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TdS Report #52: Tales from the Charging Trailer

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TdS Report #52: Tales from the Charging Trailer

As the Tour de Sol travels from place to place, the electric vehicles need to
plug in. The Charging Trailer is a large electric panel with the plugs and
current capacity to handle all the EVs at one time. A large tent over the
panel helps protect it and its tenders.

It was very, very, very windy in Arlington Virginia on Monday night and there
was a bit of excitement. Richard Ritter told me, "We had high winds, the front
came through and took the tent off the ground and folded it in half. This was
at 9 o'clock at night. By 11 o'clock we had it back together, up and running
again." Six of the tubular members the support the tent bent, but cutting 6
inches off was sufficient to reassemble them.

It was windy on Tuesday night also, "but we were prepared for it last night.
Notice how we are in a box canyon?" They parked large trucks and recreational
vehicles on three sides.

"Everyone last year that had Zivan chargers that didn't trip (the Ground Fault
Interrupter breakers) are tripping like crazy this year. We haven't figured
out why." Instead of staying up all night resetting breakers they take out the
GFI breakers and replace them with regular breakers. The Zivans have their own
built in GFIs. (I recall hearing that having double GFIs can cause this

Steve Kurkoski told me that they did find a 120 Volt charger wired with the
neutral and hot leads reversed. For the 20 Amp chargers we have the GFI
separate from the breaker. They are not having any problem at all. When the
GFI is incorporated into the breaker they seem more sensitive. "My guess is
that the Zivan create a high frequency on the return line that cause the
combination breakers trip."

Steve also told me that the generator's frequency had been a little unstable,
moving from 58 to 62 Hertz and back. It turns out that the Twike's charger has
a light that comes on when the line frequency is off. Apparently their charger
is sensitive to that.

- - - -
The complete set of Tour de Sol Reports for 2002 can be found at:
The complete set of past Tour de Sol Reports can be found at:
- - - -
The above is Copyright 2002 by Michael H. Bianchi.
Permission to copy is granted provided the entire article is presented
without modification and this notice remains attached.
For other arrangements, contact me at +1-973-822-2024 .
- - - -
For more on the NESEA Tour de Sol, see the web page at
- - - -
Official NESEA Tour de Sol information is available from the sponsor,
the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) at
413 774-6051 , and 50 Miles Street, Greenfield, MA 01301 , and
[email protected] . All media enquiries should be addressed to ...
Jack Groh
Groh Associates
[email protected] email
401 732-1551 telephone
401 732-0547 fax
401 952-0886 cell/pager
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