TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

Can 120kW Superchargers be “retrofitted” to lower watt “Urban” style Superchargers?

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by 4SUPER9, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. 4SUPER9

    4SUPER9 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Messages:
    1,920
    Location:
    California
    I wonder if it is possible to retrofit a classic supercharger to an Urban supercharger. Well, of course it is possible. The question is, how feasible is it? Do the stall cabinets needs to be changed, or is that just cosmetic?
     
  2. Tech_Guy

    Tech_Guy ALWAYS IN LUDICROUS MODE! P90D>P100D Upgrade

    Joined:
    May 6, 2016
    Messages:
    1,101
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    All standard superchargers are paired / shared between A and B stalls the first one plugged in gets most of the power and the remaining unused amount is shared with the other person. So you saw 41kW because the other person was using 79-89kW of the 120-130kW available for that paired set.

    Its also worth noting for you that there is a new type of Urban Supercharger that Tesla has started installing in some areas. These stations top out at 60kW so they arnt as fast as the regular ones, however the bonus is that everyone who plugs in is guaranteed 60kW. You can tell if a supercharger station has these by looking at the description on the map when you touch the supercharger station...

    heres what they look like [​IMG]
     
    • Helpful x 1
  3. miimura

    miimura Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Messages:
    2,978
    Location:
    Los Altos, CA
    Correction: Urban is 74kW, not 60kW.
     
    • Helpful x 1
    • Like x 1
  4. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Messages:
    15,345
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    Tesla states the Urban Superchargers max out at 72kW according to the Find Us webpage.

    7C1B8421-716E-4418-A695-E9C58CA77086.png
     
    • Informative x 1
  5. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Messages:
    4,142
    Location:
    United States
    ??? For what purpose? IIRC 120kW superchargers already curtail output if the grid can't handle the draw. So a classic supercharger can be a Urban Supercharger if it needs to be.

    I don't understand what the utility here is that you're going after... do you just like the look?
     
    • Like x 1
  6. Chuq

    Chuq Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2015
    Messages:
    1,723
    Location:
    Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
    The SC cabinet supports up to 145kW. I believe these cabinets are identical across both types of installations.

    In the case of classic SCs, this 145kW is split between two stalls. One stall can get as high as 120kW, but this is only reached in optimum conditions (no car on the other stall, battery has low SoC. temperature, etc). Of course, the combined power being delivered to both cars cannot exceed 145kW.

    In the case of urban SCs, this 145kW is split equally between two stalls - max 72kW each.

    Now as far as the aesthetics of each stall type go, I don't know if these are 100% aligned to the charge rate configs as mentioned above.

    The 145kW number above is for new installations, I believe older ones were 135kW and very early ones were 90kW but they have probably all been replaced now.
     
    • Helpful x 1
    • Informative x 1
  7. 4SUPER9

    4SUPER9 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Messages:
    1,920
    Location:
    California
    Cosmetics is not an issue at all, hence my question. Is there a difference between the two stall cabinets besides cosmetics? Infrastructure, likely, but the connector at the stalls? I don’t know, and why I ask.

    The purpose of Urban superchargers is to guarantee a max charge of 72 kW, even if you arrive to a paired stall. Yes, this would give a slower rate than the classic supercharger, but the chances of ever getting more than 72 at Culver City, Qualcomm, Redondo Beach, Fountain Valley, etc (all built before the inception of Urban style), is unheard of. On a remote location, I still want the classic style. At super congested sites, Urban chargers have a major advantage.

    No, a classic cannot act like an Urban, at least not that I am aware. If you were to arrive second to a paired stall at a classic site, you will have a massively reduced charge rate, and not the 72 kW as you would at an Urban style one.
     
    • Like x 1
    • Disagree x 1
  8. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Messages:
    4,142
    Location:
    United States
    Ah... so you want to ensure you get ~72kW and not what's left of ~135kW which could be ~20kW....

    I would imagine this is possible via software but I don't think nerfing a bay to 72kW to ensure an empty bay could also get ~72kW if another car pulls in would work out as well as you think it would. The objective is to pump out kWh as quickly as possible. There are easier solutions that could help a lot like adding an indicator to the bays to guide an arriving car to one with the best charge rate. When I pull into a busy 10 bay supercharger with 4 bays occupied it's annoying to try to determine which bay isn't shared. Or worse if they're all shared try to sleuth out which car has been there the longest...

    Hopefully some future SC version will have a common DC bus so that the 500kW that's available is effectively disbursed instead of being split between cabinets and split again between bays. If Bay 1A and 1B are both occupied with low SOC cars it would be nice if cabinet 2 could sent a few kW over to cabinet 1 so both cars can charge at >100kW.
     
  9. 4SUPER9

    4SUPER9 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Messages:
    1,920
    Location:
    California
    Yes, that is exactly what I was thinking. What if a classic supercharger gave a max of 120 kW, unless paired. As is, the rate already drops when paired, but not to all the way down to 72 kW. At least, not until sufficient charge has achieved. I guess what I am looking for is some type of hybrid. Imagine a classic supercharger that can give 120 kW, but automatically decreases to 72 kW when paired, guaranteeing the newer arrival to also get 72 kW. This would be alternative to the slight decrease it gives now. It seems to me that this could be accomplished by software.

    My original question though is still interesting: for these locations that are overwhelmingly congested, where the classic supercharger with a peak rate of 120 kW is likely never to be achieved, 1) can they, and 2) should they, be converted to Urban style chargers?
     
  10. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Messages:
    894
    Location:
    Buford, GA
    Try doing some math. The way that the legacy Superchargers are designed is to give the ability to change rates takes the same amount of time for the second car to charge, but allows the first car to get out faster, something that is desirable, when possible. As opposed to urban chargers that penalize both cars. There is no way to get out of an urban charger faster.

    It may not be intuitive, but just calculate the amount of power that the Supercharger delivers. With the standard Supercharger, the delivery rate is always X (dependent on location) and that is unbalanced spread to the cars. In the urban Supercharger, the charger puts out 1/2X for one car 1X for two.
     
    • Like x 1
  11. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker S 90D 2018.39.6

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,850
    Location:
    Colorado
    Actually, that's not always true. Some locations, such as Estes Park, have an odd number of Supercharger stalls.
     
    • Informative x 1
  12. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    2,372
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Just to add a little bit of detail:
    I am pretty sure they do always stick to that. They use the different looking shape so that we car owners can tell whether it is a standard or urban type.
    The 90kW really old ones I'm pretty sure have all been upgraded by now. But I do think there is still a mix of 120, 135, and 145kW versions spread around across various locations. But of course the urban ones are all the 145kW type, so they can support that 72 + 72.
     
    • Informative x 1
  13. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Messages:
    7,122
    Location:
    Maine
    We don't know whether there is any internal difference between long-distance and urban Supercharger cabinets, so we don't know whether there is any difference in the ability to divide power.
     
  14. brkaus

    brkaus Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Messages:
    4,142
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    The urban supercharger saves cost. It does not need the switch gear to switch the modules between the pedestals.

    It also looks like they might use lower gauge cables.
     
  15. Saghost

    Saghost Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2013
    Messages:
    5,717
    Location:
    Delaware
    Actually, I think the cable is likely the main difference and the driver. I believe the urban sites usually have longer runs back to the cabinet, and with half the peak current they need much less copper.

    I wouldn't be at all surprised if they are identical cabinets with the switching circuits intact and locked to 6/6 by firmware.
     
  16. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker S 90D 2018.39.6

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,850
    Location:
    Colorado
    I can't remember which urban Supercharger it was, but shortly after the first ones opened, someone reported they got over 100 kW. So that location appeared to have the new cabinets but they could charge above 72 kW.
     
  17. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Messages:
    4,142
    Location:
    United States
    1) Probably
    2) No. There's no benefit. You can get people through faster by pumping kWh faster even if that means sometimes 100kW go to one car and 30kW to another. The best solution would be finding a way for cabinets to share power.
     
  18. 4SUPER9

    4SUPER9 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Messages:
    1,920
    Location:
    California
    I get the math (at least I think I do). I would not favor a change from classic to Urban for the reasons you suggested, except for the extremely congested sites where no one gets much more than 72 anyway. That is the one advantage of the Urban chargers. I am thinking Qualcomm as the perfect example. People line up for a long time, only to get 25 kW, or some other pathetic rate, and having to wait a long time to get on their way, resulting in a long back up. If they only need 50 or 80 miles, and got 72kW, they would likely leave sooner.
     
    • Informative x 1
  19. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Messages:
    1,846
    Location:
    NJ
    You don't seem to get the math.
    At a 135kW normal supercharger, if someone is only getting 25kW its because the other person is getting 110kW. Once the 110kW hits the taper then the speed of the other car will increase proportional to the decrease in the first car.

    The only time the urban chargers would be faster is when both cars are below their taper points, which is rare. Even then its only going to be putting out 9kW more total.

    On the other hand if you pull in and the person you are paired with is past their taper point you're going to be getting a tremendous amount more than 72kW.
     
  20. 4SUPER9

    4SUPER9 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Messages:
    1,920
    Location:
    California
    Actually, I do get it. And I get your points too. My point is your first one, and that is the guy who arrives and gets 25kW, who is otherwise capable of getting much more. This is incredibly common at these congested chargers, pretty much a guarantee, and almost unheard of to arrive and get more than 72.
     
    • Disagree x 1

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


    SUPPORT TMC