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Charging the Roadster

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by malcolm, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    #1 malcolm, Sep 14, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2008
    I know that the Tesla Roadster has an optional "Storage" setting where the car is left connected to the grid and maintains electrical charge (and presumably system cooling) at a level which is conducive to better battery calendar life. (Can owners do this with the mobile charger as well?)
     
  2. Tim M

    Tim M Member

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    Malcolm,

    Many people make the mistake in thinking that the charger for the roadster is in the connector. It is not. There is only one charger for the car regardless of the connection. It is the onboard charger.

    So to answer your question, yes, the owner has full function of the car's onboard charger regardless of 70 amp garage installed connection or any other connection being used to feed the car an electric current of any value.

    This is what has been explained to me by the Tesla staff.

    Tim
     
  3. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Then I would ask (of anyone who knows) what's all that stuff in the Home Unit. We have seen pictures of it open and there are circut boards and elecrtic do-dads and gizmos a plenty.

    If it is simply a "dumb" unit, would it not look like the inside of a 220V breaker box?
     
  4. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    #4 malcolm, Sep 14, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2008
    Hi Tim

    Yup, I know that the charging control electronics are in the car, I was just wondering if the take-anywhere mobile charger cable is also appropriately rated to maintain Storage Mode battery pack temperatures and charge levels.

    Given the size of the cable, I can't imagine that it cannot, but it would be useful to know the power the Tesla requires "in Storage". Is it always a fixed value or does the power demand vary in order to get the pack to the right levels within an hour or two?

    What happens if you put the car into Storage when it has a higher-than-optimum charge level? Does it run off surplus energy and if so, how? Or can Storage mode only be engaged when the pack charge is below a certain level?

    Anyhoo, apologies for drifting off-topic.
     
  5. DaveD

    DaveD EVs Kick Gas!

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    #5 DaveD, Sep 14, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2008
    Tesla High Power Connector Wiring Diagram

    Here's a wiring diagram of the Tesla High Power Connector:

    2856396962_5087e2fde4.jpg

    The Disconnect Switch (circuit breaker), GFCI and Contactor (heavy-duty relay) all conduct the 70A (max.) current, and so are fairly bulky. The overall dimensions of the HPC are 12 x 15 x 6 inches. As the diagram indicates, the Smoke Detector is a separate unit from the HPC, connected to it by a cable. The Smoke Detector is supposed to be mounted a small distance from the ceiling above the space containing the HPC and Roadster.
     
  6. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    My RangerEV is sortof the same. The charger is in the vehicle, and the PCS ("Power Control Station") on the wall (that many mistakenly call the charger) is really mostly safety interconnect stuff. It has a signal handshake with the charger to make sure it only activates current if it knows it is linked with a good charger that wants power. It also has a clock built in to disconnect power if you only want to charge at certain times of day. Some other public PCS I have used have voice prompts and will tell you stuff like how many kWh was used during the last charge.

    In the case of the RangerEV there is only one level of current (amps / volts) that the Ranger charger will ever take, so all the PCS output the same current. In the case of Tesla they support different types of voltage & amp interconnects so the Tesla charger and interface must have a more complicated interface that lets the charger know how much current it can draw from the currently connected cable. The extra little box inline on the Tesla mobile charger cable must contain the signalling equipment to handshake with the charger in the Roadster and let it know how many watts it can pull from the line.
     
  7. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    That thing looks stupidly fragile to me. Even if the plastic is Lexan I would still think a heavy rubberized case would be better.

    Of course Martin said he does not have his yet so the ones we are seeing might just be prototypes.
     
  8. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    I was told at the London event that those ones are prototypes / design for quick modification at various locations. The customer ones are or will be different.
     
  9. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    #9 malcolm, Sep 26, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2008
    Tesla Motors Seattle Road Show - Tom's Blog

    Thanks Tom.

    Let me get this straight. Tesla cannot sell a 240V/50A mobile charge cable, but an RV manufacturer or supplier can?

    That's nuts!

    How about Tesla just sells an adapter (assuming one will be needed between the car and the cable) and directs owners to a suitable cable product from a national RV supplier?

    Or is that illegal too?

    Does this sort of nonsense apply in the EU?
     
  10. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    #10 doug, Oct 8, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2008
    349_42533282800_1460_n.jpg
    Think this photo might be staged?? There was an article in ABG where the author got a test drive shortly after the LA store opened. He took a photo of the Roadster parked next to a charging station even though the connectors were incompatible. Is the Roadster in this photo actually getting a charge?
     
  11. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Oh, I bet Tesla has their own Avcon to Tesla mobile charger adapter for their own uses. It might not be a "product" they could sell, but it sure would make their road trips easier to be able to top off at all the year 2000 vintage existing charging spots.

    By the way, I think that photo may have been taken at the El Dorado Transit Park and Ride.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. graham

    graham Active Member

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    I remember seeing third-party avcon converter boxes being for sale. I think I may have gotten the link from some post on the Owner's board a year or so ago. So they do exist, and supposedly work with the mobile charger.
     
  13. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    They advertise one here (scroll down to AVCON to 14-50 adapter kit)
    More info here.

    But wait - then Tesla owners will take my RangerEV parking spots!

    Also, there have been many cases where someone overloaded the AVCON charging station and tripped the breaker. Many a RangerEV owner have shown up a charging spot only to find the charger out of order because someone was "experimenting" with it.
     
  14. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  15. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  16. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    #16 doug, Dec 3, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
    Awesome photos! Thanks for sharing!

    _MG_8234.jpg


    Do you have the power cord on a ceiling mounted retractable spool?
     
  17. graham

    graham Active Member

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    I am also interested in the details of this. I have been trying to decide the best way to do the same thing.
     
  18. billarnett

    billarnett Member

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    Here are couple more pix of the cable setup:
     

    Attached Files:

  19. billarnett

    billarnett Member

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    Not rocket science: the HCP cable is just attached to an unrelated conduit by cable ties.
     
  20. graham

    graham Active Member

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    #20 graham, Dec 4, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
    *grin* That is much much too low-tech!
    You must come up with a better story to tell people in the future when you show off your set up! :biggrin:
     

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