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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know what the "minimum" and "maximum" input voltage requirement for the Volt standard 120V charger is? The User Manual indicates that (section 9-52) it is 120V/15Amp minimum. Is that true "technical" minimum? I have NO problem charging at home and work with the standard wall outlet (120V, 15/20Amp). But we have solar panels at work and they have power posts for EV charging. My Volt had No problem the first day using it. But in the last 2 days, I had problem with the charger clicking on/off with (A) flashing [no problem until the car is plugged in]. According to the manual, it means the AC voltage is out of range. I meaured outlet with a voltmeter (no load), it says 116V-117V (rms). I can't find the input voltage spec anywhere for the charger. I can't imagine that GM only limit the input to 120V minimum without some kind of range since the "standar" 120V outlet can vary a lot.

I would hate to move my beautiful red Volt to another spot for charging at work (~1100 people at the current site). There are also a Blue Nissan Leaf and a White Prius Plugin charging under the same solar panel without any problems. But my red Volt get the most looks and all my coworkers agree that the Red Volt looks WAY BETTER than the Prius or the Leaf.

Any information would be helpful. (I might do another measurement with the car plugged in to see if the AC voltage drops).
 

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I have asked a few times how low a voltage it takes to cause a red light on the charger cord and I had planned to connect a few LONG power cords to make a larger voltage drop to find out. ( still on the to do list).

I can tell you 109 Volts to 125 Volts did work with the original charger cord.

The unit does test more than just input voltage but the only times I have had clicking off/on problems ( no red lights) was with a socket that was not making good contact. The tip of the plug did get warm/hot.

There still is a possibility your charger cord is the problem- I would test at low power 8 amps ( only 2 of the 4 green light on) and use a different socket on a different breaker circuit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the quick reply. I tried 3 different charging post. Same issues. I tried to set it to 8Amp, same problems. But I used the regular "wall outlet" and they have no problems. I seem to only have problem with the ones underneath the solar panels (supposely powered by the panels). I think I am going to measure the voltages again when it is plugged in and flashing. The problem is that the charger will click on and off. Like the charger is trying to charge, then it (A) will turn red and flickers. After about 1 sec, it will turn green again, then red again... (during the whole time, you can hear the charger is clicking). It doesn't happen when it disconnects from the car.
 

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I don't know the limits for the charger but most appliances typically work 108 to 125V. It will depend on what the Volt charge controller will accept. But even if you have 120V on the circuit unloaded it doesn't mean it will work. Once you load the circuit (with something like a charger) the voltage can drop. Especially if it's a long circuit or the wire is under gauged or there is a high contact resistance at any of the connections.

If your having issues with plugs directly connected to a solar panel then the problem is likely that the solar system is not putting out enough power or the inverter is undersized.
 

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A few of the regulars here use solar and should be able to advice you on what to look for and how to test.
DCFusor and Solar_dave being two.

Loading-grounding-Sine wave-voltage/current drop.

My 500 watt wind generator was not much help in car charging.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, it is a large commerical installation of over 1 Million Watts. So, it should be more than enough to power 4-5 EVs charging (yes, it was sunny at the time). I think the inverter system must have issues. I haven't gotten a chance to see what the waveform looks like. But I tested both my home and wall outlet at work. They are both running at 121-124 Volts under load (with chargers plugged in). So, that is a bit higher than the unloaded EV charging post under the solar panels. I am just surprised that both the Prius Plugin and the Nissan Leaf under the same solar panel can work with it and my Volt has issues. I might end up getting a 240V charger instead anyway since the charge post have NEMA 14-50R outlet too...
 

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I've only had my volt for a week, and today I tried charging with my off-grid 1.75kw solar system. I have a 4000w Pure Sign inverter and a very large AGM battery bank. It worked perfectly. To test, I initially charged 2 hrs on the low power setting, then 1 hr on the high power setting. Charger worked fine on both.
 

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That's great !!
DCFusor posted he would drop off Volt charging at times so not to drop his solar battery level.
As I recall before he added more Solar panels he was never charging the Volt to full.
 
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