Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tesla Model S - Home Charging

One of the parties that picked up their car at the same time as me said that it cost him $800 to put in a NEMA 14-50 plug: $600 for parts and labor, and $200 for a permit. That sounds about right since Solar City said a permit to install solar panels at my house cost $250. Anyway, since I found an unused dryer plug at my house (my dryer runs on natural gas), I'm going to use that for now.

To charge the car with the NEMA 10-30 dryer plug, I had to buy the following:

NEMA 10-30 to NEMA 14-50 adapter

15' 50 amp extension cable

Since all the NEMA connectors are the newer 50A type, I had to get a cable that converted my 30A NEMA 10-30 plug to the NEMA 14-50 plug. Also, my dryer plug is inside the house so I bought an extension cable to get the receptacle to the garage.

To this, I used the following that came with the car:

Mobile Connector Bundle

NEMA 14-50 adapter for the mobile connector

The only problem with this setup is that I have to remember to set the charging current to a maximum of 24A. The dryer line is protected with a 30A breaker and everyone recommends charging at 80% of the circuit max. The car will try to pull 40A (80% of 50A) since I'm using Tesla's 14-50 plug, which will trigger the circuit breaker. At least the car is smart enough to associate the charging setup with GPS and set the charge rate at 24A in the future. This setup gets me about 18 miles/hour of charge. Not great but 6x faster than using a regular 110V/15A plug. 18 miles/hour charge rate means about 12 hours for full charge from a fully depleted battery.

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