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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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You all may remember me... I haven't posted in a while since changing jobs and trading my bolt on a Model 3. I've been working on this for some time and now that the patent application is in the works I can reveal this to the world.

Here's a EVSE that plugs into your meterbase directly. If you rent and the landlord won't allow you to modify the house wiring or if it would be prohibitively expensive to run a wire to your garage or driveway, this device may be just for you.

The cord is 24' long, but the box with the electronics can be remoted any distance you wish if your meter base is on the back of your house.

I took it by my local electric company a few weeks ago and a couple of their engineers had a look at it. They said it looked great and will approve it for use on their system.

The video below is using a test meterbase on a tripod. In real use it’ll be mounted to the regular meter base on the side of your house. Please pay no attention to the tripod.

https://youtu.be/n8_EgIyKwAo
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 12:45 AM
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Some more details would be good. I wouldn't have thought you could remove the meter to install this without help from the power company. (If you could easily remove the meter, you could rather too easily steal electricity, right?)
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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Yes the power company has to come install... it takes about a minute and they put seals back on the meter. I already got approval from my local power company for this. It's not a big deal.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 09:40 AM
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Yes the power company has to come install... it takes about a minute and they put seals back on the meter. I already got approval from my local power company for this. It's not a big deal.
Nice! Literally thinking outside the box. I worry a bit about the tripod. I am thinking of kids using it as a lever to "uninstall" the EVSE...not necessarily on purpose...possibly just roughhousing. Maybe pound a temporary tubular post into the ground instead? In the video, the meter is over a concrete slab, so that wouldn't be an option.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 10:07 AM
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Clever assembly. It looks like you are using approved existing components so there should not be a problem with the utility. Yours tap looks like a Brooks Utility EK (http://www.brooksutility.com/products/133)





Your EVSE circuitry is clearly the OPEN EVSE board with program button (https://github.com/OpenEVSE/OpenEVSE...tandard_v5.pdf). I do like the idea of using a DIN Rail contactor for cleanliness. Yours looks like a Baomain HC1-63 (A good deal at about $15!)



All of it is held up by a tripod, I am assuming because the Brooks adapter is not rated to support load. (You do not want to pull on the charge cord and rip out the meter...)



The question is, if your landlord is adamantly against electrical modifications, how did you have them agree to the change?



I am a landlord. Meter disconnect requires my utility to notify me because of 'Revert to Landlord' agreements or 'Authorized Persons' clauses in my service contract. These clauses are typical and are intended to maintain the property if the tenant misses payments--no one wants a sump pump to stop or plumbing heaters to be turned off...



Why wouldn't your landlord negotiate with you to add a stub NEMA 14-50R near the meter? That way you could have used any outdoor EVSE or a Tesla Mobile Connector. Again, if your landlord is OK with a tap, why not an official receptacle?

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Guys!! The tripod is a demo. In the real meterbase it’ll be on the side of your house. This is on a test stand in front of my workshop.

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Clever assembly. It looks like you are using approved existing components so there should not be a problem with the utility. Yours tap looks like a Brooks Utility EK (http://www.brooksutility.com/products/133)





Your EVSE circuitry is clearly the OPEN EVSE board with program button (https://github.com/OpenEVSE/OpenEVSE...tandard_v5.pdf). I do like the idea of using a DIN Rail contactor for cleanliness. Yours looks like a Baomain HC1-63 (A good deal at about $15!)



All of it is held up by a tripod, I am assuming because the Brooks adapter is not rated to support load. (You do not want to pull on the charge cord and rip out the meter...)



The question is, if your landlord is adamantly against electrical modifications, how did you have them agree to the change?



I am a landlord. Meter disconnect requires my utility to notify me because of 'Revert to Landlord' agreements or 'Authorized Persons' clauses in my service contract. These clauses are typical and are intended to maintain the property if the tenant misses payments--no one wants a sump pump to stop or plumbing heaters to be turned off...



Why wouldn't your landlord negotiate with you to add a stub NEMA 14-50R near the meter? That way you could have used any outdoor EVSE or a Tesla Mobile Connector. Again, if your landlord is OK with a tap, why not an official receptacle?

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Your land lord might be willing.... what about apartment complexes? I'm sure there'll be lots of cool landlords, but maybe just as many unwilling to allow a tennant to tear into their walls. Land lord may require you to use a licensed eletrician and depending on the location of the breaker panel, it could require drywall work and a long run of wire thru the attic. Just depends. Could also be that a renter doesn't want to pay for improvements to the house he doesn't own and he'll just take the meterbase adapter with him when he moves.

I am concerned about someone yanking the cable and will recommend that it be attached to the house with a strain relief. Also, the box can be remoted from the meterbase with seal tite and the j1772 box can be hard mounted to the wall of the structure.

Thanks for your observations!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pike Bishop View Post
Clever assembly. It looks like you are using approved existing components so there should not be a problem with the utility. Yours tap looks like a Brooks Utility EK (http://www.brooksutility.com/products/133)





Your EVSE circuitry is clearly the OPEN EVSE board with program button (https://github.com/OpenEVSE/OpenEVSE...tandard_v5.pdf). I do like the idea of using a DIN Rail contactor for cleanliness. Yours looks like a Baomain HC1-63 (A good deal at about $15!)



All of it is held up by a tripod, I am assuming because the Brooks adapter is not rated to support load. (You do not want to pull on the charge cord and rip out the meter...)



The question is, if your landlord is adamantly against electrical modifications, how did you have them agree to the change?



I am a landlord. Meter disconnect requires my utility to notify me because of 'Revert to Landlord' agreements or 'Authorized Persons' clauses in my service contract. These clauses are typical and are intended to maintain the property if the tenant misses payments--no one wants a sump pump to stop or plumbing heaters to be turned off...



Why wouldn't your landlord negotiate with you to add a stub NEMA 14-50R near the meter? That way you could have used any outdoor EVSE or a Tesla Mobile Connector. Again, if your landlord is OK with a tap, why not an official receptacle?

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 05:47 PM
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Your land lord might be willing.... what about apartment complexes? I'm sure there'll be lots of cool landlords, but maybe just as many unwilling to allow a tennant to tear into their walls. Land lord may require you to use a licensed eletrician and depending on the location of the breaker panel, it could require drywall work and a long run of wire thru the attic. Just depends. Could also be that a renter doesn't want to pay for improvements to the house he doesn't own and he'll just take the meterbase adapter with him when he moves.

I am concerned about someone yanking the cable and will recommend that it be attached to the house with a strain relief. Also, the box can be remoted from the meterbase with seal tite and the j1772 box can be hard mounted to the wall of the structure.

Thanks for your observations!

I think you may be going down the wrong road. You have a clever solution that is minimally invasive to a property and works very well when a meter panel is convenient to the parking area. That should be interesting to landlords, who really don't know a lot about EVSE, and professional electricians.



When you begin to talk about 'tear into walls', run lines in the attic, and 'hard-mount' things to a building, that's not your product is it?


Also, when you imply this can be installed without 'a licensed electrician', almost by the renter surreptitiously, you may find some city inspectors and local codes have a different opinion. Even cool landlords will be perturbed if they visit their rental and find this attached without their permission.



It's good that you are pursuing a patent, it can be used to pay legal judgments due to perhaps irresponsible marketing.



However, if you view landlord reluctance as a lack of education or understanding, you may have a good product.



I do not own multiplexes, yet all of my properties have some extra feature I had to put in to gain a good tenant or differentiate the property in the market. All of the additions made me wince until I found the cost and discussed with the tenant. (Do you know how much it costs to put in a natural gas barbecue? How about replacing a washer-dryer? That's sunk cost. I would much rather put in 14-50R sockets...) I have had generator taps and EVSE sockets installed for tenants in exchange for an extended lease or a few extra dollars a month.


What I want to do is avoid losing out in the market or losing a good, long-term tenant. Simple solutions like yours make it possible to talk about options.



But if you start by pitching this as a 'do it yourself, don't tell the landlord', it won't make many friends.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Dude, at no point did I ever say do this w/o landlord consent. Sheesh. I said your landlord may not like you tearing into walls; may require you to use a licensed electrician. You will not need an electrician to install it since it is no different than a meter... it (gasp) installs in a meter base socket which electric company linemen do every day.

Irresponsible marketing? Whaaaaa? Are you kidding me? I suppose I should put a disclaimer in very fine print at the bottom that says “Does not work on road runners” as well. :-).
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 03:11 AM
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@ai4px , I think part of the issue is that you've spent so long immersed in your project and its details, and it's so obviously cool to you, that you think you can give the briefest of gists to others and we'll just “get it”.

In reality, you need to step back and explain it to people who haven't been similarly immersed and don't have the same background/perspective/context that you do.

For me, since my electrical panel is right next to my meter, it took me a while to understand the need. At my house, you'd just add something at the main electrical panel (or a sub panel), no big deal. No changes to existing wiring, no “tearing into walls”. I'm guessing that many houses have a meter on the outside of the house and the electrical panel inside, making your invention useful.
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