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Death Valley

Discussion in 'California' started by smilepak, Jun 27, 2017.

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  1. smilepak

    smilepak Active Member

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    Curious to know anyone drove their Tesla Model S through Death Valley and more specifically through Death Valley during the period when it been over 110 degree F. ?

    I wonder how it flair with the high heat and the whole battery heat together.
     
  2. pilotSteve

    pilotSteve Member

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    AC works fine in 110 degree Arizona heat. Of course uses extra energy reducing range. But comfortable!
     
  3. Ken395

    Ken395 Member

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    I’ve driven our S 90D through Death Valley, with a charging stop at Beatty NV (recommended). The temperature on that trip was a mild 90 degrees, so I don’t have the identical experience you’re looking for, but it was a very pleasant trip.

    As far as driving and charging in 110 degree heat I live in the Mojave Desert, so I routinely drive in such temperatures and have Supercharged at 105 degrees. The car has done just fine for me driving in up to 115 degrees (driving the speed limit). And the Supercharge speed was over 90 kW when I charged in the 105 degree heat, although the sound of the cooling fans was very dramatic.

    I’m sure you will be able to drive along the valley floor in Death Valley without any issue. However, climbing up Townes Pass on Hwy 190 could overheat the battery and drive unit if you push it. The recommendation would be to take it easy climbing up out of Death Valley so you don’t loose cabin cooling when the car devotes cooling capacity to the battery and drive train. I haven’t had that happen in any of my desert driving, but I have read a couple reports of it happening.
     
  4. donauker

    donauker Member

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    It wasn't Death Valley, but I had no problem keeping cool while driving 80 mph across Arizona last week when the temperature hit 123 degrees. Also no problem supercharging at Quartzite at 120 degrees.
     
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  5. HumanGenome

    HumanGenome Member

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    A/C hardly uses range at all and is offset a little bit by the better efficiency at hotter temperatures.
     
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  6. smilepak

    smilepak Active Member

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    Huh?
     
  7. Klaus

    Klaus Member

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    Lower air density ("thinner air") = decreased friction
     
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  8. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    In another thread somewhere @AudubonB posted about driving his X in Death Valley recently when the temp was 127. He said he had no problems.
     
  9. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Actually, I said it maxed out for me at 122 - an even 50ºC :) That was last Wednesday (21 Jun) en route to TMC Connect. And yes: all was absolutely fine, although Einstein seemed a little worried.
     
  10. ThortsMD

    ThortsMD Member

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    I think he meant higher temps mean better battery efficiency. While hotter air is less dense, Death Valley is the lowest place in the US, meaning the air is at higher pressure (i.e., is denser) there for any given temperature.
     
  11. smilepak

    smilepak Active Member

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    So with how hot the battery is already while driving, giving the outside air is hot to bring with, no issue keeping the battery cool, car cool, and A/C normal?

    Especially if there are any SC in the area, I wonder how charging would affect it.
     
  12. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

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    #12 Canuck, Jun 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
    To some people's surprise it can get hot up here too - especially in the Okanagan where temperatures can reach 45 Celsius (110 F). It's so much better on range to have to cool the batteries and vehicle, and to drive through thin air on dry streets, than doing the same thing in winter temperatures. There's simply no comparison. Tesla does okay in winter but it really shines in the summer (pun intended).

    You can really hear the air conditioner compressor roar to cool the batteries and keep them cool while charging when connecting to a supercharger after driving in the heat. It takes a bit longer because of this process but it works just fine.

    This is where the Leaf gets killed -- especially charging with a Chademo in high heat after driving. You can almost watch the battery capacity degrade while doing this. It's insane that they do not use thermal management.
     
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  13. DOCAL

    DOCAL Member

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    Temperature has a greater effect though. Death Valley is 200-300 ft below sea level, but the temperatures there could make the air as thin as it would be a few thousand feet above sea level.
     
  14. smilepak

    smilepak Active Member

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    Anyone have a trip around it? I notice there are potential 3 SC locations surrounding the outer rim of Death Valley, so once fully charge, driving around inside it, go back out and SC again I suppose since there is no destination charger or other type of charger while in there.
     
  15. DOCAL

    DOCAL Member

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    There are RV hookups at both Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek. I asked about EV connectivity in Stovepipe and they said it was no problem, I didn't ask at Furnace Creek. I wasn't driving though, so only asked whether they allowed it in general.
     
  16. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I drove my S to Furnace Creek last year and charged at the RV park there.
     
  17. imherkimer

    imherkimer Member

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    I have driven through Death Valley now twice. Explored several different areas of the park. I have an S 85. Never had any issues. It is easy to get extended range, I got under 250wh/mi through much of the park. You drive slow anyway if you are there to see magnificent parts of the park, like the Artists' Palette Drive, or Badwater Basin, Dante's view. Also, if you enjoy mineral Hot Springs, I have stopped at Tecopah Hot Springs to top up, going that way to Las Vegas Supercharger. At Delight's Hot Springs, they will let you charge on a RV 40 amp while soaking at no extra charge. The water was wonderful, and really only needed 2 hours to get to Vegas.

    I actually took the Model S through Death Valley when the only nearby supercharger was at Lone Pine, which I didn't end up using. Charged overnight at furnace creek in the RV campground, at RV campground in Beatty, and then at the Tecopah Hot Springs. There are several different springs there with RV hookups. Always met fun interesting folks at the RV parks. At Furnace Creek we were next to a very large camper "bus" with 5 retired Navy guys riding bicycles all day. In the next lot was another Model S. Navy guys came out saying "they got us surrounded!"
     

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