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My filling station is down...

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Nathan Smith, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    So yesterday my part of the great state of PA got hit with a pretty nasty winter storm. End result - no power at my home. When I noted that Met Ed expected it to be Sunday before everyone gets power back, I had about 85 rated range on my car. Using recargo and plugshare I noticed only two options for power. Both are more than 10 miles away - one provides about 15 miles per hour charge (I know as I sat there for a number of hours), the other I haven't been able to reach. I am looking for suggestions on managing this scenario - given a need/want to actually use said car.
     
  2. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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  3. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    I was down near west cheater today and saw a loot of areas out of power. Its scary and makes me want to charge full (vs 50%) every night, but as jerry said, charging on a generator is possible.
     
  4. strider

    strider Active Member

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    If it's a localized outage this problem will go away as more charging stations come on-line. You can go and visit one of them. Or if you have a nearby friend with power you can take your UMC over there and plug into their dryer outlet or whatever.

    If it's widespread you're out of luck if you don't have a generator. Keep in mind that gas stations don't work without power either so you'd be in the same predicament w/ an ICE. Drive to someplace with power or wait it out.

    Also you can install solar and a battery system* if you're truly worried about it and then you can create your own Model S fuel at home. Yes it's expensive but cheaper than building an oil refinery in your back yard ;)

    *Yes, I realize solar doesn't work in the snow. It was a general statement.
     
  5. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    I would love a solar system - been waiting for solar city to come to my area. Nearby friends who have generators are sized way too small to address this.
     
  6. lorih

    lorih Member

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  7. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    Thanks for the link. Reading the comments was especially useful relative to solar installs
     
  8. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    One tip, when you do need to drive I would keep the climate control completely off. If you must, just use a seat heater and dress really warmly. The heater is, by far, the biggest energy suck in cold weather. You can at least maximize the range you do have left that way.
     
  9. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    Leave the car overnight at a close-by friend/neighbor charging at 120?
     
  10. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Solar will work in the snow so long as the panels are not covered in it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    P.S. Moving this thread to the battery and charging section.....
     
  11. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    As it turns out, all my nearby friends are dark as well. Might be time to find more :p
     
  12. idoco

    idoco Member

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    Having two all electric vehicles, grid tied solar with backup, and currently experiencing my second extended outage due to bad weather, I feel qualified to make a few comments.

    Recharging off of solar during an extended power outage may be possible, but not practical. Let's take your average 60 mile commute. At a nominal 300Wh/mile you will use 18KWh of energy. Normally if charging off of a 40amp/240v circuit you would charge at a rate of ~10KWh. So it would take you ~2 hours to charge.

    Now lets look at solar. We have a medium size 10KWh residential solar array. During the winter months the average production is about 15KWh/day (range 0-40). In the summer the average is ~40KWh/day (range 0-60). So for an average winter day if you used all of the solar energy for charging you would not meet your average electric vehicle need. If you got lucky and had a sunny day in the winter then you would be in a better situation.

    Note that this is if you used ALL of the solar production for charging. In reality you probably still want to supply the house. So on the demand side, running only the bare essentials (well, air handlers for heat, septic, fridge, a few lights and TV/computer), we average about 15KWh. So on an average day solar supplies the house with nothing left for charging. On a good day you will have extra for charging. But who knows whether it will be a good day or bad day after a storm!

    We have battery backup which buffers the good day/bad day variation and also allows us to have electricity at night. So if we have a 0KWh day of solar we can use 15KWh from the batteries. Then hopefully the next day will be a 30KWh day to run the house and recharge the 15KWh energy used from the batteries. This includes no electric car charging!

    So my recommendations for recharging BEV for use during storm outages.

    1. Charging ahead of a storm with an expected outage is a priority! Odds are you won't even need to recharge before the power comes back if you take this one simple step.
    2. If your power is out at home you can usually find some charging near your destination/work. If the outage is so widespread that you can't charge at work you probably won't be going into work and hence no need to drive long distance. Around here if the power is out the streets are closed from downed trees and wires.
    3. The majority of residential solar installations stop producing electricity when the grid goes down to prevent back feeding the grid. If you want to use solar in an emergency you will need a system that "islands" itself to keep it on when the grid goes down. If you are going to do this you will probably want to add battery back up for night time electricity.
    4. A quality backup generator for charging is probably better than relying on solar for charging unless you have a really big solar array (>20KWh) or a really big battery backup capacity (>60KWh).
     
  13. teslasguy

    teslasguy MSP P#1117

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    Marcus, we never lost power and you always know where I live!
     
  14. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    My power station is back on-line! :biggrin:
     
  15. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    According to "Camp & RV" app, these two RV parks near you have 50 amp electrical connections. They look like they are 10 minutes away (8 miles and 15 miles from Jacobus)

    ezeveme3.jpg

    e7u8y4et.jpg
     
  16. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    See...

    That's what I had missed - didn't think about RV parks. Thanks for pointing that out.
     
  17. pilotSteve

    pilotSteve Member

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    yes but were they in the power outage area too? Would want to call them before using up my last few miles getting there to charge...
     
  18. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    pilotSteve,

    Good point - as it turned out, 1 most definately was without power while the other likely would have been useful. But since I didn't think about it... That all said, so happy to have my car charging right now!
     
  19. jyinger

    jyinger Member

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    I am considering solar panels to feed Tessie (and the rest of our household). Have any of you had experience with Solar City or Ferengo? Do you recommend making the commitment to solar panels?
     
  20. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

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    It would probably be better if you just asked your question once in your own thread instead of multiple times in someone else's thread.
     

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