Our First Official Smart Charger Install is complete!


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Big congratulations to @UC Bear on becoming the first official OVO customer to have our brand new Smart Charger installed!!

I'm sure @UC Bear will update us all over the next few days on how the first few charges are going. He's already given our installers some great feedback which is awesome!


We are rolling this out in the first instance as a small trial ahead of a full launch, so taking this one at a time for now. More to come on this as we progress this initial trial so watch this space.

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Userlevel 6
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I feel sad 😞
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First off, I would like to thank all the OVO team, especially Dave and Dave for the first-class installation of the new Smart Charger. All outside wiring, both power and LAN cables, were contained in a single black conduit which made for a very neat solution when compared to the armoured cable used by another supplier. In fact, the use of a wired ethernet LAN rather than WiFi initially took me by surprise but I agree that it provides a faster more reliable solution. Interfacing the Smart Charger into my local LAN was very easy as I have spare ports on an Ethernet LAN switch in my garage.
Once all the electrical safety tests were completed the grand switch on occurred and the charging cable was connected to my car which immediately indicated that it was successfully charging. Only minor issue involved the orientation of the current clamp which was correct to incorrect installation notes.
So far, I have charged the car twice with no problems and look forward to the imminent roll out of the app that will allow the “smart” features to be implemented.
Observation: It would be nice to turn off the illuminated logo on the front of the unit. I live in an area with no street lighting and in the dark the logo shines too bright.
Userlevel 4
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Apparently there is a fault in a high voltage line that is causing myself and 1499 others to experience frequent power cuts. However, the good news is that the the smart charger successfully resumed the charging cycle that the latest power cut interrupted. I'm impressed!
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I have just noticed that all the 4 leds and the logo are white. The user manual indicates that this means " EV Connected - idle" however my car is indicating that it is charging. It isn't fully charged yet. When I connected the car earlier the charger leds were white turning on and off in sequence meaning "charging" according to the user manual. Is the charger doing it's smart thing and reducing charge rate because it is taking longer than normal to get to fully charged.
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OK so I have an indicated 10 miles range left and I connect to the smart charger (approx 14:10). The car indicates it is charging but the only light on is the white logo light. My VW CarNet app confirms car charging and estimates 4:30 hrs to full. As I wish to use the car in an hour's time I pressed the Boost button on the charger. No change of status. Only light lit is the white logo. No change in time to full charge.
I am now disconnected from Smart Charger and using old charger as I need a full charge quickly.
VW CarNet indicates full charge in 1:35.
Is this issue down to me not having the vcharge app yet?
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Hi @UC Bear thanks for the feedback, sorry that you’re having some issues with boost. We will investigate what is going on and let you know as soon as we can. Let us know if you spot anything else that isn’t behaving as you would expect.

I’ll PM you with some info on your earlier point!
Userlevel 7
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Hey @UC Bear thanks for the feedback on the install! So glad it went well.

I know the team have been following this with interest, so the feedback you have given so far has already been super useful!!
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Question: As the smart charger is monitoring the direction of the supply current does it increase the charge current to the car if it detects none or little grid power being used? This would be the case during a sunny day when my solar panels are providing power. It would be interesting to know if my car is being charged with sunbeams.
I am generating solar power now albeit not at the maximum rate as the sun is not in the best position yet. The car is also charging at a low rate.
Userlevel 7
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Hey @UC Bear I checked this with the team as I wasn't sure.

So the answer to this is that while we currently do not directly optimise for increasing at site solar energy consumption, this is one of the areas we're looking to learn from and improve as part of this limited trial.

We'll make sure we keep you in the loop as we release smarter features around this.

Hope that helps!!
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Thanks for the answer. BTW I think that the charger would not be considered as all that smart if it didn't take into consideration any local energy generation.

My car is fully charged and I used the VW Car-Net app to turn on air conditioning and screen demisting whilst still connected to the smart charger to see if it would draw current from the battery or as expected draw current from the smart charger. The car indicated that it was successfully drawing current from the smart charger. The only illumination on the smart charger was the logo, all others off.

Question: Will there be any smart charger state that does not allow this to happen apart from a failure etc. Will the demand from the car for current to support air-con and demisting always be granted?
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Further to above. Before starting the remote air-con and demisting I had an indicated range of 28mi. It has now dropped to 27mi, Does this indicate that the current supplied from the smart-charger was not actually sufficient to meet the demands of the car? I hope your ability to monitor the smart charger will allow some insight into this.
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Is this the new vehicle to grid charger?
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Not sure about the vehicle to grid aspect as my car does not support that.
Userlevel 7
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Hey @UC Bear We are getting the answers to your question, I will update you on those asap!!

@rajan no this is not V2G, this is our Smart Charger. No further timescales on V2G yet. As soon as we are able to confirm anything we will be sure to let everyone know.

For more on our Smart Charger check out our website:
https://www.ovoenergy.com/ev-everywhere/smart-charger

Darran
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@Darran_OVO ok thanks, I have signed up to that as well.
Was hoping to get the V2G charger but will take this if that's still going to be a while as I was hoping to get it before Xmas.
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@UC Bear Very jealous of your EV and charger! Unfortunately I have no power in my garage, and as it is on a separate bit of land from my house, I see now way to get a supply without paying two standing charges, but would love my next vehicle to be an EV.

When you say you disconnected and reconnected to the old charger, is that another wall based charger or the plug into a normal socket sort?

Keep us posted on your experiences!
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@Mw2870 I guess there are others in the same boat as yourself where physical separation between home and car parking makes having a home charger difficult. Maybe you just have to factor in the cost of an additional suppy against the benefits of owning an EV.
Yes I have an existing wall charger to fall back on should there be any problems during the real world testing of the OVO Smart Charger.
So far I am delighted with the SC.
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@Darran_OVO ok thanks, I have signed up to that as well.
Was hoping to get the V2G charger but will take this if that's still going to be a while as I was hoping to get it before Xmas.


I notice you haven't filled in your profile to tell us you were an EV owner previously so not sure if you are able to have a smart charger. Can you please update your profile with whether you are smart or not and also which EV you have etc. That would be a big help.
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@UC Bear

Just an update, the team are working through your feedback and we will have some answers for you shortly. The team are loving the feedback so far, this is exactly why these trials are so important to us!!

Keep it coming and I will keep you posted as and when we have answers to the above questions/feedback.

Darran
Userlevel 1
Can you please update your profile with whether you are smart or not

Like to think I'm fairly smart!haha
Userlevel 5
I was a bit confused at first when you were mentioning a VW app as I thought the test only referred to Nissan LEAF's and EV200s....then the penny dropped. I assume this is a Type 1 or 2 charger and not CHAdeMO...Whatever, congratulations on being the first.

Leo
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@Leo Moran Thanks. Yes I have a Type 2 socket / charger and am participating in the Smart Charger trial not the V2G trial as my car does not support that.
The Smart Charger is looking good and is going to be an impressive bit of kit as OVO roll out more features.

I'm enjoying being part of the SC trial and helping OVO develop this product.
Will the smart charger be available with the option of just a type 2 socket or a longer cable? I need about 6 to 8 meters from where the charger will be to my car.
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Hi @Michaelp531 we have chargers with type 1 and type 2 cables attached. These cables are 5m long. In the not too distant future we will also have universal sockets available - with which you can use your own charging cable. Hope this helps!
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Just been re-reading this thread with some excitement as we get one installed tomorrow. We also have solar panels, the current car is BMW i3, but we are thinking about changing our other car for an EV, as well once we decide what we want.

It's all very exciting being able to be part of this trial and helping the team with development. UC bear, do you have the app yet? And I assume you aren't using your car app to set charging times while using the SC? On days when neither of us is working and we know the car will be here during decent daylight we tend to set it to charge from about 10am, to make the most of our solar. But during the trial we won't be doing that I guess.

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