Looking at Elcon chargers for on-board electric vehicle use

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reikiman's picture
Joined: 11/19/2006
Points: 8446

In a reply to an earlier posting, antiscab suggested Elcon and TC Chargers as the "best bet". I'd never heard of TC Chargers, but having found their website it appears they are the Chinese supplier for the chargers sold by Elcon.

I have an Elcon charger on my car now, and am looking for a higher powered charger. It's been reliable, and the charging algorithm appears to work really well.

The units are power factor corrected, fully sealed, waterproof, shock resistant, etc. I have it mounted on my car, it's been there almost a year and no indication of going flaky.

They are adjustable for various charging algorithms, however any adjustments have to be made by Elcon staff at their office in Sacramento. The manual does discuss being able to change the charging curve when you turn the charger on, by pressing a specific button while the light is flashing, but the manual does not document the meaning of the changes. Again, the guys in Sacramento have control of the secrets to changing things.

It has an external control input which on my car is connected to the BMS, so the BMS can turn the charger on and off.

I've closely observed dozens of charge cycles with this charger (and the BMS sold to me by Lightning Motorcycles) and it does an excellent job of ramping down the charge rate as the battery fills up. It also does an excellent job adjusting the charge rate to match the kilowatt rating of the charger. In the charts below is shown the output voltage and the amp rate at that voltage, and notice how the amp rate lessens with chargers adjusted for higher voltages.

One thing they do not document is the input amp rate - that is, for a given output amp rate, how many amps are required on the input side. For my car I have a PFC3000, and to output 16 amps it draws 12 amps at 240 volts.

There's two things I do not like:-

1) There's no knob to adjust the charge rate.
2) They configure the 120 volt side to draw the most amps possible, that is to draw 19 amps @ 120 volts.

The reasoning is to maintain the highest charge rate possible. However it's typical for 120 volt outlets to have a 15 amp circuit breaker, or to perhaps have other items plugged into the circuit. I've tripped a number of circuit breakers because of this. It's possible to get them to adjust the 120 volt side to be a bit more sedate, but then the charge rate is fixed at a slower speed. I like that the 120 volt side draws as much as is allowable, but want to slow it down in case I'm charging at a place whose circuit breakers will blow.

Wide input voltage range AC85V~AC265V.

The product line is:-

PFC 1500 Battery Charger

TCCH-24-40 24V 34V 40A
TCCH-144-08 144V 203V 8A
TCCH-192-06 192V 258V 6.2A

PFC 2000+ Battery Charger

TCCH-36-30 36V 51V 40A 38A
TCCH-144-12 144V 204V 11A 10A
TCCH-288-06 288V 408V 6A 5A

PFC 2500 Battery Charger

TCCH-36-40 36V 51V 40A 37A
TCCH-144-12 144V 204V 15A 8.5A
TCCH-288-06 288V 408V 7A 4A

PFC 3000 Battery Charger

TCCH-24-80 24V 34V 80A
TCCH-144-16 144V 203V 16A
TCCH-156-14 156V 217V 14A

PFC 4000 Battery Charger

TCCH-36-80 36V 51V 80A 50A
TCCH-144-24 144V 204V 24A 13A
TCCH-156-22 156V 217V 22A 11A

PFC 5000 Battery Charger

TCCH-36-80 36V 51V 80A 50A
TCCH-144-24 144V 204V 24A 13A
TCCH-288-12 288V 408V 12A 7A




- David Herron, Green Transportation Examiner, The Long Tail Pipe, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
- Electrified Electra Townie, 1971 Karmann Ghia (since sold), Kia Soul EV

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Joined: 03/02/2009
Points: 77
Re: Looking at Elcon chargers for on-board electric vehicle use

There is a guy making and selling a screw in connector for most Elcon chargers that will allow the reduction of AC amperage so that it could be used on 110v at a public charger or a friends house which limits the amperage to 15a. I belive he is selling them for $75.00

jdh2550_1's picture
Joined: 07/17/2007
Points: 2335
Re: Looking at Elcon chargers for on-board electric vehicle use

Hi David,

I'm getting an ElCon charger for a Prius conversion project. I've ordered the one with CAN input so I should be able to control the charge output and hence the charge input in this way. One could probably make a simple standalone control box that sends the appropriate CAN signals for around $50 to $100. The cheapest hobbyist path to a CAN connected microprocessor seems to be the DuinoMite Mega @ $40 from Mouser. On top of that you'd need an LCD display screen and some buttons or potentiometers (knobs) for input.

Might be a fun project :-) (all depends on your definition of fun - but it sounds fun to me...)


John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas. No Worries." - JDH, CuMoCo || "Make Volts Not War" - anon.

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