Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Clipper Creek CS-100 EVSE Installed!

For once, the awful photographer that I am, I have none the less decided to give you a pictorial retrospective of install of one of the first EVSEs in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  So with minimal textual interruption, here is my adventure into the world of Electric Vehicle Service Equipment — click any image for a larger version:

The Box

Wee!  A package for me!  From Clipper Creek?  I wonder what it could be?

EVSE Inside

Woo hoo!  The Clipper Creek CS-100 Electric Vehicle Service Equipment, complete with J1772 e-hose and Charger!

Inside the EVSE

Ah, a sneak peak into the interior of this industrial strength behemoth!

The 90A Converter

The heart of the machine: the 90 Ampère, 220 Volt A/C converter!  At least, so my dreamy eyes interpret the mysterious box in front of me.


Gonna pump me some serious electrons with this puppy: the J1772 standard Electric Vehicle charge plug.

Ready for Install

Aw, isn't she sweet — or he, all buff, industrial and military?  Nah, I like my ladies tough!  So there she is, all ready for her rough and ready install!

Add a Breaker

Ample room in the circuit breaker box for a new lead for my sub-panel.  And a bit of trivia: notice the blue sticker next to the 20 Ampère breaker?  The plugs it's connected to aren't NEMA 5-20R, plus the wiring didn't look a sufficient gauge for 20A.  So when I bought the house we told the former owner to downgrade that to a 15A breaker; I'm still waiting…

125A Breaker

Ta-da!  Joe, the kind Electrician from Cullen Electric, Inc. has added the first link in the power chain to my new EVSE: the 125 Ampère, 2-pole circuit breaker.

4-Wire 125A Aluminium

And here is the 4-wire 1/0 SER Aluminium cable at the beginning of its journey out to the sub panel in the garage.

Patched Roof

Yep, Joe warned me he would need to make a hole in my ceiling to run that thick wire across the house, but all in all, he did a pretty nice job of patching it back up, don't you think?  Just need to sand down the gauze mesh and repaint!

Second Patch

This one caught me a bit by surprise but it's small and I didn't even notice it until Joe pointed it out; I assume the wire got caught on its way to the utility closet so he had to fish it half-way through and anchor it there.

Run Wire in Utility Closet

Here the cable comes out into the utility closet (more of a utility room under the basement stairs, really)…

Run Wire up into wall

Then the chord goes out again and up into the garage wall.

Panel Mount with 4-Wire Aluminium coming out

We're back in the garage.  Joe is on his lunch break so I thought I'd take a sneak peak at the new sub-panel before he put the cover on it.  As you can see, the 4-wire 1/0 SER Aluminium cable comes to the end of its journey here.

Sub Panel Fully Installed

Time-lapse… the sub-panel is now fully installed with a new 3-wire 1/0 SER Aluminium cable coming out above on its way to the final leg of the electrical odyssey.

Sub Panel Has 1 Breaker

And what do we have inside?  Another 2-pole circuit breaker, this one with a 100 Ampère rating.  Can I just say, I'm probably learning way too much about Electrical Codes and Pricing and Wiring and Regulations than I probably ever remotely should?

It's 100A and for My EVSE

Yep, that's for my CS-100 EVSE.  Squee!  Also, can I just say, should an adult male of my experienced age really still be squeeing like a school girl?  Yes.

A Bit of Fire Board Caulk to Insulate

Okay, I have to give a shout-out here to my best friend from preschool, Tony, as well as the Fairfax County Electrical Inspector for reminding me of the virtues of good, fire-retardant caulk.  That's 3M Fire Barrier Sealant CP 25WB+, with 4-hour fire resistance, and it's red.

And the 3-Wire Exits My Sub Panel

Now we trace the 3-wire 1/0 SER Aluminium cable from out of the wall, toward the other side of my garage.  Notice the NEMA 5-15R on the far left for reference…

Across the Garage to the EVSE

Look, off to the left!  EVSE ho!  And of course, now on the far right, there's that same NEMA 5-15R to guide our way.

Hooks In Under the EVSE

My EVSE is receiving power from below thanks to Joe's fine work installing the 3-wire conduit to it.  The J1772 e-hose now sits lonely, waiting for an EV or Plug-in Hybrid to charge.  NissanChevyFord Focus EVMini-ETesla?  Anyone??

And There's My EVSE Installed

Thank you Clipper Creek from one more happy, if untested, customer!

Finally, you may be wondering how much this cost.  Well, it wasn't cheap, but here's the breakdown:

Associations: $35.00

Materials: $3,272.05

  • $2550.00 (Clipper Creek CS-100 EVSE)
  • $267.30 (1/0 SER cable - 45 ft, 4-Wire Aluminum; from main panel to sub-panel)
  • $125.00 (125amp Siemans 2-pole 3 breaker)
  • $75.00 (100amp Siemans 2-pole 3 breaker)
  • $125.00 (16 space main lug panel with cover)
  • $64.75 (1/0 SEU cable - 25 ft, 3-Wire Aluminum; from sub-panel to EVSE)
  • $65.00 (Shop parts)

Shipping: $50.00

  • $50.00 (For the EVSE via UPS)

Labor: $680.00

  • $680.00 (Thanks again Joe!)

Permits: $250.00

  • $250.00 (Fairfax County, Virginia)

Taxes: $36.10

  • $36.10 (Northern Virginia Sales Tax at 5% on all materials but the EVSE itself)

Credits: ($2,000.00)

  • ($2,000.00) (EVSE Federal Tax Credit — Assuming no AMT in 2010)

Total cost to me: $2,323.15, assuming I qualify for the full EVSE Tax Credit and not get hit by AMT this year for the first time because of it.  Otherwise, it's a rather unpleasant $4,323.15 out-of-pocket with no money back and no return on investment for the next 12 or so months.

One question I still have is if I get a Smart Meter with TOU installed next year, as well as pay someone to fix the ceiling drywall, can I still qualify for the newly-passed 2011 EVSE 30% Tax Credit, capped at $1000.  I doubt the expenses that time would be anywhere near the maximum $3,333.33 for which the credit qualifies, but it doesn't hurt to ask.



  2. Nice! Congratulations! If I'm ever in need of a charge in Minnesota I'll look you up!