Elcon PFC 3k charger
Elcon PFC 3k charger

I bought the Elcon PFC 3000 charger for my truck.  This is a 3kW charger that can handle 120 or 240VAC input.  I thought this would be handy and I would be able to normally charge using 240 at my house, but opportunity charge at 120 when there is a normal 5-15 plug available.

Since I have been using the charger a little now (we have been doing some short test drives and then charging) I am starting to get a feel for how it works.  When I use it at 240, it charges the pack at 16.7A which is a little 0ver 0.1C.  At this rate it would charge a completely empty pack in a little under 10 hours.  However that situation should never occur since I plan on maximum depth of discharge of no more than 80%.  So my normal charge time from "empty" should be less that 8 hours.

But anyway, that is not my point.  The point is, when I charge at 120, it is charging my pack at about 15.1A, a little less.  I measured the wall current in this case and it is just under 20A.  That is too much for a normal 5-15 plug.  The few circuits that I have checked (at my house and some others) seem to typically have a 20A breaker for the 15A circuit.  So I have been able to actually charge from this kind of circuit, pulling almost 20A from the wall, and not trip the breaker.  But that doesn't seem right.  I am concerned that I will try this at a friend's house, or a plug I find in a parking lot, and end up tripping a breaker.

So, my message to you is this.  If you are planning to use an Elcon 3kW charger like I was, be aware that it is going to pull too much current at 120 to be useful for opportunity charging at 120VAC.  Instead you might consider the 2.5kW charger.

Other than this, I like this charger.




Posted on Sun 02 November 2014

It has been a while now, but at some point I had to get the charger repaired (I should write a post about that). I sent it back to the "factory" and they fixed it. I asked them for a different algorithm because I didn't like the way it was working for me. As part of that it was also modified to only pull 12.5 A from the wall when charging at 120V. So, that concern is solved and I can now charge at 120 or 240 with no problem. It takes a little longer at 120.

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