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AZ Superchargering Woes?

Discussion in 'Mountain/Southwest' started by apacheguy, Oct 28, 2016.

  1. apacheguy

    apacheguy S Sig #255

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    Hey Arizonians,

    Over here in CA we've been having a terrible time supercharging beginning earlier this summer:

    Some California Superchargers not providing maximum charging rates

    Personally, I've not experienced normal charging rates in over 8 months, despite having no such difficulties in my first 3 years of ownership. A lot of folks have been blaming thermal stress, and if anywhere in the US is a test bed for extreme heat, it is Arizona.

    Can you comment on your experiencing charging this summer? Both positive and negative appreciated.
     
  2. azdryheat

    azdryheat Member

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    No problems at Cordes Lakes and Flagstaff SC except for one stall in Flagstaff had a much lower charge. Moved one stall over and was getting about 3x the charge. Can't remember exact numbers.
     
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  3. araxara

    araxara S-P85#3,218 X-90D#3,299

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    #3 araxara, Oct 28, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
    We drove back from San Francisco to Tucson on one of the hottest days of the year a few months back (116º in AZ). We had no problems in both CA and AZ. The only problem we had was not Supercharger related, but rather A/C related: due to the A/C lines being reversed on the Model X, the A/C cut out a few miles before the Quartzsite supercharger and didn’t come back until after we charged and drove for about 10 miles.
     
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  4. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    I charged here in Texas at >105F this summer with no problems whatsoever.
     
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  5. ce2078

    ce2078 Member

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    I travel Phoenix to Los Angeles at least once a month in my MS. The worst I have found on my normal route is Indio. I've noticed that some Indio charge plugs get very hot, while others do not. And by hot, I mean uncomfortable hot, you don't want to hold it very long. When this happens the charge rate slows way down. A few times I took a towel soaked in ice water and 'cooled' the plug while charging, the charge rate increased when the plug was cooler, then decreased as it warmed back up. Thus I think there is a thermal sensor within the plug or charge port limiting charge rates. My guess is this is likely caused from higher than normal resistance on 'well used' plugs. With the amperage our cars draw, just a small increase in resistance will definitely add quite a bit of heat.

    At Indio the stalls closer to the enclosure are worse than the ones farther away. I think 3B and 4B are best. Those plug heads stay cooler and charge faster.

    This also is not charger related, it is definitely stall related. 3A could be slow, move to 3B and its faster. Many times I am the only car here as I travel back very late at night, so its not due to others charging.

    Our Buckeye charger, even in 110+ weather doesn't slow the rate down and the plug head stays much cooler. IIRC any time I have a slow charge rate (not caused from sharing a charger between cars) I notice the plug head is hot.

    Maybe we should start taking note of plug temps when we notice slow charging?
     
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  6. apacheguy

    apacheguy S Sig #255

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    Noted. I will try the cool towel trick next time, but I have never noticed the handle being uncomfortably hot even when I experience the throttling.
     
  7. ce2078

    ce2078 Member

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    If you wait until the car throttles then the handle will cool down. The copper inside the cable and car will sink the heat fairly quick.

    Maybe it's not the problem at all locations. Maybe it's a combination of cable and car wearing. My car currently has 124k miles. I have been planning on swapping out the connectors inside my charge port with some from a 30k mile port to see if there is any improvement.

    For reference, when I say slow, it will drop below 100 amp charge when hot.
     
  8. WARP 10

    WARP 10 Member

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    We made a trip recently from San Diego to Santa Fe and used the SCs in Yuma, Gila Bend, and Cordes Lakes in 90+ degree heat. No problems with rate of charge, but when I went to unplug the one in Gila Bend, it was too hot to touch. Used the bottom of my t-shirt to get it back in the rack. Didn't notice any decrease in the charging rate, though.
     
  9. ce2078

    ce2078 Member

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    I've had them that hot before. I've only used Gila Bend once so far, but will actually be there soon with my two MS. I will definitely be watching as both will be needing a full charge. My 2013 has 124k+ miles and this other one is brand new @ under 3k miles - definitely a good test of new vs well worn charge ports.

    If you think about it, 124k miles is at least 496 insertions of a plug into the charge port. That's figuring charging from below 10% to 90%, which rarely happens in my case. So most likely 2 to 4 times that count, if not more. Anyone know the life expectancy of a charge port? And the superchargers see much more than that. So wear is going to result in some added resistance, but just how much, and what is "too much"? I think a few stalls at Indio might already be at or past "too much"...
     
  10. Lu Ann

    Lu Ann Member

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    I have supercharged in Flagstaff, Cordes Lake, and Casa Grande in the last two months. I haven't noticed any changes in the speed of the charge. In Casa Grande the handle was too hot to touch though. I literally could not hold it with my bare hands long enough to pull it out. It was probably about 108 degrees out at the time and I was in full sun in the afternoon.
     
  11. ron8853

    ron8853 Member

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    Charged at Gila Bend around 7 AM on 10-25. Only was charging at rate around 30 mph. Tried various chargers-same result. Called Tesla service and within a few minutes was up to around 50 mph. Tesla said it probably was a local electric company, as both the chargers and the car appeared to be functioning normally. Yuma was charging at full rate around 10 am.
     
  12. apacheguy

    apacheguy S Sig #255

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    Yep. I've had the "utility power fluctuations" explanation given before. I believed it when it happened at first, but it's happened too many times for me to buy this excuse.
     
  13. pdxrajiv

    pdxrajiv Member

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    Recently I have charged multiple times at Cordes Lakes, Flagstaff, Casa Grande, and Quatrzsite and never experienced a slow charge. I did experience an uncomfortably hot charging wand once during a relatively hot day (~90 degrees).
    Experiences reported in this thread seem to exonerate outside temp as a contributing factor.
    That leaves wand wear, charge port wear, and power supply fluctuations (although power supply fluctuations could be correlated to outside temp use, due to heavier AC usage).
    If SC wand wear is an issue, I expect it would affect CA superchargers much more so than AZ or elsewhere - CA SCs are the only ones I have noticed being used very heavily. ce2078's experiments/experience with 120K+ miles vs 3K+ miles car charge ports should provide interesting data regarding the impact of charge port age on charging rates. I also wonder if SC charging vs home chaging affects the charge ports differently - so it may not simply be a "total miles traveled" issue.
    In theory, any one or more of these factors could be the weak link in a specific situation, and eliminating that weak link can improve the outcome significantly.
    Tesla probably has the data - I wonder if they have someone looking for patterns in the data,
     
  14. Gig103

    Gig103 Member

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    A trip to Vegas for Thanksgiving was my first SC experience. I found that Wickenburg (and Las Vegas but that isn't Arizona) were much slower than Kingman. What is a "normal" rate? I saw all three ramp up to about 110kW but then quickly drop to about 50kW. I know they taper off the charge as we go, but this 50kW I saw was before 80%.
     
  15. apacheguy

    apacheguy S Sig #255

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    Right. If the rate falls precipitously it is not consistent with the normal taper which is much more gradual.

    So basically this is NOT normal:
     

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  16. wang5150

    wang5150 Member

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    Supercharged at Quartzite and no problems when it was over 100 outside....
     
  17. Gig103

    Gig103 Member

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    Is that a sample chart, or something that you witnessed at an SC? Around what SoC is a Model S supposed to drop to 50kW?
     
  18. apacheguy

    apacheguy S Sig #255

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    No, that is real data that I collected. IIRC, 50 kW crossover is somewhere close to 75%.
     
  19. Gig103

    Gig103 Member

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    Thanks - and since I still don't quite get it; that's data that indicates a problem with the SC, not the car itself, right?
     
  20. apacheguy

    apacheguy S Sig #255

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    Correct, it is believed that superchargers are delivering far less than optimal rates at many Califofnia locations. We are not certain of the cause.
     

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