. I admit this is a long-shot.

OP: The charging cable flashes both red LED's before it's even connected to the car?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm getting the 2 flashing red lights just plugging into my garage outlet. When I bring the charger inside and plug it into any outlet in my house, I get green lights. I'm having an electrician come out to add a grounding rod or something. Do you guys really think line noise could be a problem? How can I test for it before buying the line filter mentioned?



Please keep us posted on how the two red lights is resolved at your garage outlet.
It would be nice if I just needed to resolve a ground issue for my two red lights...
It could be the neutral is on the wrong prong of the plug too... that also is easy for me to resolve.
 

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When I took the Electric Drive class at Montvale, one of the things they covered was using extension cords w/ the L1 charger.

The company line is "DO NOT under any circumstances use an extension cord".

However the Engineer that was teaching the class said that a 50 foot cord was OK, but a 100 ft extension would lose enough voltage to not activate the L1 charger?

If you are running a 150 foot run (even though it's not technically an extension) I think you just found your problem?
 

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I don't have a choice. That's how far my garage is. If a new ground doesn't do the trick, I have ot run a whole new fat run which will be expensive.
 

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If you are running a 150 foot run (even though it's not technically an extension) I think you just found your problem?
As I understand it, the OP is saying that the charging cable lights up both red LED's before it is even plugged into the car. At that point, since there is no current draw from the circuit in question, the length of the run doesn't matter. If it was throwing an error as it begins to charge I would agree that the length of the run could be the issue. The OP also reports that the voltage at the socket is 113 VAC or something like that. That isn't very low.

I personally vote for it being an issue with the ground.
 
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