What can I do to make the electric car last you as long as possible? What are the features of charging and protection of charging ports? Ilya Troshchenkov, a software engineer at Svyazinformservice, shared the nuances of the electrical part.
For stable and reliable operation of charging equipment and charging ports of electric vehicles, it is necessary to protect their electrical contacts from an aggressive environment, prevent corrosion, oxidation and reduce the risk of a short circuit.
Unlike household power connectors, a striking example of which is the 32-amp plug of a home electric stove, connected once and almost forever, the charging ports of electric vehicles have to be used regularly. As a result, we get an increased mechanical load and, accordingly, wear of these critical components.
Owners of electric vehicles do not have the opportunity to maintain and prevent charging ports. This should be done by certified specialists of service centers.
However, we can follow the instructions and take care of our electric car, and even more so of public charging stations.
So, let’s take a look at the instructions:
Before charging, please be sure to wipe the raindrops and dirt near the charging port of the body and only then open the charging port for charging. Pay special attention to the water spots on and around the charging connector. Make sure that there is no water or other debris in the charging connector and charging plug, they are not rusted or corroded. If there is water or corrosion in the charging connector or charging plug, do not charge, otherwise it may cause a short circuit or electric shock, may cause injury.
Everything is clear here, the connector must be dry and clean. In the electric car itself, as a rule, there is a sealed lid and a hatch, but with electric charging stations, not everything is so smooth. They are located in the open air, so in inclement weather, the lower contacts of the AC plug may be wet, they cannot be used in this form. This is especially true for models with 3-phase power supply, where these contacts are involved. The best solution is to use another connector located on the opposite side, which is likely to be dry. If you still really need to charge, and the connector is not too flooded with water, blow through the contacts and, after making sure they are clean, charge your car.
In my practice, there have been sadder cases when the cable with the connector was not in its parking space, but just lying in a snowdrift. In such a situation, we can only signal to the service department of the charging operator.
We continue to study the instructions:
It is recommended that the ambient temperature when charging the car be between 0°C and 40°C. Avoid charging at low or high temperatures (recommended at noon in winter, morning and evening in summer).
If possible, place the electric vehicle in the shade or so that the charging port is not in the sun. If you are charging at home, in the country, in the garage, it will not be difficult to make a small canopy for the part of the car where the charging port is located.
Further in the instructions:
During charging, make sure that the charging cable is in its natural state and not hanging in the air.
Everything seems to be clear here, but charging stations, especially fast ones, have a traditional problem. The cables are heavy, thick and long and, as a rule, twisted by someone before your arrival. Do not be lazy and straighten the cable so that it eventually enters the charging port of your electric vehicle freely and without a twisting moment.
From the instructions:
After charging, be sure to close the protective cover of the outlet and the cover of the charging port. Before starting the car, please make sure that the charging plug is disconnected from the charging port.
As a rule, no one forgets to close the hatch and the lid. But not everyone remembers how to properly hang the “gun” in place. And it’s not even that some of the locking latches are already worn out, but that the cable deployed in the direction of the car pulls the gun back. Adjust the cable so that it does not interfere with the charging plug getting into its place and, most importantly, do not leave it on the roadway so that the next electric car does not run over it and pull out “with meat”.
Keep power equipment, charging cables and chargers away from rain, snow, water and heat sources.
Here, as they say, no comments. But what else can we do for our electric vehicles in terms of trouble-free charging.
One of the main tasks that have to be solved to increase the service life of power connectors is to maintain the operability of electrical contacts. With the exception of exposure to moisture, high temperature, aggressive environmental components, mechanical wear is one of the common problems of connection failure and contact destruction.
Of course, branded and certified connectors are reliable, made of spring-loaded elements and some even have a coating of a well-conductive material. But mechanical friction has not been canceled, we have to reckon with this. In addition, it is necessary to take into account the fact that dozens of different electric cars used this connector on public charging, it is not known in what condition their mating parts were. It is likely that dust, debris, shavings, scale could get into the charging port of your electric vehicle through the public charging connector.
As for public charging, then, as the Malanka service assured, they regularly service their stations.
And what can we, as users, do? Let’s try to clean the contacts in your electric car and the adapters used and check what condition they are in.
Pre-disconnect everything from the mains, if it is an adapter, then disconnect both connectors, turn off the car.
We take a cotton swab and alcohol, moisten it with a small amount of liquid, wipe all the contacts of the connectors, let the alcohol evaporate, check that no fragments of cotton wool remain inside the contacts.
When I performed the above procedure, I found contamination from the public charging connector. I use the Type2-GB/t adapter purchased in the official store. After cleaning the connector that connects to the machine, the cotton swab acquired a light gray shade, but when I cleaned the Type2 connector with the other side of the wand, the color turned dark gray, almost black.
I want to remind you, do not try to stop charging the car by removing the connector from the port of the car or charging station. If you succeed, a spark discharge will occur in the contact group, and this will greatly accelerate the degradation of contacts, both at the charging station and in your electric car. I wish everyone safe electric kilometers.