Don't boil the kettle while charging your electric car

Discussion in 'In the News' started by ALS, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    because it will blow the fuse, National Grid warns.

    Looks like most residents are going to have to spend money updating the electric service to their homes.


    Electric car owners have been warned that if they attempt to boil a kettle while charging their car it will blow the fuse.

    The National Grid expressed concerns that an average size 3.5kW battery charger would take 19 hours to fully charge a car battery, even when it is 25 per cent full.

    A “thought piece” document obtained by the Financial Times warned that a more powerful 11kW device would still take six hours to charge a car battery and during that time, the use of everyday items such as kettles and ovens would blow the fuse.

    “The average household is supplied with single phase electricity and is fitted with a main fuse of 60-80 amps,” the National Grid said.

    “If one were to use an above average power charger, say 11kW, this would require 48 amps. When using such a charger it would mean that you could not use other high demand electrical items...  without tripping the house's main fuse.”

    Full Story:
    BillLin likes this.
  2. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    The average household in my area has 200A (220V) service. (and I have National Grid... US ;)) Older homes here have 100A service. I don't know where they're coming up with 60-80 Amps. Time for service upgrades if they're going with EVs. :)
    NeilBlanchard likes this.
  3. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    I was about to comment that it seems weird that the average household uses fuses, and only 60-80 amps. Then I realized that the article was from the UK. I figure that most North American houses seem to come with 200A service, similar to the 100A fuses recommended in the article because we run at a lower voltage.
    Jay and BillLin like this.
  4. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    Yeah, it sounds like they didn't do their research. At the 230v that is used in the UK, 3.5kW is only about 14A, and it should not be on the same circuit as anything else.
    BillLin likes this.
  5. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    Yes, I've been very lucky for 3+ years charging the Leaf, but based on this article I suppose I should put in some more knobs and tubes.
    Trollbait and BillLin like this.
  6. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Was that tongue in cheek or do you really have knob and tube?
  7. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    Just scaremongering ...
    BillLin likes this.
  8. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    I've only seen 60-80 amp service in homes with gas appliances.
    BillLin likes this.
  9. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Re: gas - good point.

    Edit: My area has newer homes, but generally with oil heat. We later went geothermal so 100% electric, but already had 200A service.
  10. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    80 amps at 220V is equivalent to 160 amps at 110V, so I can understand houses in Europe having 80A main breakers because they're all 220V over there.
    In North America, where we have voltage so low that I don't even bother turning the breaker off when changing outlets or switches, most houses have 200 amp service if they have any 220V outlets. Some older houses are 100amp and have no 220V wiring.

    In the article, they're stating (correctly) that homes are fitted with single phase AC. Of course they are. Could you imagine having three phase 220V (or 440V) wiring in the house? Haha! Let's see what happens when the cat chews on the string of Christmas lights THIS year!
    BillLin likes this.
  11. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    And if you WATCH the kettle , it will never come to a boil. Fact.
  12. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    Our 100+ year old home had 60 amp when we moved in. Updating to 200 amp was one of the first things we, and it is probably a good idea for anybody to update a 60 to 80 amp service even without getting an EV.
    Some are still in place. I'm pretty sure they aren't energized.
    Then you won't be using electric to boil water.
    BillLin likes this.
  13. joshdurston

    joshdurston Rogue Canadian

    I always wondered why there wasn't an option to downsize your feed in exchange for lower rates. I would be willing to manage my house to not exceed 40-50amps if I got 20% rate cut. Providing elastic supply has to be expensive.
    BillLin likes this.
  14. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    I think for me/my_area, the incentive for lower usage is already built into the rates. Below a certain monthly level, the fee is lower/kWh than above the threshold. I don't remember, but it may be in the generation portion of the rates. Or it could be the in the transmission part of the bill, or both. :) I haven't looked in detail in a while...

    There may be something in the electrical codes that require certain supply levels, regardless of your intended use. Does anyone know? Thanks.
  15. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    That's a good point, too. :)
    Unless one likes to put the kettle on automatically at a certain time, wherein an electric kettle might be useful. :)
  16. Just checked. I have 100 amp in my built in 1890 home. For 3 years i was able to charge the volt on L2 and run window ac units and whatever else i wanted with no issues. Only time a breaker popped was 1 time, i was out in the barn drinking beers with some friends. The ex wife was pissed that i had friends or beer or both. Mysteriously the breaker to the barn popped without the volt charging or any ACs on. Go figure
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  17. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Hence... EX. :D
    RedylC94 likes this.
  18. basjoos

    basjoos Well-Known Member

    The reason we use 120v in North America is because Thomas Edison determined that was the highest voltage that wasn't lethal if you got across it.
    BillLin likes this.
  19. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    I can appreciate that, though I'm sure I'm not the only one who has experienced the tingle...
  20. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    I can tell you that it does a good job of keeping the squirrels out of the bird feeder. They can't read and so they can't read the warning I wrote that the support for the bird feeder is "live" when plugged in. It doesn't hurt them, it just reboots their brain. Funny to see them standing there staring into space trying to remember where they are.
    PaleMelanesian and BillLin like this.

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