One of the downsides of being an early adopter is that you might end up investing in hardware that becomes obsolete pretty quickly. While it’s clear that EVs are here to stay, those who purchased an EV charging station a few years ago may find it slow and incompatible with modern cars or charging networks, requiring an upgrade. upgrade to one of the latest models.
If you don’t mind tinkering, these older chargers can be a great base for building your own state-of-the-art charging station, because [James] at Diary-of-a-Geek did. He purchased a Chargepoint CT2000 series charger and installed brand new charging unit inside based on OpenEVSE components. The CT2000 is an older model that is no longer manufactured, and while it could still connect to Chargepoint’s network, a subscription renewal would cost several thousand dollars. [James] was unwilling to make this investment for a unit he was going to install in his home anyway, so he decided to purchase spare parts from OpenEVSE, a supplier of open EV charging stations and components. source.
The inside of a charging station is actually quite simple, since the real battery charger is inside the car: the station just contains a beefy switch to turn AC power on or off, as well as circuitry to measure the circulating current and an interface to connect to any payment network. The first step was therefore to connect the contactor and the current transformer to the OpenEVSE controller. This was easy since the new part was much smaller than the original and could simply be mounted on an existing stand.
The second step was to provide the user interface and network connections. [James] removed the screens and wireless systems from the main unit and drilled a large hole in the front to provide space for the new LCD screens. A set of status lights and WiFi connections complete the system, which now looks as professional as the original. Tests have shown LCD screens to be difficult to read in direct sunlight, so [James] replaced them with OLED displays, but otherwise the refurbished charging station worked perfectly.
Of course, working with high voltages and large currents requires the proper skills and tools, which [James] has clearly available; it also emphasizes the importance of including an earth leakage circuit breaker in any equipment placed outdoors. He is not the only one to manufacture his own charging station either. If you’re confused by the many types of EV charging connectors, take a look at our recent article outlining all of these different plugs and sockets. Thanks for the advice, [Kevin]!