The Smappee EV Wall charger comes with a full home energy management system called the Smappee Infinity. While the upfront cost is a little higher than many of the competing “smart” EV chargers at $1850, it includes all the extra hardware and CT meters required for load-balancing and solar charging. Here’s a quick review of the Smappee EV charger hardware and software, thanks to Vista Power Technologies in Melbourne, Australia.
The first impression was that the EV wall charger is a solid, durable unit built using a sturdy steel housing and aluminium cover. The steel mounting bracket is also solid, and the charger features an integrated residual current device (6mA DC / 30mA AC), meaning it does not require an expensive external RCD safety switch. I installed the non-tethered charger and will use a 7m type 2 charging cable.
The biggest difference between Smappee and other EV chargers is that it comes with a full energy management system that consists of several components, a CT Hub, wall splitter (connection hub), Smappee connect Hub (for Ethernet and WiFi), and 3 CT clamps (for the mains, charger and solar). Additional CTs meters can be easily connected for measuring individual load circuits. All the components seem very well made, and it was relatively easy to install following the clear layout diagram supplied (a CT direction guide would be very useful though).
The EV Wall was relatively easy to configure using the simple app installation wizard. (Just don’t confuse the bright red light on the charger with the indicator lights on the small Connect hub). The App dashboard gives you all the basic information needed about household energy consumption.
However, since the software is designed for home energy management, it does look quite different to most other EV charger apps, which are solely focused on EV charging, not household energy management.
EV Charging can be started and stopped via a QR code, RFID card, and smart EV schedules. It can also be started manually using the “Standard Charging” setting, which enables the charge rate to be easily adjusted using a slider in the App.
One of the big advantages of the Smappee system is that it’s cloud-based, so you can remotely control the charging process and monitor your household energy usage. The desktop portal also provides detailed energy charts and configuration settings. Initial usage suggests the Smappee system is ideal for users with regular commutes who want the EV charging process managed automatically using solar or low-energy tariffs. Just plug in and let the system take control.
Note: The charger has only just been installed, and the software is “learning” my energy usage patterns, so some of the information provided is still unclear.
The LED light is extremely bright, and although it can be adjusted using the App, it doesn’t work and is stuck on a very high level which is overwhelming at night. (Issue Fixed)
The charger must be first set up with smart charging schedules to enable solar charging and other useful features.
The software can be confusing as some of the terminology used is unusual. It is sometimes difficult to understand exactly which charging mode is being activated.
The “standard charging” mode cannot be set for a certain time period. I.e. stop charging at a specific time or after a predetermined amount of time.
Awesome review Svarky. Super detailed and thorough.
I can help on some of the technical issues. The LED should be fully adjustable down to 0% brightness, not sure why it’s not working maybe shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and share your serial number with them.
The smart charging - surplus only feature can be used straight out of the box in the same way standard charging can. Adding schedules is a little more complicated though. Once your peak and off-peak tariffs are set then you shouldn’t need to set time schedules on standard charging, just use schedules and it will automatically charge during off-peak periods.
You can also set standard charging schedules on the browser dashboard using the automations card. This can be for charging sessions and changing LED brightness.
@Dodoria, I haven’t used the ABB Terrabox, but from my limited experience with the Zappi V2 and the Wallbox, I would say this charger is better built than the Zappi and has more advanced “smart” features. Plus, unlike the Zappi, the Smappee has all the extra’s (hub,comms and CTs) to enable solar charging and remote monitoring straight out of the box.
The Wallbox is a nice compact charger, but it’s not technically at the same level as the Zappi and Smappee in terms of smart “solar” charging. However, it’s great for regular users
@Frosty, Thanks. I emailed Smappee support about the LED issue. I tried multiple times to adjust the brightness, but the light stayed at the same level. However, I just tried again and it’s now working!
There are so many smart charging features, options, and schedules that it’s a little overwhelming at first. I possibly just need to take it slow and try them out (especially as most EV charger apps have limited options).
Also, I believe some settings have been lost in translation, and the terminology used is a little odd. I think the smart charging (schedule and surplus) setting is a good example. It is not clear what the slider is actually doing.
So after a week of using the Smappee EV charger, I have started getting used to the software. It’s very clever but different from common EV charging apps and a little unusual.
Due to my very irregular driving and charging schedule, I have mostly used the 'Standard charging" mode, which works but is not ideal. It would be great to be able to stop charging at a specific time or after a predetermined amount of time (mostly because I often forget to stop charging).
I have used the Smart charging (Surplus solar only) mode a few times, but it doesn’t quite work as expected. For some reason, it doesn’t quite match the export amount and is generally 500W less, resulting in 500W being exported to the grid, which could be used for charging. Fixed - This is due to the “hybrid inverter” setting being used - see more below.
However, I like the desktop monitoring software (shown below), which gives a detailed insight into the charging history and allows you to change off the settings and operating mode easily.
Hi Svarky, the slider is allowing you to supplement some of the charging from the grid when your solar surplus is below the minimum to activate charging. All EVs have a minimum set point of 6A (roughly 1.4kW) per phase to start charging, as per the IEC 61851 standard. The slider allows you to supplement this minimum with grid power. E.g. 900W from solar and 500W from grid. Instead of exporting 900W for peanuts and not using this power to charge the EV
The idea with the smart charging schedules is to set your electricity rates and how much charge you need by a certain time (100km of charging by 7am for example). Once you have your tariffs and schedule set you can plug in and let the charger decide the cheapest way to charge by that time. In that case you would use schedules + surplus as the smart charging option. The charger will use solar when available, then top up with off-peak power over night.
You can also setup an enable/disable schedule in the web based dashboard, e.g. enable standard charging at 11pm, disable at 7am
This would be if you have hybrid inverter set for your solar inverter, it prevents you drawing power from the home battery by creating an export buffer. Your battery will only bring the grid import to 0w, it won’t export power. The Smappee will see the power drop below the export buffer and reduce the output for charging to ensure battery power isn’t used.
Thanks for the explanation. However, I still need to clarify exactly what the % is referring to. I’m gathering from your explanation the slider is a percentage of the 6A limit (1400W) allowed from the grid supply. For example, at the 50% level, up to 3A (700W) can be supplied from the grid to meet the minimum charging demand. Is this correct?
The problem is that we had to have this conversion to interpret what the slider is doing because the language used is rather ambiguous. In this situation, a simple fix would be to change the slider from percentage to Amps (A) or Watts (W) and remove the solar (sun) symbol on the right. Plus, a help “bubble” that offers more information about the setting. See mockup image below
I agree, it is somewhat unclear, especially if you’re not aware of the 6A minimum for charging per phase. I like the example you’ve presented. A pop-up option with a more detailed explanation would likely be helpful and probably necessary too. A short sentence just doesn’t really sum it up
Does this setup mean that it can be used in a situation - like mine - where the charger would be connected to a sub-switchboard in a garage, and the connect hub and CT clamps be placed in the main switchboard (where the Enphase Envoy is…) 30+ metres away?
Are the CT clamps plugged into the hub and placed in the switchboard box? If comms between the hub and the charger is over the local wifi network that would be ideal. The Zappi hub seems to use 415Mhz and reports are that the range isn’t great beyond 15 metres.
Oh, just read the spec sheet - the EV Wall is only 3.7 Kw on single phase - WTH? I just paid a few thousand dollars to have a 32A line dug through to our garage, I’m not sure only using 16A would make that worthwhile
@BJT, It would work as a typical EV charger using the manual control (standard charging) or scheduling, but you wouldn’t be able to use all the smart charge settings.
That being said, you can use the Smappe energy management system for measuring individual load circuits which could be very helpful in an off-grid situation to see how much energy individual appliances and circuits are drawing.