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Charging at COTA

SammichLover

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I'm looking at getting on the track at COTA some time this year. Given the distance to the Austin SC, on-site charging to supplement makes it far easier to get time running at a respectable SOC (>70%). Has anyone here had recent experience using their NEMA 14-50 RV outlets, and can give an idea of what the pricing is? Plugshare has it listed but there's only two check-ins, the last one was two and a half years ago.

I know at least a couple Model 3s were spotted on-track there last fall. I was just wondering if it was anyone here or someone here knows who it was, and if they used those RV plugs.

Alternatively if someone has a connection for access to a welder plug or something and could help out that'd be awesome, too.

P.S. DM is okay if you want to keep it private info.
 

ewoodrick

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Apr 13, 2018
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I have no idea about the plugs, but if the track has camping, then that's what they are, they should work, at worst, pay for a motorhome spot.

The 14-50 is used for campers with 2 or more air-conditioning units. A single AC camper uses the 30A 12V TT plug.
 

SammichLover

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I have no idea about the plugs, but if the track has camping, then that's what they are, they should work, at worst, pay for a motorhome spot.

The 14-50 is used for campers with 2 or more air-conditioning units. A single AC camper uses the 30A 12V TT plug.
They do indeed have 14-50 RV plugs. I've sent an email, haven't heard back yet.

I did also send an email to the club running the event to see if they know anything, and to try get a detailed schedule for session times so I'll know if I'll have the minimum 2hrs between (3 would be better) that I'll need to recover to make it four full sessions. Also need to be able to get out of the main paddock area and over to the RV stalls, and walk the 1/2 mile back, for each charge, so not sure if it'll fit their even agenda and plan that way.

I don't know what the situation is for private garages and "off menu" stuff is at COTA, if there is an edge I can lever on there. That's the angle I'm working at Houston MSR, blazing a little Tesla/BEV trail. Getting a lot of friendly support.

P.S. Pretty sure weekend traffic and distance to the Austin SC puts that out of the picture. Traffic to the Richmond SC isn't as much an issue but distance and just normal travel time makes it slightly more-so to do a mid-day re-fill and start with a respectable SOC. But this would be HPDE so there is required stuff to do between sessions, it isn't just a social day.
 

Cosmacelf

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Ok, so I’m here at COTA during an SCCA race weekend. If you have access to a garage, then each garage bay has one NEMA 6-30 receptacle, good for 240v, 24A. They also have European Mennekes blue and red plugs (since COTA is built for Formula 1), but building an adapter for these plugs would be expensive and tricky (but not impossible).

Out by the RV park area, they have standard NEMA 14-50 receptacles, good for 240v, 40A if you can get your hands on a version 1 Mobile Connector, rather than the version 2 Mobile Connector that I assume you have, which would only give you 240v, 32A. I just thought that I should check to see if those RV receptacles put out 240V or 208V. I have a meter with me, maybe I’ll check tomorrow.

If you charged at the RV area, I’d recommend either chilling with your car, or get an electric scooter or something to travel back and forth to the paddock area.

As far as pricing for RV plug access goes, I would imagine that would be a question to ask the track weekend organizer or COTA. Attached are some pics.
 

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SammichLover

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Much love. This is very helpful.

Some events do have garage access, for a price. Pricing is $300/quarter stall IIRC, whatever that means. I assume an F1/Indy team use a sizable chuck of square footage and that's being sub-divided. Using the Mennekes would be....an ambitious project. :) The 6-30 for 24A probably isn't going to be enough. I'm currently burning through 20%+ in 20 minutes, 25 min will push to high 20% or maybe even 30% as I improve. Turns out getting up to >100mph and then seconds later scrubbing the bulk of the energy into the friction brakes isn't so good for the Wh/mile. Sub-6kW isn't going to get it done.

I have been hunting around and do have a line on one of those Gen 1, 40A capable mobile charger. That would make the RV plug probably were I need to go. If it is 240V and I can get 2hr between sessions good chance I make it the day even if driving at a performance impinging SOC by the 4th session. I found the RV park management email and asked about pricing for use of the 14-50 plug, explaining my purpose. I haven't heard back yet, I'll give them until next week and then try phone them.

I don't think I'd have room to squeeze in a bike on top of a change of tires and my prepping gear, but maybe I could find someone else going and they could pack the bike along for me. If not I think you're really onto something with that scooter idea! Would just need to sort something out for that.

P.S. Hope you're enjoying the SCCA event. Are you driving?
 

Cosmacelf

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SammichLover

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Ugg, I'll have to check out the video later because it looks like my connection is running really slow. :(

But enjoy your "proud Daddy" weekend. :)

Have fun at COTA, it is an awesome track. Have you driven there before?
No. I've barely driven anywhere before. :) Model 3 is my first car that could credibly even roll onto a road track. Closest I'd been before was a G35 but that was my spouse's so it was ixnay on the acktray or tuning it in any way.

Mostly my reflexes, butt dyno, and desensitizing to weird stuff happening while I'm moving approximately forward at high speed comes from informal off-road dirt/mud/snow stuff. Part of that that translates to the Model 3 is having 2 axels under power (although I started with RWD first, with dad's vehicles :p ). It isn't the same but it rhymes.

I've got a lot of work over the next 6 months to build skills to make it worthwhile for me getting out on a legit circuit like COTA. Have watched some amateur video of laps there, definitely intimidating but you need to have goals.
 
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quantumslip

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Mar 3, 2015
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For the blue european plugs the best you could do is to get the blue plug to UMC adapters (like this one: European CEE 32A Blue Commando (Caravan Mains) Adapter for Tesla Model S/X/3 Gen 2). They also have a 14-50 to blue plug adapter as well (European CEE 32A Blue Commando (Caravan Mains) to NEMA 14-50R Adapter)

To really be able to take advantage of the red plug you could just buy a portable DC charger, but alas since the model 3 isn't compatible with chademo still that's probably a no go, plus those chargers would be a couple thousand dollars. Also not sure how easy it would be to get one of these in the US. (example: Mobile DC 22 kW - CHAdeMO, CCS Combo | Designwerk GmbH – "Denkfabrik der Elektromobilität"). Funny enough an European model 3 would pair nicely with such a portable charger to get 22kW, or use the red plug directly with the appropriate cable (since it can do 3 phase) and get 11kW.

If there's a 277V connection somewhere you could do this with a UMC (Info from Tesla - 277v feed to Wall Connector (HPWC) - Which Cars Support It), but that probably violates a bunch of codes.
 

Cosmacelf

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Actually, if you look at the pictures of the plugs, they look like they both are limited to 16A, so it wouldn’t be better than the 14-50s at the RV area,
 

quantumslip

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Oops I missed that. But still how are you going to get more than 32A single phase out of that? You can get 40A single phase out of the NEMA 14-50 in the RV area.

That's where a portable DC charger would come in, which of course would be expensive and the model 3 doesn't support chademo or CCS yet (at least in the US).

It seems like there may also be a way to combine the phases; I don't know how that works but someone has built a box that can do it: Chargers. However it is a lower powered one, so someone would have to build one that's higher powered to get the max power (48A in this case for Model 3). However that's probably not worth it as that's a marginal increase over the 40A of a 14-50.
 

quantumslip

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Mar 3, 2015
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It seems all the blue plugs are 1 x 16A ones. There are red to blue adapters so you can plug in the 32A blue plug into one of the red ones.

I took at look at lower right red plug in the picture that shows all the plugs and it seems that one is a 3x63A plug. Not sure if it's a good idea to pull a lot of current on 1 ph but you could get up to 48A for the model 3. Of course if you could plug in a 43kW DC fast charger that would be the best, when Tesla ever enables Chademo or CCS on the Model 3 (via adapters).
 
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Cosmacelf

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Ok, maybe the last word about charging at COTA. Attached are three pics of a pedestal outside the garage area near the track entrance. It’s basically a remote pedestal for the receptacles inside the nearby garage. So, the only slightly crazy thing to do would be to get a Wall Connector and build a custom 60A capable pigtail wired into a Mennekes plug that could pull 48A, 240V from this receptacle. Probably want to get an OK from COTA first.
 

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SammichLover

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So, the [totally legit, reasonable] thing to do would be to get a Wall Connector and build a custom 60A capable pigtail wired into a Mennekes plug that could pull 48A, 240V from this receptacle.

I couldn't read the text on the last pic but no worries. I'll try get hold of someone at COTA to see if they're OK with the idea. Then I can get them to confirm the plug spec #. Pretty sure I could build from there after ordering a matching male end and try that into the back of the HPWC. I've got some spare 2wire 6AWG UF from my garage install, that'll be up to spec for using it as a pigtail (sheathing on that underground stuff is tough, and it's all 600V rated), and 6AWG is good for the 48A. I actually think it would be slightly less if that's 277V, as it'll drop the amps to keep under the ceiling which is 11.5kW IIRC. 11.5kW right on-site like that should get the job done.

If I get the nod I'd just pull my home HPWC for the day or something. It's not like it'd get used for this often.
 

SammichLover

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I got an email back from the manager of the RV stalls. They are pricing a day on the NEMA 14-50s at $20 (which is well below their normal day for for parking an RV). I'll confirm they are good with me adding that and their contact info to plug-share.

Still waiting on info for the paddock area. Haven't pushed hard on that yet, it is still down my todo list. I've had a busy few weeks (new jobs and a bunch of stuff).
 
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Cosmacelf

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Wow, look at her go, Awesome!!!!!

Thanks! Since this is a COTA thread, here she is racing at COTA. It was very cold (flurries, freezing rain) and wet. Only race addicts were racing that weekend. This clip isn’t as exciting, but gives you an idea of the track. Very wide, safe, but lots of elevation and technical turns as you would expect for a Formula One track.

 
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