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Anyone? Loud buzzing noise when supercharging

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Trnsl8r, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

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    Hi all,

    Curious if this happened to anyone else. Family and I came up from a long road-trip to the Gilroy supercharger with 24 rated miles left on the battery. It was about high 60's outside. We plugged in, saw we got only some 30kw, so changed to a different charger and off it went to 89kw as expected (not sure if swapping chargers is relevant, and yep, I have the A-pack).

    As we were packing up our stuff to go browse the store, we heard a relatively loud buzzing noise coming from the car, mostly from the front. It was hard to define but sounded... electrical. Curious, I opened the driver's door to check the monitor. As soon as I opened the door, the noise stopped. Nothing special on the monitors. Closed the door, waited maybe 10 seconds and then the noise came back. Opened the door again and the noise instantly disappeared. Closed, waited, noise back.

    I called Tesla Service, gave my name and explained what happened. The guy said "yeah, I'm watching your car now, everything looks normal". (I'll never get used to driving a computer... :)) He also speculated that there was a vibration in the cooling system that neutralized from me opening the door, which sounds plausible. He said he would put in a ticket for me to come in and have it looked at. (Not ten minutes later I get a call from my local service center to set up an appointment. Wow...)

    When we came back the noise was gone and car was up to some 190 miles and everything has seemed normal since. I have a few weeks before the appointment, but to kill time I thought I'd see if anyone else had this happen?
     
  2. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    Have you ever cranked your A/C to max and listened outside the car? Give it a try and see if it's the same sound. The A/C compressor can get really loud on max. You probably were hearing the A/C keeping the batteries nice and cool while the car was Supercharging at 89kW.
     
  3. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

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    :-/ ... not so sure... I've heard the fans go bonkers before, but this sound was different. Also doesn't explain how the sound could come to an immediate stop as soon as I opened the door.
     
  4. pimp-boy

    pimp-boy Member

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    I have the same issue you have. I'm at "rated 70 miles." Charge at 120kw. No noise until it hits roughly 100 rated miles. Buzzes all the way to 170 miles and then slowly gets quieter as the charge rate reduces. One SC says that is normal due to the AC cooling the batteries and that Elon is looking for a way to muffle the noise. When I open the driver door, sometimes, that noise goes away. I'm bringing it to a 2nd service center for other issues and to check it out and see if they say the same thing.

     
  5. Zextraterrestrial

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    was your climate control turned on? (when you opened the door)
    this might change the way heat is routed through the heat exchangers?


    I noticed that at some point my car had a deep pitched rumbly vibration while supercharging, I didn't note the SOC or charge rate at the time but it was bad enough that i could not be in the car for more than a few seconds without feeling nauseous. Almost sounded like a garbage truck was outside next to me.
     
  6. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

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    It was... although not to the extreme. Set at 70, with about 66 outside (and sunny though) with Eco mode on. Still odd that the sound died literally the same second I opened the door though...
     
  7. brianstorms

    brianstorms Member

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    A few times when it was really hot out and the car was hot and I happened to be at a SuperCharger, I've found my car's cooling system to be SCREAMING within a few minutes of starting to charge, as it attempts to try to cool down the batteries (or whatever it is the system is doing).
     
  8. pgiralt

    pgiralt Active Member

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    I've noticed the sound while supercharging as well and it is exactly the same sound as the air compressor when it goes full blast in the middle of a really hot summer day. I also noticed the same thing that it stops when you open the door and this actually concerned me because the charge rate doesn't slow down which makes me think that there is less cooling going on. Even if you don't close the door, it will eventually ramp itself back up again, but I still don't understand why it stops when you open the door.
     
  9. towatana

    towatana Member

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    Did it sound like this?
    VIDEO0002.mp4 - Google Drive
    I asked about it at Tesla SC and was told this is normal when battery cooling kicks in.
     
  10. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    Yep. The first time I Supercharged, we were sitting in the car when that sound happened. It started low and slow, then crept up to a full on scream. The silly thought of the car exploding did cross my mind, as it was quite unnerving. You could hear it outside the car, and I narrowed it to the fans sucking air through the two coolant radiators under the headlights. The vanes in front of those radiators were open and a HUGE amount of air was sucking into it.

    Kinda scary, kinda awesome, mostly cool.
     
  11. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

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    That's it, thanks a bunch. Maybe I'll just cancel that appointment then...
     
  12. SFOTurtle

    SFOTurtle Active Member

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    I had this happen a few days ago in the late afternoon at the Vacaville SC. It was maybe 65F, and I didn't have the AC on and didn't open the door, but the sound eventually subsided and disappeared. The next day I Supercharged at Gilroy in the morning, and the car didn't make a peep.
     
  13. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    #13 SCW-Greg, Feb 19, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
    Yes I'm certain this is normal operation. Mine does the same when Supercharging, even at temps in the 40's. When you're dumping 120kW on the pack there is a lot of heat/resistance created. Heat is the enemy on battery life, so keeping them as cool as possible, is the goal.

    Not sure how the AC pump is doing double duty (in theory) for both cabin and batt pack, unless it's a separate pump.

    My daughter's boyfriend actually was apart of the development team for this motor (third party company). It was chosen because it's a super efficient DC system. I need to ask the name of the company.
     
  14. Zapped

    Zapped Model S - PURE EV

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    I've heard that sound also while supercharging at Atascadero. The battery was almost empty but the sound did go away as the battery filled up.
     
  15. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Yes.
    Yes.
     
  16. gelden

    gelden Active Member

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    Mine does that sometimes even when charging at home.
     
  17. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    AC fans going frenzy could indicate a sub optimal clima agent level in the AC system. Probably due to leaks, sometimes when the system is overfilled. SC should have a standard procedure to check the AC system's efficiency. Could anybody ask for the results of the "AC performance test result"?
     
  18. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    I think the car goes in to "Ready for pilot entry" mode when you open the door, and does several things: slightly rolls down the window, starts waking up consoles, decides if cabin HVAC needs to be activated, determines if it needs to illuminate the charge port, etc...

    Given that the HVAC system in the Model S supplies cooling capacity for both the battery as well as the cabin, it's likely that the system is momentarily giving the cabin settings priority. I'd guess that if you stood there with the door open and did nothing for a bit, it would resume as the battery pack demanded additional cooling.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The system appears to be a single compressor system supplying cooling capacity for both the pack/drivetrain thermal management systems, as well as the cabin cooling via heat exchangers. It also uses wast heat from the motor/inverter to in turn provide heat for both loads as well.

    I started a thread on it with a diagram as well as as some patent explanations here at: Thermal Management
     
  19. andrewket

    andrewket 2014 S P85DL, 2016 X P90DL (soon 100)

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    I've used SCs a handful of times and have never heard the cooling system in my car kick in like that. This includes last summer in 80F. Weird.
     
  20. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    Yeah, actually me neither... I've heard the cooling kick in some, but not full bore like that...
     

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