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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has any one done any research into the best extension cord (brand, type) to use for 110V charging to minimize charging time? My 110 electrical outlet is to far away for the supplied Fisker charger. I just got my car and am not ready to install a 220V charger. I understand that the higher the gauge and shorter the length of the cord, the better. What is the ideal amp rating for the cord?
 

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I might be mistaken, but my understanding is that it is not safe to use an extension cord with the 110V convenience charger.

I highly recommend upgrading to the 220V charger. I initially was going to use the 110V convenience charger because my schedule allows enough down time to keep the Karma charged even with the 110V charger's relatively long time required to 'fill up'. Then I got a 220V charger because I learned I could get it paid for through the LA DWP. I am *so* glad I have the 220V charger now!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What's LA DWP? Is it still vaid or did it expire like a lot of these free programs? Thanks.
 

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I might be mistaken, but my understanding is that it is not safe to use an extension cord with the 110V convenience charger.

I highly recommend upgrading to the 220V charger. I initially was going to use the 110V convenience charger because my schedule allows enough down time to keep the Karma charged even with the 110V charger's relatively long time required to 'fill up'. Then I got a 220V charger because I learned I could get it paid for through the LA DWP. I am *so* glad I have the 220V charger now!!
What's LA DWP? Is it still valid or did it expire like a lot of these free programs? Thanks.
You should be able to use any sufficiently heavy-duty extension cord (preferably a 20-amp rated cord) with the "convenience charger". However, any small voltage drop you get across that will increase recharge times—from what I've read and guessed, it sounds like the "convenience charger" measures the voltage and reduces current draw if it's below about 112 volts or so ("120 volt" circuits are actually right around 117±5 VAC RMS, when "in spec"). (I'm a "software engineer" as they call it these days, not a power engineer or electrician, so don't count on any of this too much: I only understand the theory, not how it's [mis]used in practice. I had no idea that the current rating on US-spec wiring was not meant for continuous use, for instance! That still seems ridiculous to me...)

As for the LA DWP: that's the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which supplies electricity to most LA-area customers (the service zone for DWP is not quite precisely "Los Angeles" as I recall—typically municipal service boundaries don't quite line up with city boundaries due to the cities' edges moving around over time). DWP buys (and sells) electricity on the wholesale market as well as owning their own generation stations, and they have their own incentive programs for solar electric generation, electric cars, and the like, all designed to push demand around to keep their purchasing costs low and their selling profit high. (Pretty much the same deal as any "IOU" [Investor Owned Utility], in other words, except that their profits and losses are distributed differently and they don't have to pay certain taxes.)

I bought the Fisker-branded Blink charger. Have been fiddling around a bit trying to get the charging data out of the Blink web site via a Python script. Some of that data is also available directly on the charger, but I have not yet figured out how to extract it. The data on the Blink web site is annoying: there's a way to get a CSV file but the contents are a bit weird, e.g., here's one line:

"",,,,,,06:18 AM,06:18 AM,0 kWh

but here's another later one:

2012-11-17 17:08:27 EST,2012-11-17 17:37:19 EST,1.728 kWh,05:08 PM,05:37 PM,1.728 kWh,05:08 PM,05:37 PM,1.728 kWh

and another still later:

"",,,,,,06:27 PM,06:31 PM,0.053 kWh

(which means the "" ones are not just the 0 kWh "events").

(And, in the browser detail pop-ups, events have hidden Event IDs which provide more detail, but the CSV file lacks them.)
 

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In the US most wall outlets are rated for 20A and are supplied by 12 gauge (AWG) wire which is rated for 20A continuous service. A 12 gauge (AWG) extension cord should work fine. By the way, the smaller the wire gauge, the more current it can handle. A 14 gauge wire is rated for 15A continuous and 10 gauge wire is rated for 25A continuous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How much was the 220v blink charger? Are you referring to the "smart home charger by Blink" listed on the Fisker accessory website?:

http://onward.fiskerautomotive.com/en-us/accessories

i assume that Blink charger requires hard wiring into the home fuse box.

There is another item on the accessories website labeled "standard home charging station" It says it is 220V. It is right next to the 110 travel charger and they look very similar. Is the "standard home charging station" a plug in charger? If so, does it require a 220v outlet (like my dryer) or can I use a regular 110 outlet?

I'm trying to get faster charging than the supplied 110v charger that came with the car without spending over 1k. Also, my garage is quite far from the fuse box and would require 50 ft of hard wiring ( including an outdoor portion). Thanks for helping!
 

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The data on the Blink web site is annoying: there's a way to get a CSV file but the contents are a bit weird, e.g., here's one line:

"",,,,,,06:18 AM,06:18 AM,0 kWh

but here's another later one:

2012-11-17 17:08:27 EST,2012-11-17 17:37:19 EST,1.728 kWh,05:08 PM,05:37 PM,1.728 kWh,05:08 PM,05:37 PM,1.728 kWh

and another still later:

"",,,,,,06:27 PM,06:31 PM,0.053 kWh

(which means the "" ones are not just the 0 kWh "events").

(And, in the browser detail pop-ups, events have hidden Event IDs which provide more detail, but the CSV file lacks them.)
I am sure you already know this, but just in case, if you import the CSV file into Excel or another spreadsheet program, you can then export it to basically any data format you want, create charts, etc. That's basically all I ever do with CSV files.
 

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How much was the 220v blink charger? Are you referring to the "smart home charger by Blink" listed on the Fisker accessory website?:

http://onward.fiskerautomotive.com/en-us/accessories

i assume that Blink charger requires hard wiring into the home fuse box.

There is another item on the accessories website labeled "standard home charging station" It says it is 220V. It is right next to the 110 travel charger and they look very similar. Is the "standard home charging station" a plug in charger? If so, does it require a 220v outlet (like my dryer) or can I use a regular 110 outlet?

I'm trying to get faster charging than the supplied 110v charger that came with the car without spending over 1k. Also, my garage is quite far from the fuse box and would require 50 ft of hard wiring ( including an outdoor portion). Thanks for helping!
Fisker collected about $1500 for that Blink charger, yes. (Even with several stages of markups it really should cost less than half that, but it will take mass production to bring the price down.) If you get the "dumb" 240-volt charger it's under $1k (should be down to $700 by now, but I'm not sure if it is). There is a standard for this, and any 240V EVSE charger should be fine with any standard EVSE-plug EV/PHEV, although there have been glitches with GE Wattstations and Nissan Leafs and such. That's a big part of why I went with the Fisker branded solution—less finger pointing if things ever go wrong.

My Fisker-branded Blink charger has a standard electric-dryer type plug on it, so the electrician just ran the wiring to a standard electric-dryer type socket. But I had that socket's wire, and its dedicated circuit breaker, put in while the garage was being (re)built.

If you have to run wiring outdoors you'll need conduit (although there may be an existing conduit you can use). You can do it yourself (there's nothing particularly difficult, just sort of labor-intensive) but the easy way is to pay a local electrician; but if you do that you're sure to go over that $1k mark. :dodgy:
 

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I am sure you already know this, but just in case, if you import the CSV file into Excel or another spreadsheet program, you can then export it to basically any data format you want, create charts, etc. That's basically all I ever do with CSV files.
Yes. I don't have Excel, though (I don't use MS Windows) and want to automate everything from the FreeBSD / Linux boxes. (Which reminds me, I need to poke the solar PV people again about getting their microinverter data.)
 

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Extend Yourself ...

Has any one done any research into the best extension cord (brand, type) to use for 110V charging to minimize charging time? My 110 electrical outlet is to far away for the supplied Fisker charger. I just got my car and am not ready to install a 220V charger. I understand that the higher the gauge and shorter the length of the cord, the better. What is the ideal amp rating for the cord?
I took a slightly different approach and bought an extension cord that can be used for both 110V and 220V. It's a lot pricier than a heavy duty construction grade extension cord for 110V only, but it is very helpful in a lot of different situations.

See this thread for more information.
 
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