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Cooling Supercharger handle faster charging? YMMV

Discussion in 'North America' started by CuriousG, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. CuriousG

    CuriousG Active Member

    Dec 1, 2015
    Elk Grove, CA
    So I was in Manteca to Supercharge on the way back home yesterday and upon arrival there was one car charging in stall 4A. This was about a quarter after 2 so temperature outside was around 100F. I parked in stall 1A and handle was barely warm to the touch. I proceed to plug in and hop back in the car with the AC on 70F. Immediately I'm charging at 114kW so I thought it was going to be a good charging experience this time. It didn't take long before it dropped to about 40kW as indicated in the light green line below.

    So I go back outside and touch the handle and it is hot at this point. So I proceed over 1B. During this time no cars arrived so there isn't a load at this site. I don't recall if the one Tesla charging left at this time. The handle was barely warm probably due to temperature outside but I start off with a decent charge of 102kW and it quickly drops within 5 minutes to 40kW again. I go back outside and touch the handle and it is hot.

    I remember reading in a thread where someone put a cool towel on the Supercharger handle and it helped. So I'm not claiming to be the first to try this but at least document my scenario. I always carry with me a microfiber towel in case I need to clean up fresh bird poop or something. And I did have with me that day a vacuum sealed metallic water bottle and the water was still cold 8 hours later. I did check that the louvres were open to help cool the battery, which I understand can hamper charging speeds. So I soaked the 12"x12" towel with cold water and wrapped the handle with the towel. I figure if anything I won't have a hot handle to touch at the end of the charge. I was hoping for it to help right away so I was disappointed to see nothing changed. But within 5 minutes it started to go up from my 40kW charge rate. Slowly it kept going up until it peaked at 50kW and remained there until it started to slowly taper off towards the end of my charging.

    Theoretically since the charging rate had been drastically reduced, the cable had time to cool down and ramped up once it cooled down. So I guess it could be a nothing to see here moment.
    • Helpful x 1
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  2. Mine GO BOOM

    Mine GO BOOM Member

    Jul 11, 2016
    In hot weather, it is probably the chargers themselves in the racks that are overheating which is causing it to charge slower. Jumping between 1A and 1B means you are still using the same charging hardware. Try swapping to 2A, 3A, etc. I've been at superchargers where a number (1A+1B) at the station is just bad chargers, and switching from 1A to 2A may get you the faster charging. If this happens, I call in to the support number to let them know. Sometimes I've gotten back from them that the stall I just called about has shown a fault, and they'll send out a technician.

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