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HVAC in Model 3

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by NoPetrolDream, Apr 5, 2016.

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  1. NoPetrolDream

    NoPetrolDream Member

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    Hello to all; my first post here. Have been lurking for some time and the fabulous debut of the Model 3 motivated me to register and join the fray. Have not yet reserved a Model 3 as due to my height (6'4") I need to test drive one first. Will also want a service center closer to my house than 50 miles across town in heavily congested freeway corridors.

    But I sure like what I see in the car so far! My long term goal, as my user name implies, is to be free of fossil fuels in personal transport for my wife and I. We are also moving our house toward a minimum grid impact/net zero direction with building envelope enhancements and eventually solar.

    That said, I do HVAC for a living (heating and air conditioning) from teaching HVAC design to overseeing operation and installation of HVAC controls for a large state university campus. During the Model 3 debut one of the first things I noticed on interior shots of the car was the absence of conspicuous dash a/c air outlets. Nor did I immediately see slot diffusers for windshield defrost. I have heard various chatter about "Dyson" type air distribution from the dash; perhaps a continuous slot diffuser marching horizontally across the dash. With the prominent landscape oriented center screen shown, replacing the traditional location for a center stack with dash outlets, this makes me wonder how well conditioned air will move through this car. Car a/c (in cooling mode) in all other cars is largely spot cooling from concentrated blasts of air from the dash vents, with ambient (surrounding air and surfaces) cooling a secondary benefit as the car cools down on a hot day. If the Dyson diffuser has no way to direct or deflect a concentrated blast of air onto or away from a person, it makes me wonder if we're looking at a potential disappointment in HVAC performance (in cooling mode particularly). I want to believe that rather than this being the case, the Tesla design team is once again leading the way by making disruptive design changes that actually work. Personally, with some exceptions, dash vents in most car interiors are rather ugly.

    Since I live in hot, humid Texas, a great a/c is one must have in any car purchase I might consider (as well as being able to fit in the car! :) ) I look forward to someday when my local Tesla store has one parked out front that I can test drive!
     
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  2. xmetal

    xmetal Member

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    I can't point to which video it was, as I watched a dozen "first drive" ones from the reveal, but in one of them the engineer/driver mentioned something about clever AC vents that aren't visible. He wasn't very specific but it sounded like something more diffuse instead of the traditional direct vent setup.
     
  3. Brad_NC

    Brad_NC Member

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    At this point you can reserve and by the time your name is called to configure one, you can probably test drive someone else's, or maybe the tesla store nearest you may have one on display. Elon has said that a person who is 6'5" will be able to drive it.

    Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 9.24.57 AM.png
     
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  4. eye.surgeon

    eye.surgeon Member

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    I welcome real innovation but I hope this new HVAC system is an actual improvement over what has been proven to work. I don't want the falcon-wing doors of air-conditioning here in hot Fresno.
     
  5. navguy12

    navguy12 Member

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    I'm a newbie here as well (just did my reservation). I note your aim for enhanced building envelope and future solar panels. I'm up in eastern Ontario. 15 years ago, our home was spec'd as R2000 (as it was known back in the day), things like 8 inches of spray in foam walls and ceilings, radiant heat (hence insulated slabs). We added a solar water heater 10 years ago and a 5.7 kWh solar PV system 6 years ago. You will never regret going extra on the insulation or going solar. Last winter was record cold and this winter record warm. The total delta in heating costs between the two extremes is less than $200 for the winter. Solar water heater dropped natural gas use by 25%. Solar array makes us a net producer of electricity by 1.5 MWH a year. Most of the juice that will feed my new ev will come from my rooftop. Stick with your plan. Good luck. Cheers. Mike.
     
  6. NoPetrolDream

    NoPetrolDream Member

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    I missed that comment by Elon but it is very encouraging nonetheless! On reveal night, watching it live, I must admit I felt almost as giddy had I actually been there. I felt I was watching history in the making.

    I do hope Model 3's go on display in the stores once production ramps up. Going to a Tesla store is a refreshing change from ICE dealerships. The car practically sells itself. I have test driven a Model S and love the car, but it's above my budget, as I believe is true for many already in line for a Model 3. I also expect Tesla will ramp up construction of service centers; it is a must to support expected exponential growth of the Model 3, Model Y, etc.

    In the meantime I'm currently driving a '14 Sonata Hybrid, which has proven to be a highly competent car...more than I expected after purchasing it a year ago. Couldn't help but see some subtle design cues shared between my car and Model 3. :) Much as I like the car, I still want to go petrol free with my next car purchase. Since Tesla has committed resources to the Supercharger network, that makes my EV road trip capable, which means I give up nothing by becoming ICE free. This is the main thing that will make EVs mainstream. Good range. Sexy looks such as Model 3 is an awesome bonus.
     
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  7. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    I just hope the A/C isn't designed to blow cold air directly on both my hands as I hold the steering wheel, as nearly every car's A/C seems to do. If I want cold air on my face, my hands always seem to pay the price.
     
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  8. CuriousG

    CuriousG Member

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    I also watched some video where someone combined a bunch of videos and narrated about what they know about the car so far. In one portion he mentioned the AC vents during the keynote when Elon was talking and they had a skeleton model of the 3 in the giant background screen. In it they showed I think 3 black slits lining the general dash area. I think it was only speculation on his part.
     
  9. NoPetrolDream

    NoPetrolDream Member

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    Nice to hear from another who understands the value of a great building envelope and solar! My climate is obviously different from Ontario Canada, but the basic philosophy is the same: do a far better job of managing heat flow and air movement through the building enclosure than most conventional residential construction is set up for, and the energy footprint goes way down as comfort levels go way up. So far at my house (57 years old) we've installed a reflective metal roof (hot climate), new windows, thermal bypass remediation, and air sealing. Lately we've had afternoon high temps in the upper 80's (fahrenheit) and my neighbor with a black roof has been running his a/c whereas our house interior stayed in the low 70's with no a/c engaged all day.
     
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  10. favo

    favo Model 3 Reservation Holder

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    At about 0:49 in the video below, the Tesla driver is talking about the screen on the dash and mentions it allows air flow to come out of the slot (which I take to be along the whole length of the dash).
     
    • Informative x 1
  11. navguy12

    navguy12 Member

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    Work with nature, it will save loads of cash and be more comfortable.
     
  12. NoPetrolDream

    NoPetrolDream Member

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    Thanks for posting that video. The driver points to "that slot" as he sweeps his finger and hand across the entire dash, noting that the air distribution will be "innovative" throughout the car. Let's hope it's also "effective".
     
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  13. Booga

    Booga Member

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    I wonder if the new design involves detecting presence of people in the car. So if it knows that the driver is the only one there, the car automatically adjusts airflow to benefit them most, rather than heating/cooling the entirety of the car. (There will be plenty of spillover despite this) Either that, or if a specific person if hot, do they maybe have temperature readings and the car can target them? Just thinking out loud.... I know some BMW's detect where people are in order to adjust audio settings for an optimal experience, and so that's where the idea came from.
     
  14. biosci

    biosci Member

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    Hopefully the heating/cooling is really good. With an all glass roof, the summers could be brutal! Unless the glass has some sort of magical tint or is crazy insulating...
     
  15. melindav

    melindav ☰ reserved

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    #15 melindav, May 1, 2016
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
    During the Reveal test drives, some of the drivers comments were regarding the glass roof. One specifically I remember the passenger commenting that the car they were in, the roof glass was clear and asked if it would be tinted. The driver said yes and they were taking what lessons were learned from the Model X and incorporating them.
    If I can find the specific video I am thinking about, I'll add the link in here.

    talk of tint around 1:55
     
  16. McHoffa

    McHoffa Member

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    I'd assume due to the location of Tesla's headquarters and the gigafactory, that a good cooling system is taken into consideration. It's not like they're making the cars in North Dakota.
     
  17. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    As long as it has a sunroof:

    tall-william-engessor.png

    PS: This is William Engesser - he was 7' 3". The still above is from 'Gator'.
     
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  18. Booga

    Booga Member

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    American cars are designed in Detroit so it's no surprise that they're often built with a smooth ride versus Japanese brands. Detroit has some of the worst roads around due to all of the snow they get...

    I hope Tesla strongly considers the needs of their car in colder climates. While they're made in a place where it's not as big of a deal, many people here live in colder areas. That said, I'm sure they are aware of it even if it's just due to battery consumption.

    The EPA should almost give range numbers for different areas to be more usable. Someone like me has to plan on a range loss in the winter, though with a range upgrade for 300+ miles, I'm not too concerned about the weather impact.
     
  19. McHoffa

    McHoffa Member

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    Considering the Netherlands is one of the places they're extremely popular, you've got nothing to worry about there either.
     
  20. TrickyDimitri

    TrickyDimitri Soon...very soon my precious. Model ≡

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    My Prius does that as well based off of weight in the front seats. It is cool.
     

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