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Degraded superchargers are a continuing problem

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by immolated, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. immolated

    immolated Member

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    I took a road trip from LA to Vegas, and experienced 40 kW max at both Redondo and Primm superchargers. I was not sharing a stall pair, and charging in the 10-40% range where my car normally gets 100-110 kW (which my car got just fine the next day). After my trip, I called customer service and the rep was able to instantly look up supercharger info and confirm that those locations were degraded, and he could see everyone else getting <40 kW. Why can phone reps see this info instantly but we can't? Max charge rate and degradation should be added to the "stalls available" info on the touchscreen map so we can plan around the problems. I was late to work and had passengers, so this gave their perception of Tesla a black eye. Also this was my third road trip this year where I've run into this, so the individual supercharger problems really need to be fixed faster because it's way too common, especially with the mass production of model 3's starting soon. Charging on long distance road trips is really the only downside of owning an EV so this is a very important issue to iron out for Tesla, don't make it worse! It needs to be 100% reliable!
     
  2. KarenRei

    KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei

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    #2 KarenRei, Aug 6, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
    Good suggestion. Have you suggested it to Tesla?

    If it's an overheating problem, Supercharger V3 will likely fix it, because it's likely to have cooled cables with an onboard supply of chilled coolant (they have registered patents for this, it's the obvious solution to the problem, and if they want to go to higher powers without making the cables unwieldy it's the only solution)

    On the other hand, the base Model 3 only charges at a max of 66kW.
     
  3. scaesare

    scaesare Well-Known Member

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    My last supercharging session I also had to swap stalls in order to avoid slow supercharging... and not a pairing issue.
     
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  4. Webeevdrivers

    Webeevdrivers Member

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    Did i understand that right. A model three can only charge at 66 KW on Supercharger or Chademo? I would not have expected that.
     
  5. DrivingRockies

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    Base model is significantly shower than long range. 130 miles/30 minutes vs 170 miles/30 minutes IIRC
     
  6. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    The cooled charging cables were an experiment, but as far as I know, they haven't made it into production yet?

    Maybe that's why supercharger roll out seemed to have paused in the warmer and high usage states (Like CA). There are some 40 stall SCs planned around here soon, I hope that means they've figured out this problem.
     
  7. KarenRei

    KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei

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    V3 hasn't made it into production yet. All we know is from Tesla's patents (which include coolant, but don't specifically say "V3") and Musk's statements (that V3 will be significantly more than 350kW). Externally-supplied, chilled coolant means no cable heating issues, and - if vehicles are given ports to accept it, rather than it just being used to cool the cable - potentially faster charge times (colder coolant in the pack, no limits on how fast the vehicle can get rid of the heat imparted to the coolant). So far, though, there have been no official announcements of capabilities or deployment schedules.

    Supercharger. 130mi/30 [email protected]/4 kWh/mi = ~65kW. They're larger format cells, meaning you can't draw heat out of them quite as quickly. There may also be some tighter software constraints because they have to be more cautious about warranties on a cheaper, more mass market vehicle.

    In short, if you have to share a charger, share it with a M3 ;)

    It's not as bad for M3 owners as it sounds, though, as their vehicles use less power per unit distance. But not as good as MS.
     
  8. Webeevdrivers

    Webeevdrivers Member

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    Thanks for the explanation. We are not Tesla owners but would like to be someday. Both of our vehicles are EV's but we can't get a Tesla until

    A. We can afford it
    B. They build a service centre closer than 500 km away.

    Cheers.
     
  9. arg

    arg Supporting Member

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    The fact that Tesla has a patent on something gives little indication that it's actually likely to appear in product - like everybody else playing the patent game, they file patents for anything they think of that's remotely relevant to their business just in case it comes in useful.

    The car already has substantial cooling capacity, so to improve on this via coolant supplied from the charging station would require something really quite large in the charging station - and to little benefit as the car's cooling capability is rarely a limit on charging rate. It could conceivably be something for the future for cars with significantly different batteries in them.

    The cooled cables/connectors would however address an issue that's close to the limit in today's superchargers (or maybe over the limit, per the title of this thread).

    That's an average figure - they are saying 30 minutes to about 55-60% capacity on both versions of Model 3.

    30 minutes to 55-60% is also what we see today on Model S, so apparently the fatter cells aren't having much effect.

    It is of course 55-60% of a smaller battery, hence the actual charge rate in kW will be less than a Model S, in proportion to the battery size - but if your figures are right then the peak charge rate will be more than 65kW.

    And crucially, it looks like the user experience is exactly the same as the Model S - the smaller M3 adds range (in both % and miles added terms) at about the same rate as an S70, while the long-range M3 is comparable to an S90D or S100D.
     
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  10. immolated

    immolated Member

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    Yes, I have emailed this entire message to [email protected] and [email protected], submitted feedback on the tesla website, used the in-car bug report feature, posted on reddit, twitter, and here. If anyone here agrees with me and is experiencing similar problems, please do the same so tesla takes notice quicker.
     
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  11. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    Did you try changing stalls?

    I don't have an immediate explanation for Redondo, but Primm likely has nothing to do with broken/damaged equipment at the site or on the car. One of the things I learned on my big road trip last month is that hot connecters are throttled.

    At one deserted site in Georgia? on a 95 degree day, I noticed the connecter was hot when I plugged in and it only ramped to about 50kW. So I assumed it was degraded, and moved to the next charger - and immediately got a ramp to 90 kW. But within five minutes, it was back to fifty. The other side of the same charger stack did the exact same thing, and all the cords felt equally warm when unplugged. (My assumption is that someone had just finished charging on the first one I picked before I arrived.)

    I'm pretty sure that Tesla is monitoring the connector temperature and throttling to limit it - and that this is the driving limit in most hot ambient areas. That's why cooled cables are so interesting - they can give us back the higher rates in high ambient temps.
     
  12. KarenRei

    KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei

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    There's a difference between realtime cooling to near ambient vs. or limited by a compressor, versus unlimited cooling with coolant just above freezing.

    And if Supercharger V3 is to be well more than 350kW, unless that's well more 350kW divided by many lower power lines, it *has* to be cooled. Both for heating reasons, and to make the cables light enough to handle.

    Versus 80% on Model S/X.
     
  13. arg

    arg Supporting Member

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    Indeed, if you installed enough hardware you could achieve much more cooling. But the car already has quite a lot of hardware - for the off-board solution to make any difference, then it needs much bigger compressors/radiators etc. so it's big and expensive.

    Could all be done if it's really needed, but is it needed?

    I don't believe Supercharger V3 (or anything else) is going to result in 350kW charging of any Tesla vehicles that that we know of, apart from perhaps the Semi Truck.

    The "350kW - child's play" comment was made in the context of solar and batteries at supercharger sites - so a supercharger SITE that makes 350kW look like child's play is entirely on the cards. Tesla have since told us to expect future supercharger sites with 100+ stalls (which would be 10MW+ total power with current superchargers), which would be plenty to satisfy that particular boast. Supercharger V3 having more than 350kW per cabinet is also entirely plausible.

    Really? 30 minutes to 0-60% seems a much more familiar result on Model S (both my experience and other figures I've seen published here).
     

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