32A vs 40A charger for Clarity

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Ken7, Jan 11, 2018.

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  1. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    The question here is, other than what appears the logical answer, is there any difference in charging time when it comes to the Clarity's onboard charger between a 32amp & 40amp 240v charger?

    I say that because I've had a 32A charger and just received a 40A unit from the same manufacturer. I thought the 40A would charge faster, but if the Clarity's onboard charger doesn't accept anything beyond 32A, that wouldn't be true.

    Now I had an 85% charge just before my wife left. Using the 32A charger, the unit was drawing about 28-29amps. Plugging the new one in with the same 85% charge, the new unit showed about the same 28-29amp draw. I thought the 40amp unit would show a higher rate.

    So is there really any advantage using the 40A charger as opposed to the 32A charger? Does the Clarity's onboard charger only accept up to 30amps or so?

    I'll return one, but I'm not sure which one.
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  3. marshallwa

    marshallwa New Member

    Your charge time is limited by the acceptance rate of the charger that is built into the car.

    Also, don't confuse the charger that is built into the car with an the electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE) that you buy and plug your car into. A higher amperage EVSE will not charge any faster then what the charger that is built into the car will accept.
  4. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    So I just got off the phone with Honda tech support. The only thing they could find was a reference to a 32A charger in the manual, but after putting me on hold, they couldn't determine if a 40A was of any additional benefit.

    Once my wife gets home, I suspect her battery will have been fully depleted and I'll be able to get a more accurate assessment.
  5. marshallwa

    marshallwa New Member

    The ClipperCreek web site has a chart of charging times for various cars listed under resources in the menu. Unfortunately, the information for your vehicle hasn't been entered yet. You could ask them as they do have a chat line.
    turtleturtle likes this.
  6. Tiralc

    Tiralc Active Member

    There is no advantage for Clarity to a charge cord apparatus electric vehicle service equipment "EVSE" that has any rating over 32A. The EVSE tells the car what it can supply via a "pilot signal" one of the small terminals on the plug.

    For example, my old Clipper Creek (very high quality) for the Volt was limited to 16A, but the Volt would only use about 13A as limited by the demand of the Volt's onboard charger. Now, the Clarity could take the entire 16A supply (and did), but "knew" by the LCS-20 pilot signal that it could not draw a higher current. (why?, because neither the circuit or EVSE cables were rated for any higher charging current, as they would run too hot at 32A (fire protection)).

    In the opposite case, a EVSE that can supply up to 40A will be limited by the Clarity on-board charger to 32A.

    (All that said, especially in the extreme cold, I have seem the Clarity take ("draw") less than 32A. Was it a corrupted pilot signal from chargepoint (my new 32A EVSE) or something on the Clarity side, I don't know. It did charge, just took longer. I'm hoping all that was normal. Since, she charges at about 7.2 kW which corresponds to about 32A for my line voltage).
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  8. Tiralc

    Tiralc Active Member

    The only reason to consider going to a higher rated EVSE is for "future proofing". The 40A charger will need a 50A service (i.e. a proper circuit for 50A with a 50A breaker). The 32A charger can run on a 40A service.

    future proofing is a gamble. For example, if you future proof 40A EVSE now, and the next PHEV or EV needs a 60A EVSE, the effort was wasted.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
    turtleturtle likes this.
  9. bfd

    bfd Active Member

    Keep the 40A. In the unlikely event you ever need a backup for the Tesla, you'll be able to charge at 40A. At least that's how we rationalized it here. If you have 50A service, then it's all good already.
  10. marshallwa

    marshallwa New Member

    There may be some advantage depending on the acceptance rate. The ClipperCreek web site shows the Honda Accord and the Clarity BEV both having some improvement when charged with a 40 amp EVSE. As to whether the improvement is worth paying for (providing there is some improvement), that's up to Ken7.

    Ken7 may also find that the acceptance rate goes down as the battery gains more charge. That's something he needs to look into and to take into consideration when deciding to keep the 40 amp EVSE.
  11. Tiralc

    Tiralc Active Member

    I think you may be confusing what the Clipper Creek available model numbers as the actual charging current. Apology, if I added to that confusion.

    For Clippercreek, YES, you need (for fastest charging) a part number with the "40" because a clippercreek EVSE with a 40 in the part number IS their 32A charge cord apparatus (the EVSE, the "charger" is in the car).

    Okay, the Clarity PHEV (pretty sure the same for the BEV) can charge at up to 32A.

    Some EVSE mfgrs rate and name their EVSE by actual current, e.g. the chargepoint 32A charger can provide 32A.

    However, albeit very high quality and highly recommended, the Clippercreek unit model name numbers are higher than the actual current that they can provide. The LCS-30 can only provide 24A of charging current (as will be limited by the pilot signal). They may label their charge cords by the circuit rating. For example, a LCS-30 must be supplied by at least a 30A circuit and a 30A circuit breaker.

    Just looked it up, the HCS-40 is Clipper Creek's 32A charge cord! So, yes you need at least the HCS-40 for sure to charge at 32A (and the HCS-40 needs to be wired to at least a 40A circuit. (It could also plug into a 50A outlet too, a subject for another thread)).

    >>So is there really any advantage using the 40A charger as opposed to the 32A charger? No - if actual current (clipper creek does not label their model numbers by actual current).

    >>Does the Clarity's onboard charger only accept up to 30amps or so? yes, 32A max.

    bfd has a good point too regarding the Tesla.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  13. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    Yes, that's why I said the higher amperage would be irrelevant if not accepted by the Clarity. The only question I had was what is the actually onboard limit of the Clarity. The manual states 32A, but nothing about anything higher. Honda didn't know either.

    However my wife came home about an hour ago and I confirmed that both the 40A & 32A chargers showed the same empty to full time of 2:15. That was also confirmed in the same amperage flow on both chargers.
  14. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    Correct. That's exactly the rationale I'm using now, do I potentially 'future-proof' or just go with the 32A charger. The difference in price is $40, so not a huge investment for the higher amped charger.

    The electrician installed a 50A circuit & breaker, so I'm definitely future-proofed on that end. My current thinking is to keep the 40A, as it's a good match for the 50A service should that be needed in the future.
  15. dstrauss

    dstrauss Well-Known Member

    Here's THE answer (per my electrician who installed by plug) - if you need 32A for charging, you have to install 40A breaker in the box (or 2x20) because by the industry standards your amperage draw on your device should not exceed 80% of the rated capacity of the breaker. if future proofing for 40A charger, 50A breaker.
  16. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    That's true, and as I mentioned I now do have 50A service on the Clarity's new line. So it can be used as a backup for the Tesla. :)
  17. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    Yes, very true. That's why I've got a 50A breaker & wiring for the 40A charger. The 80% rule takes the 50A line down to the 40A rating of the charger.

    For those interested, this is the charger I bought. It's one of the least expensive ways to go if you don't need one of the 'prettier' charging stations. All I needed or wanted was the charger and plug.

    Tony and dstrauss like this.
  18. dstrauss

    dstrauss Well-Known Member

    Great minds think alike - I bought the 32A model of this one, AND it has a meter (very tiny print) in the device. One very confusing fact, for this plug-in newbie, is that there are Level 2 chargers rated at only 16A - they sure look like real price bargains but no fast charging for you!
  19. Tiralc

    Tiralc Active Member

    yep, http://www.insideevsforum.com/community/index.php?threads/evse-recommendations.424/#post-3065
    "The EVSE load must be no more than 80% of the wire/cable and circuit breaker rating. It's the electrical code. (as in fire prevention)" (I am an EE.)

    not sure what you mean by 2x20. Each leg of 240V carries the full current. Double breaker will be two sections of 40A, or higher (50A for Ken :).
    Tony likes this.
  20. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    That's funny, I didn't think many would stumble on this unit.

    I'm having one issue with this charger, it's not easy to plug in to the car and remove. It's actually more difficult to remove than insert. I've noticed the 32A version is easier than the 40A. My wife is not happy with that aspect of it and I'm hoping it works in over time. However the fact that both units are 'tight', makes me believe this is endemic to the species...at least this manufacturer. If the 32A remains easier to plug in and remove, that might force me to keep that one to keep wifey happy. ;)

    Interestingly the old unit I had, a 16A 'level 2' charger, was far easier to insert and remove. Are you having this same issue?
  21. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    More amp, bigger wire.
  22. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    That's true, but it's the actual connector that goes in the car, which is identical in both units, is more difficult to remove and insert with the 40A charger. I tried looking at the machining, and it's tough to see any differences. But I suspect some minor differences in the thickness of the plastic, can result in significant differences in the ease of removal.
  23. dstrauss

    dstrauss Well-Known Member

    The 110V Level 1 charger that came with the Clarity is very easy to insert/remove; the 240V/32A Level 2 is tighter, sometimes plugging in, sometimes removing, but not to any extent I'm concerned about damage to it or the receptacle.

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