Consumer Action - Charger Fault

Anyone having charging issues please contact me in a PM. We’re very obviously not going to get any resolution from Renault about this, they made that very clear in todays phone call. But there are people we can talk to and it’s best done as a group.

Hi Mark

I hope you didn’t mind me creating a new thread out of this post.

It will be easier for people to find and keep track of if this is the route you now want to take with this issue.

Thanks,

James

We now subtly shift the argument, only the UK had 240v, Europe retained 220v, both at 50Hz.

Politically, it was agreed that this would be harmonised - the incredible resolution was to increase the +- % so - in effect, they (Grid operators) didn’t do anything - it was a paper exercise, nothing more.

Again, this has nothing to do with Renault - who could be wondering why the heck the UK grid didn’t do what they were supposed to do.

As an appliance, a Twizy should cope with pan-eu voltages. 240v should have been the capped maximum. At 20v over the continental median, that is reasonable. Any higher should be a complaint to the grid OR regulator - Renault could offer an option for those that need a solution, but this would be an additional cost - should they offer it.

But surely, the manufacturer should test that the product works in the market intended, regardless of politics?
It’s sold for UK use and it seems the 250v + issue is not confined to one small area. Proper shakedown testing would have shown the fault.

On an aside, not being an electrics buff, is there not a way to attach a voltage limiter to the plug socket and plug into that? We have surge protectors, so is there a voltage limiter?
Just a thought…

There is no requirement to ‘test’ a variable! For the number of Twizy’z sold the complaints of being unable to charge are pretty small - you cannot be suggesting that Renault should have foreseen that owners who (a) live nearby neighbours who are overloading local circuits (b) grid operators who are not actively managing their network should require Renault to install additional protection for free?

You also overlook the issue that even if your Twizy battery exploded due to over voltage - the grid company is deemed legally blameless. The Twizy protects itself by disconnection at over-voltage, a far equitable solution.

Tour argument is flawed - you appear to want both options!

You can get a “Variac”, though a 10 amp one would be expensive, and you don’t need to be able to vary the voltage from 0 to supply voltage (or beyond in some cases). There are simpler devices that transform 240V to 220V which will actually save energy for some categories of electrical appliance designed for the continental market. Again, I’m not sure about the currents they will take, but you can certainly get (expensive) ones that reduce the voltage for the entire household supply.

BTW, our Twizy charges fine at 220V - which suggests that the Twizy does indeed have the same charger throughout Europe.

It would have been possible for them to have checked voltage variances or enquired about it-and probably a good idea, if the same 220v charger if used EU wide and UK was higher.
Obviously it is right for it to cut off before fires etc, but if it will not charge, there’s a problem.

As said, as some are having issues regardless of the politics, an obvious solution to those having too high a voltage to charge would be in some way to limit or cap the voltage-and a way for owners to sort it out themselves until anything else is sorted.

Again, just a thought…

I thought I would tack this on to an old thread about Twizy charge voltage. I had to have my charger replaced, so I have a new one. Since I’m a superannuated geek, I record the power used for each charge I do, which in my case requires an instrumented plug which tells me the voltage, current, frequency, wattage and watt hours. Anyway, the new charger definitely charges at a much lower current - more like 8 amps than the previous 10, and therefore around 1900 watts instead of 2200 watts. I wonder whether the current model of charger is more sensitive to input voltage - ours has never been higher than 245V and today is a steady 240V. Although I haven’t seen any public announcement, perhaps Renault ARE aware of potential charging problems at UK voltages and have “improved” the charger.

I was bit annoyed at first, because I have a carefully worked out graph of charge time from a particular % SOC. Surprisingly, though, the lower current doesn’t make as much difference as it should, so perhaps the new charger is just smarter than the old one, particularly at the end-of-charge “balance” phase which can easily take 20 to 30 minutes.

Has anyone else had their charger replaced recently, and if so have you noticed a difference in charge time (or if you have a meter, any change in the charge current/wattage)?

I don’t get the slow down at the end it stays at approx 2mins per percent. However it can be 6 - 8 hours before the fan turns off.
Is your new charge better at monitoring the charger temp and switching off?

Since my new charger was fitted, the fan goes of straight away just about once the charging is complete. Not sure if it’s a software update or the different charger.

Mine too, though I had occasions with the old charger (on very hot days, I fancy) where the fan would come on again when you turned on the ignition. I thought the fans might be an independent system for cooling the battery, and were simply *enabled *by the charging system. While it is more likely that they are there to cool the charger, that wouldn’t explain why they come on when the charger is definitely off. I also got the impression that if I charged with the ignition still on, neither the charge nor the fans ever switched off.

Do you have any way of measuring the charge current with your new charger?

Hi all my name is Peter new Twizy owner I purchased Twiz to use on my boat charging via an inverter. The first time I tried to charge it it only worked for a few seconds before turning itself on and off every few seconds. After reading this thread I will now measure the voltage out of my inverter. I have had problems with a hoover that would not work so I am beginning to think that I have over 248 volts. The problem is the car is new and I would have thought these issues would be sorted by now. This is a real hassle as my boat has 1 KW of solar 1500ah of full traction batteries and this was going to make Twiz a cheap and great runaround any help welcome
Ps are any of the members making the type 2 to 13amp connectors up or do I have to make my own.

Cheers Peter

Welcome Peter.

Your inverter it is a Pure Sine wave one isn’t it? Else you will have issues with any motor including the cooling fans on the Twizy. The on-board charger does not like a pseudo sine wave feed.

What rating is your inverter? If needs to be over 2,400kwh continuous with a bit more at startup. That is obviously more than you will get from your Solar panels so the batteries will need to supply most of the current. 10A at 240V = 2400w that equates to a very large current drawn from your boat batteries. Assuming 24V bank means the inverter is drawing about 110 amps! So very big cables required and the boat inverter needs to be big and well cooled.

Good luck with making that work, I’d like to see that as I would like to copy it. I have a large battery bank in my house but do not use to charge the car.

A cheap volt meter will allow you to check the boat inverter output to see it is is over 248V.

Let us know how you get on.

There is another thread with the answer to this. But you can buy them for approx £100 ready made depending on what socket you want. Try this http://evbitz.uk/

Hi thanks for your fast reply, I have a 3000w pure sine wave inverter the battery bank is full traction. My intention is to charge Twiz on the move really although at the moment the boat is fully fully charged by 10 am just with solar. The boat has a 160 amp alternator so its no problem for it I think to charge up twiz

Peter

Sounds good in theory and should work. A 3000w inverter will only out put that for a few minutes it’s continuous ratting may be half that. Which may explain why the hoover and Twizy cut out.

160amp Max output from the boats Alternator at 12V is (14V * 160a = 2240W) This is not enough as the alternator will not maintain that and there are a number of losses between there and the car. So the batteries will supply a bulk of the charge.

What interests me is how you charge the Twizy on the move. Do you mean the boats engines are running but stationary or that you can get the Twizy on board? If so can we have some pictures? :smile:

Also looking at your battery bank. 1500ah traction batteries not leisure or deep cycle means that you will only be able to use 20 to 40 % capacity before they start to become damaged and have a shortened life. But lets say they are new deep cycle batteries (normal Boat batteries) and allowing for a 50% SOD to maintain a full life, you have 9000wh which should be enough for a charge. Nothing else though until recharged.

I would be concerned about drawing 20+ amps per battery for 2 hours while charging the Twizy. In fact it is current that will kill the batteries. However boat people tend to know alot more about this than me, I’m basing it my calcs and running my house lighting off-grid.

Hi they are full traction batteries ie 2v cells so you can take them below 50 percent without problems also whilst the engine is running the solar is still charging as well so its nearer 200 plus amps coming in thats assuming the sun is shining :smile: my inverter is 3000 W continuous I have both a auto washer and dishwasher on board. The boat is large 12 by 57 foot my plan is to drive twiz on the front deck via ramps most times they are level with the bank

Peter

Sounds great. I’d love to see that - roughly where is your boat moored. 12ft is a bit wide for most canal systems in the UK.

However we haven’t solved your charging issue. Next is a voltage check of the inverter.

Moored in Rotherham large canals up north for the most, I will check voltage tomorrow which will be sorted without to much hassle as the maker is in North Derbyshire fingers crossed

Peter

The North Derbyshire canal near me is not yet connected to the network so you will not be return it by boat :smile: One day perhaps the Chesterfield Canal will be reconnected.