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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm charging my truck, main disconnect is off, and I'm going to start wrenching on the HV wiring going from the Curtis 1231C to the main disconnect. Just for fun, I decided to see if there is any voltage differential between what I'm working on and the trucks ground by using the wrench. A few big sparks later, I got a meter and found just over 100V across any Curtis connection to the trucks ground, but only with the charger on. Didn't check for AC, and the controller still works.

Whats up???!!
 

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Do you usually use your wrench as a volt meter? That could be pretty cool as it could function as an amp meter as well with the shade of red glow used to indicate amps... ;)

I'd guess your charger's grounded to the chasis and one of the curtis inputs is connected to the charger bypassing the disconnect? Do you have a precharge around the contactor that's always on?
 

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The Manzanita isn't isolated, so if you are charging and the charger and your car is connected to ground, you've just passed AC voltage from the terminal to the chassis of your car using your wrench. Check for AC voltage, should show you a nominal outlet voltage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Actually, being as lazy as I am, I usually do use wrenches to test voltage. Also use adjustable as hammer, and as for the current meter glowing, I use my hydrogen generator (youtube look up f16bmathis) when I connect my 220 welder to the plates! Doesn't glow under water though...

The precharge is across the main contactor, not the main disconnect. Thats why I'm confused on where the V is from. Could be an AC voltage, now that I'm at work and put two seconds of thought towards it, or...

Thing was, every connection (HV) at the Curtis had the V. The more I think about it, the more serious it seems. Maybe its time to dust off the Prius and see if it still runs while I put a day or two into looking into this.

Also, the motor seemed very warm considering I just drove 15 miles at 65-70 but in 30 degree weather... Charged for an hour before finding sparks. Makes me wonder if I have voltage running through the motor while charging? Yup, I gotta look into this.

1. Check for AC & DC at all Curtis connections (which is it, and where)
2. Ensure main disconnect really disconnects
3. Isolate Manzanita from trucks ground (remount with teflon screws?)
4. Battery pack is shorted to trucks ground, but only a humidity short. It goes away if you blow dry the battery pack, and the short moves when blow drying.
 

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So I'm charging my truck, main disconnect is off, and I'm going to start wrenching on the HV wiring going from the Curtis 1231C to the main disconnect. Just for fun, I decided to see if there is any voltage differential between what I'm working on and the trucks ground by using the wrench. A few big sparks later, I got a meter and found just over 100V across any Curtis connection to the trucks ground, but only with the charger on. Didn't check for AC, and the controller still works.

Whats up???!!
What's up? Are you trying to kill yourself? :(

Normal for a non-isolated charger to have a high voltage AC on the battery pack when charging. Connecting a short via your handy wrench should draw hundreds of peak amps for a fraction of a second until the GFCI/circuit breaker trips. :eek:

Be sure you life insurance is paid up. :D

Russ Kaufmann

RUSSCO
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The Manzanita isn't isolated, so if you are charging and the charger and your car is connected to ground, you've just passed AC voltage from the terminal to the chassis of your car using your wrench. Check for AC voltage, should show you a nominal outlet voltage.
So if I were to isolate the charger from the truck by using non-conducting bolts, would that work, or cause a horrible explosion like Kelly controllers do when you isolate them in that manner? (Kelly tech thought that would work)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What's up? Are you trying to kill yourself? :(

Normal for a non-isolated charger to have a high voltage AC on the battery pack when charging. Connecting a short via your handy wrench should draw hundreds of peak amps for a fraction of a second until the GFCI/circuit breaker trips. :eek:

Be sure you life insurance is paid up. :D

Russ Kaufmann

RUSSCO
I was under the assumtion there would be no voltage present at the controller just because I was charging the batteries. I should not assume, therefore I use wrenches to test, maybe it would be better to just grab a meter and check it, but I would have never thought I'd have anything to worry about, so just before I grab the 4:00 wire, I decided to "test" it with a wrench, not really expecting anything to happen, but it was safer than just grabbing the darn wire and going for it.

No breakers tripped, charger kept charging. Of course I didn't keep the wrench shorted for long. Seems I have a reflex action of some sort.

So Now I know, there is voltage there. Is this O.K.? Or is it a problem I should fix.:confused:

Life insurance.... Yeah, for all the crazy hydrogen generating, electric car zapping, motorcycle driving I do, I should really think about making someone happy cause I'm dead. I think my guardian angel is getting tired of watching over me!:)
 

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I'm not familiar enough with Manzanitas to know but I don't see why it would require the car to be grounded, but I think I'd rather have the car grounded than to have AC voltage present at the chassis if it wasn't. I think the idea is generally to avoid touching any terminals of a vehicle that has a charger without isolation.
 

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I was under the assumtion there would be no voltage present at the controller just because I was charging the batteries. I should not assume, therefore I use wrenches to test, maybe it would be better to just grab a meter and check it, but I would have never thought I'd have anything to worry about, so just before I grab the 4:00 wire, I decided to "test" it with a wrench, not really expecting anything to happen, but it was safer than just grabbing the darn wire and going for it.

No breakers tripped, charger kept charging. Of course I didn't keep the wrench shorted for long. Seems I have a reflex action of some sort.

So Now I know, there is voltage there. Is this O.K.? Or is it a problem I should fix.:confused:

Life insurance.... Yeah, for all the crazy hydrogen generating, electric car zapping, motorcycle driving I do, I should really think about making someone happy cause I'm dead. I think my guardian angel is getting tired of watching over me!:)
There is nothing wrong with your charger. It's suppose to have AC line voltage at the batteries, with respect to ground, when charging.

It is very important to ground the vehicle chassis to the charger AC line ground, I believe through the green wire at the Anderson connector. If the chassis is not grounded, a leakage from the propulsion battery circuit will make the car body "hot", a very dangerous condition.

I am assuming you are not GFI protected? Rudman chargers require a GFI protected outlet. So does the NEC. Article 625.

Be careful. Keep your hands in your pockets.

Russ Kaufmann

RUSSCO
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OOps, let me read that Manzanita manual again. The charger is not "wired" ground to the trucks ground. AND I DO have a short of the batteries to the trucks ground, though its just a humidity short that goes away with a blow dryer over the batteries for a few minutes.

I just would'nt have thought they'd have it configured to electrocute someone who's working on what should be an isolated system. Or is it that they don't, but a pack short is causing this?

Either way, my gardian angel says I have to quit working on the truck when its plugged in or he quits!
 

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FWIW. I am pretty stupid and lazy and want to do it quick even when I deal with electricity. but I NEVER go down this path:

"I was under the assumption there would be no voltage present at the controller".

I am always under the assumption that there IS voltage present. Now especially dealing with 150v or so. And if i have a "senior moment" I think through what I am about to do and not automatically do it.

Francis
 

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they're not isolated chargers. Not sure if you understand... let me elaborate, that means the input and the output are not isolated from eachother. This charger is non-isolated. The negative terminal of the battery is connected to the negative terminal of a rectifier bridge with the AC terminals connected to the incoming line through a breaker.

You should be using a GFCI at the very least.
 

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Normal for a non-isolated charger to have a high voltage AC on the battery pack when charging. :D

Russ Kaufmann

RUSSCO
This must be what you meant when you were talking about those quality EV parts made in America, Russ... hehehe (sorry, couldn't resist) :D
 

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There are about 3 things you can do for line safety. You really should be doing 2 of them.
1. Use an isolated charger. The Manzanita Micro is not one so 2 and 3 would be good ideas.
2. Ground the vehicle frame when the charger is plugged in. This bleeds charge off the car and if a serious short happens it will blow the breaker.
3. Use a GFCI device. A ground fault circuit interrupt device compares the power flowing in input hot lines. If the current differs by more than a few milliamps (usually 4-6ma or about 20 ma) it will trip.
Oh, I do not recommend working on a car that is plugged in! I don't care what charger you have because isolation can fail too.
 

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This must be what you meant when you were talking about those quality EV parts made in America, Russ... hehehe (sorry, couldn't resist) :D
Point taken. But I would think the Rudman charger came with a manual printed in English. The Chinese charger malfunction that started the thread you are making reference too, as I recall, did not come with a manual, which started the customer's whole problem.

Since I manufacture a non-isolated charger also, my charger is equipped with a built in GFCI. No one should be messing around with the EV wiring when charging and I bet the Rudman charger user in this thread didn't have a GFCI protected outlet. So much for manuals. :D

Russ Kaufmann

RUSSCO
 

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Point taken. But I would think the Rudman charger came with a manual printed in English. The Chinese charger malfunction that started the thread you are making reference too, as I recall, did not come with a manual, which started the customer's whole problem.

Since I manufacture a non-isolated charger also, my charger is equipped with a built in GFCI. No one should be messing around with the EV wiring when charging and I bet the Rudman charger user in this thread didn't have a GFCI protected outlet. So much for manuals. :D

Russ Kaufmann

RUSSCO
You're absolutely right. The documentation leaves a lot to be desired,...even when you do get it. That said, the Elcon charger actually didn't malfunction... I believe the battery voltage was too low. I also think re-sellers have a responsibility to make sure they have proper documentation for their customers. (just my twisted take on it... :rolleyes:)
 

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On the end of the charge cord, like seen on many hair dryers, would be one option. Since outdoor and garage outlets are supposed to have GFCI protection built in you shouldn't need to add it if you have a newer home. There are less options for 240 vac GFCI protectors, but they are available because they are used on hot tub installations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
FWIW. I am pretty stupid and lazy and want to do it quick even when I deal with electricity. but I NEVER go down this path:

"I was under the assumption there would be no voltage present at the controller".

I am always under the assumption that there IS voltage present. Now especially dealing with 150v or so. And if i have a "senior moment" I think through what I am about to do and not automatically do it.

Francis

Me too!! Thats why I used the wrench to check it real quick!

I didn't think any voltage should be present, unless something was wrong. Looks like something is wrong. I haven't found the manzanita manual yet, but I don't remember it showing the chargers ground going to the trucks ground. Actually, I thought it would have wanted them seperated, but then if there's a pack short to the trucks ground, it would cause the truck to be hot while charging......

I'm about as smart as the wrench I used to check the V. Glad EV's are so easy to build!:)
 

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So where would one install the GFCI with a Manzanita charger?
I just installed it in a sub panel in the garage, and ran it to a 240VAC outlet I install right next to the sub panel. I use one of those 240V/30A "generator" extension cords sold at Home Depot to plug in the car (I pull at most about 16A).
 
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