Level 1 Charging

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by LazyNova, Aug 5, 2018.

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  1. LazyNova

    LazyNova New Member

    Among people who have not installed level 2 charging and are using the level 1 chord that comes with the vehicle what has your experience been? Has anyone actually installed a dedicated 110V circuit to charge from or is the general assumption that the garage circuit is basically dedicated? Does the circuit breaker ever trip like when you use the garage door opener with lights on?

    I'm hoping to get a Clarity in a little while and level 1 charging should be easily sufficient for my 16 mile daily commute. Ideally I would have an electrician install a dedicated 110V circuit for charging and a 220V one in case, but it might be a little difficult since all the slots in my circuit breaker box and a small sub-panel box are already used. Other than the garage door opener I think maybe the garage has maybe 2-3 amps of lights and stuff. I thought I saw somewhere else that the supplied charger drew like 11 amps (although I can't find it again because html escapes for ampersand dominate search results for amp). So it should be fine to just charge as is, especially if I close the garage door before I start?

    I think I saw in another thread that level 2 charging may be 10-15% more efficient that would mean something like 300,000+ miles of electric driving per $1000 of installation cost to break even. So level 2 charging is really about charge time convenience.
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  3. ClarityDoc

    ClarityDoc Active Member

    I simply plug into an exterior 110v outlet at home - no new wiring, no dedicated circuit - and have driven 2000 miles on that juice over the past few months. I do plan to install a L2 charger, but am waiting to work out location more specifically (I don't have a garage).
  4. Your Honda supplied charger is rated to pull 12 amps. In my testing with a “kill a watt” device, mine is pulling about 10.75 amps. Your circuit breaker is probably 15 or 20 amps. So it depends on what else you have on that circuit.
  5. ClarityPHEVer

    ClarityPHEVer Member

    We originally planned to install a Level 2 charger, but haven’t because we’ve been getting by fine without it. We usually charge at work. When we do charge at home, I park outside the garage, but use a garage outlet and have never had an issue when closing the door. I’m not sure if that outlet is a dedicated circuit, but I do know that it’s a 20 amp instead of a 15 amp. I suspect the circuit is shared with something else in the garage, but nothing is ever in use there overnight.
  6. Johnhaydev

    Johnhaydev Active Member

    Parts of my house are originally from the 1940s. I asked my electrician about installing 240 V circuit: he said was probably not worth the expense. I’ve had the car for about a week. Charging from 110 V seems to work fine without tripping any circuit breakers. It’s not a dedicated circuit but I don’t think I have any other high amperage devices hooked the same circuit.
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  8. David A

    David A Guest

    I utilize the 15amp circuit which is dedicated to the garage doors and one light. As some one else mentioned, a meter attached to the system indicates the power unit is pulling 10.64 amps.

    For my driving habit's, there is no need for me to install a 240v dedicated plug. I figure I can run the car in HV in the rare event I don't have time to fully charge.

    Figuring out how you will use the car will help with the decsion. If you take multiple trips per day to and from the house and desire full EV...a 240 may be worth it.

    IMHO, the charging systems will evolve where 240v will not be necessary even for full EV. My decision to buy a PHEV vs a Tesla is a bet in 10 years or less it will have evolved. Who knows...but for now the standard outlet works great.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2018
  9. 240V will always have the advantage and it will be always one of the options as most part of the world are using 240V.
    So, when we can get various rebates for the chargers, installation and 240V circuit, it might be a good idea to do it now.

    And if 120V can do the same as 240V can, we would have eliminated the 240V electric dryer already which is the sole reason for some homes have 240V ready
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  10. weave

    weave Active Member

    Mine as well. Is the outlet you are using grounded?
  11. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    I drive about 50 - 60 miles a day on all electric. All short errands at 10-20 miles. I just plug in after each run using the Honda level 1 charger and have never had a problem. I keep the battery level between 50 -80% to maximize the longevity. Bought the car in Dec. You should be fine with the level 1 charger.
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  13. su_A_ve

    su_A_ve Active Member

    Verify you have a 15amp circuit breaker. I've seen 10amp ones in newer homes.

    In my case the circuit was originally dedicated to the garage door, but I expanded it and added a couple of outlets for low voltage landscape lightning outside, while also adding an outlet inside the garage (GFI outlets). That's where I plug and no issues so far, for the couple of times I've used it.
  14. LAF

    LAF Active Member

    I put a separate line on my porch next to the driveway and it works great. I get a full refill in 10hrs or less. You need 15 amps so if other minor appliances are on the same line it will likely not make a difference, especially if you charge overnight. I rarely go through the 50 miles in a day and even if i did I am not sure I would want to wait around 2 1/2 to get 50 more miles. Unless you are a purist, that is what the small gas tank is for.
  15. LAF

    LAF Active Member

    does anyone know for sure that this battery will last longer only filling up to 50-80%? Seems like a major sacrifice of the power of this car to go 50 or more miles when full
    Carro con enchufe likes this.
  16. bpratt

    bpratt Active Member

    As a Lithium Ion battery is charged, the voltage rises. 4.2 volts is considered to be a full charge but Honda only charges the battery to 3.7 volts to extend its life. There is an 8 year warranty on the battery and 10 years if you live in California. Don't worry about overcharging the battery, Honda took care of that. One other thing that may effect longevity of the battery is a lot of short charging cycles.
    Carro con enchufe likes this.
  17. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I agree with @bpratt.
    Based on the information given in a lot of posts and in the docs graciously shared on this forum, I don’t think we can add enough longevity to the battery to make it worthwhile especially with the significant reduction in range it would entail.
    Honda seems to have done a good job with its battery management system (BMS) to protect our batteries.

    The most anybody has reported charging the Clarity is 14.4 kW from the wall. Assuming the inverter/charger is 86% efficient, then only ~12.4kW makes it to the battery which is the amount of the 17 kW battery total capacity we are allowed to use. And thats only ~73% of the total battery capacity. So Honda has set the battery management software (BMS) to have a total buffer of ~27% split between the top and bottom of the total capacity. (But we don’t know how much is at each end, only the total) So the BMS is set to prevent a total charge and a total discharge this protecting the battery.
    Since there is already a buffer at the high end of the SOC, you will probably only gain a very little bit of battery life expectancy by not charging up to the full amount allowed by the BMS. So I think it’s safe to charge away in the Clarity and I only concern my self with trying not to charge when the battery is hotter like right after driving on a hot day if I can avoid it. But I don’t obsess over this because posts have shown that the BMS will slow a Level 2 Charger and start active cooling if necessary.

    The more I study the Clarity the more I realize it’s an extremely well engineered high tech PHEV and thoughtfully designed so the unwashed masses of the technology challenged can just get in it and drive without doing anything different from their gas-mobile days. So all the hypermiling and trying to wring the last drop of economy, performance, and battery longevity that I am prone by nature to try, probably won't get me more than a few % benefit.
    I do however wish Honda had given us techno geeks more built in, accessible information and settings to play with.
    Peter CC and insightman like this.
  18. Johnhaydev

    Johnhaydev Active Member

    yes. thanks for asking. had significant electrical work done when I originally bought house 8 years ago. all outlets are grounded, GFCIs in bath/kitchen, really good ground stakes driven into the ground.
    weave likes this.
  19. bpratt

    bpratt Active Member

    Elimination of 240v power to charge an EV will never happen. The Clarity has a 17 KWh battery where some of the full EV Teslas have a 50 KWh battery. If you wanted to charge the Clarity on 120 Volts at the same rate as the 240 Volt chargers, you would need a circuit that could provide 70 or 80 amps. That would require a #3 wire which cannot be connected to a standard 120 volt plug, so it would need to be hard wired. The charge cable to the car would be several times larger than even the 240 volt cables and would be very stiff and heavy, and that's only for a 17 KWh battery. If EV charging at home really takes off in the future, we may need 480 volt service to our homes.
  20. Snrub

    Snrub New Member

    This thread has been very helpful. I am looking at buying a Clarity before the end of the year, and was wondering if my current situation would be acceptable for level 1 charging. My house is two years old and I did some investigating last night and there is a 20 amp circuit that powers the garage door opener and two wall outlets in my garage. The lights in the garage are on a separate circuit. I very rarely have anything else plugged in in the garage, usually just to charge my trimmer or a small vacuum for cleaning our cars.

    From what I've read here it sounds like this set up will be sufficient. I may upgrade to a level 2 charger at some point, but I think level 1 will be fine more me the vast majority of the time, as I drive about 45-50 miles for work every day, and I am probably content with using a small amount of gas if I need to drive additional miles in the evening.
    David A and Carro con enchufe like this.
  21. bpratt

    bpratt Active Member

    Your power setup is excellent. A lot of 120 volt outlets have a 15 amp breaker which also is plenty if only a few small current items are also plugged in. You say your drive each day is 45-50 miles. Since the weather has warmed up, and I drive mostly on city streets with the AC on, I am averaging between 60 and 64 miles of EV on a full charge. Your need to buy gas may be very very infrequent.
  22. Steven B

    Steven B Active Member

    Unless you are getting a state rebate on EVSE installation, you are mistaken. The federal rebate on EVSE has not been renewed for 2018; it was retroactively renewed for installations performed in 2017. ClipperCreek's announcement of this is even deceptive in making it sound like anyone installing in 2018 is entitled to the rebate. It remains to be seen if the US Congress will extend this rebate for 2018.
  23. MikeB

    MikeB Member

    Like many others, I assumed I would need/want L2 charging at home, but L1 has been sufficient so far (after 3 months of Clarity ownership). I think it depends mostly on how many hours you tend to spend at home. If you're home at least 8 or 10 hours most nights and plug it in when you get home, L1 will do the job. I guess another factor is whether you get lower electric rates during the wee hours and can lower costs that way with a quicker L2 charge (I don't). I've not yet popped a breaker on the 15 amp circuit I'm using, but I don't think there is much else on that circuit.
    David A likes this.

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