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Charging in the snow...charging {started/interrupted}*repeat

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Bitjockey, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. Bitjockey

    Bitjockey Member

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    I usually charge indoors with my HPWC when I'm at home, but at my cottage, I use my UMC with a 14-30 adapter to charge while parked outdoors. I took delivery of my S85D in June, so this is my first winter experience.

    On New Year's Day, the car was covered in several inches of snow, temperature was just below freezing. I used my Android Tesla app to increase charge limit so that I could return home the next day. Right away I got a flurry (sorry) of notifications, approximately every 5 seconds, alternating between "charging started" and "charging interrupted".

    I ran out to the car to see what was going on: the light around the charger ring was alternating between blue and green as charging was starting then stopping again.

    In the past I've always been careful to make a "drip loop" so that any water accumulated on my UMC cable would drip down instead of entering my charge port. I did notice the charge port was covered with snow, so I gently took my finger and removed the snow from the illuminated ring, being careful not to disturb the charge plug. After doing this, charging finally started and kept charging without any interruption.

    Has anyone else ever experienced this?
     
  2. dirkhh

    dirkhh Middle-aged Member

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    Yes, I've seen this as well. If the pack is very cold it can't take a charge (that's why you get no regen). There seems to be a weird interaction with the EVSE at this point. The Tesla app on my phone showed me no fewer than 25 "charging started / charging interrupted" cycles over about 20 minutes. Thankfully this was a free charger (208V/20A) at a local museum, so this won't cause billing issues - I wonder how this would work out on a Blink charger.
    After all these cycles the car finally started charging at 16A (so that's about 3.3kW) and the app showed 6 miles per hour - so a substantial part went into heating the pack and not charging the battery. About another 15 minutes later the numbers drifted into the more typical (20A, 4.1kW, 11 miles per hour - still lower than the 12 that I usually see at that charger)
     
  3. Jim MacInnes

    Jim MacInnes Member

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    I have experienced something similar when the plug at the car was not fully inserted.
     
  4. dirkhh

    dirkhh Middle-aged Member

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    In my example above I am certain that it was inserted completely. I checked and I've charged at this charge several times before
     
  5. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    I had the same experience a week ago in Park City,UT. I was using my UMC at 240V. It was fully plugged in and had completed charging my 85S the previous day. Temps dropped to about 8 deg F, I got several messages on my phone and went outside to investigate. Ring was flashing blue then green then a clicking then back to blue. The blue snowflake appeared on the dash and a message about "regen disabled".
    I left it alone and a few hours later, when it warmed up, all was well.
    Wondering if my 12V could have dropped to a low enough voltage to cause some misbehavior?
     
  6. Bitjockey

    Bitjockey Member

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    Yes, in my case, the car charged properly the day before, the car/cable were not moved in any way.

    When charging finally did start, it was charging at about 3km/hr, but soon after ramped it's way up to full speed (about 30km/hr).

    Good to hear it's not a hardware fault, just another quirk of charging in cold weather.
     
  7. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I'm going in to my 4th winter with the car, and have not experience that (yet). I also will use my UMC outdoors at the cottage. What I did have (several times) was several UMCs that went bad and gave me flaky connection problems similar to what you describe. It didn't seem to have anything to do with indoor vs. outdoor or cold vs. moderate temperatures. Some UMCs failed in the summer and others in the winter. Each time, Tesla replaced my UMC which would work flawlessly... until the next time and repeat.
     
  8. Bitjockey

    Bitjockey Member

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    Thanks for that data point. Charging has been the most problematic issue for me (the button on my 2nd HPWC died a few months ago, and now perhaps a failing UMC). Now that the holidays are over, I will remind Tranmere that they dropped the ball on replacing/repairing my HPWC, after repeated requests.
     
  9. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I also have had issues. As far as I can tell, my issues stem from the contacts in the UMC handle "wearing out" or getting dirty. Even though they looked clean and shiny, a swab with a Q-tip would reveal a fair bit of black "crud". I asked Tesla about using an electronic contact cleaner spray and they were adamant that I shouldn't do that. The only thing they recommend is a can of compressed air (like you'd use to clean a keyboard).

    I've had my HPWC for about 6 months now and so far, so good.
     
  10. Bitjockey

    Bitjockey Member

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    Good news, an electrician just came by to replace the HPWC's cable, now it's functioning as it should. :biggrin:
     
  11. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    Charged today in the snow at Truckee Supercharger... no problem:
    IMG_20160105_104225.jpg
     

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  12. regenerative brakes disabled and will not charge... at first

    Just got my first winter warning re regenerative brakes disabled.... drove for 5 min then parked to charge at my home in Philadelphia. I was very concerned when the charge warning on my phone app went on and off ten times. Then the app showed 0 miles per hour charging. To say the least i panicked as i have a trip to take in a few hours...by time i got inside and logged onto this GREAT resource ( my first post ) i noticed that the charge was slowly increasing...what is typically a 30 mile per hour rate is up to 18. I've read this thread and i thank all for explaining the normality of cold weather charging.... one question remains.....will the regenerative disabled mode go off once i start driving for an hour or so or will it remain off while the temp stays low ( presently 19 degrees F. )
     
  13. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    Once the battery warms up,regen returns. This usually takes less than 30 minutes. Same with charging. It's best to charge when the battery is warm (when you arrive at your destination rather than in this morning).
     

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