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My First Road Trip tomorrow

Discussion in 'Model S' started by SeminoleFSU, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. SeminoleFSU

    SeminoleFSU Member

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    Tomorrow I'm taking my GF up to Chattanooga, TN to ring in the new year... We've got a nice B&B reserved, and champagne ready to roll... etc

    I definitely want to make sure the trip in my car goes without any problems... Don't anticipate any for such a short trip (Stockbridge, GA to Chattanooga/Lookout Mountain) but I figured I'd let you pro's give me tips, or if anybody who's from Chattanooga wants to chime in with the most reliable charging stations, I'm all ears...

    My plan is to do a standard charge tonight and right when I wake up set it for range charge from the app (preferably in bed.) :cool: It should be finished well before we're ready to leave if I bump up the amps to 40 (from 30) on my 14-50.

    I'm guessing we'll stop at the Cracker Barrel on the way in to hit the first available chargers on plugshare that seem to be regularly used. After that, who knows... I know we'll probably get over to see Rock City, and maybe Lookout Mountain... both of which look like they have chargers too... All Blink stuff. I'm surprised the area really looks like it has a lot of charging options... There's even one a block or so away from the Public House where we plan to have dinner. I'm expecting no issues at all even though I've never charged anywhere but home.. :scared:

    Any advice though, I'm all ears.
     
  2. Btrflyl8e

    Btrflyl8e Active Member

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    It looks to me like you really only need to worry about charging overnight in order to make the trip home (maybe a little charging when you can to be sure to cover any side trips).
     
  3. SeminoleFSU

    SeminoleFSU Member

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    I was basically going to have it on a charger whenever possible, and I'm hoping the B&B won't mind me running it on an 110 extension cord overnight :)
     
  4. Btrflyl8e

    Btrflyl8e Active Member

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    You'll only get about 3 mph on 110, and maybe 19 mph on most J1772. Just for planning purposes!
     
  5. AndyM

    AndyM Member

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    You're definitely ready, and your plan is perfect. If you're not sure you can charge for a long time overnight, then your plan to charge near where you are stopped is great. I've taken a couple of those trips where I've just decided to stay a little longer at a destination to get a few extra miles. For example, if you plan for a 90 minute dinner, make if a 2 or three hour dinner stop. I'd estimate 17 miles for every hour of charge at a J1772. If convenient, find a J1772 close to your hotel, and make one, long charge overnight.

    Back of the napkin calculations... 140 miles to get there, means you're going to use 170 rated miles. Easy for an 85 kWh battery, running tight for a 60 kWh battery. You will need about 10 hours of J1772 charging to make the trip back, plus the around-town driving you want to do.

    You will be confident if you remember to charge up to 120% of what you need to drive, and consider 7 extra miles for every 1000' up in elevation you need to go.
     
  6. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    This sentence caught my eye. I'm not sure why you've de-rated your normal charging rate down to 30 A. If you're doing it on account of the car/battery/UMC, stop. Even at 40 A, the charging rate (10kW) is only 0.12C, well below the 1.5C rate used at SuperChargers. Studies done of Roadster charging showed that total efficiency (including charging losses) was lowest at higher charging rates. So, unless there's some concern about tripping the master breaker in your house or something to do with your electric demand charge, just leave the amperage at 40 A.
     
  7. SeminoleFSU

    SeminoleFSU Member

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    I do it because the adapter at the end of the UMC gets entirely too hot. I'm not worried about it that much in the winter since the garage is cold, but when summer comes around I think it will help with avoiding a melted adapter. The wiring of my 14-50 is over engineered. My electrician went one guage thicker than the spec called for so I get 250 volts and 50A (dropped to 40A) steady but the adapter gets hot

    - - - Updated - - -

    I also do it do the charge will complete closer to when I leave. I did read somewhere that lower charging rates are easier on the battery across the lifetime of the pack tho too

    - - - Updated - - -

    thanks Andy! The 10hrs of level 2 charging to get back is all I'm worried about at this point ;-)
     
  8. SeminoleFSU

    SeminoleFSU Member

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    #8 SeminoleFSU, Jan 1, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
    Okay, so I figured I'd report back. Overall it was a wonderful trip. The highlight for the Tesla was a level 2 Blink charger right at the entrance to Rock City Gardens. These were a 5min 1/10th of a mile walk from our B&B, The Chanticleer Inn.. There's a ton of parking at the Rock City Gardens, so both Blink charger spaces were open all weekend, no ICE'ing here... Also, they're right out in the open and by the Starbucks so VERY VISIBLE and VERY safe. Several people walked up and wanted to know what kind of car it was, and two workers for Rock City (including the manager) were very pleased to see the Blink chargers getting use. I have a feeling those two spots (right up front to the entrance) rarely see EV's in them.

    The best part about having those chargers there meant I was able to leave the car on the charger overnight and do a range charge so we were ready to trip back to Stockbridge in the morning. I must say this trip was absolutely painless in an EV... We did try and find some other chargers in downtown Chattanooga whenever we went down the mountain for meals, etc... however, none of those scout missions were successful. Granted we didn't spend a ton of time looking since we knew the Rock City ones were available, but not being able to find the 2-3 we looked for was disconcerting.... If you get into "what if" those weren't working at Rock City, I'm sure we'd have found some other ones to use, but they wouldn't have been nearly as convenient or safe. Probably necessitating a taxi ride from charger to B&B and back...
    One thing I will say is this was the first time I've range charged... and I was pretty disappointed with the numbers I got. I only have 8k miles on the vehicle, and when we left GA I range charged to 257, when I range charged at Rock City, I woke up and it was 258. To only have 8k miles and have that much range loss from 265 (what it's supposed to be) is concerning also. And, as others will tell you- driving with the 21" wheels means any numbers the car provides you can forget about. .. even when I had the cruise set at 65, I wasn't getting close to the rated miles... This was with the HVAC on range mode (and heat set pretty low... 65-67ish using mostly seat warmers)... ambient temp was 42-45 both days... Still a very comfortable drive and would definitely do it again. Definitely recommend Rock City light show for Xmas or NYE and highly recommend the Chanticleer Inn.

    One other interesting thing that happened was the car stopped responding to the Tesla App during the day yesterday... Not sure why because I had solid signal and when I parked it there to charge in the morning, it was pulling up on my phone just fine... Very strange... it was so cold last I didn't bother to walk back to check on the car to make sure it was charging because I could see on the blink network that the charger was still in use, and it conveniently emails/texts you when charging stops or becomes disconnected. Since I didn't get a text or email, I felt fairly confident the car was still charging even though I couldn't reach it through the Tesla app.
     
  9. jerry33

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

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    Yes. I had a B&B put in a 14-50 for me.

    A couple of things here:

    1. It takes more than two range charges to balance the pack, and the rate at which you charge appears to be important. Some folks do a balance charge at 6 amps (208-240V) or 16 amps (120V) to balance. It takes a couple of days to complete. You are also supposed to leave it plugged in for a while after the charge completes as it's reputed to do more balancing then.

    2. LiIon chemistry is supposed to lose about 5% the first year and 1% the following years.

    3. All SOC values are an estimate.
     
  10. SeminoleFSU

    SeminoleFSU Member

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    #10 SeminoleFSU, Jan 1, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
    Put in a 14-50 for you? Wow, you must be a frequent visitor! :)

    Yea I don't know how "out of balance" I was, considering I've never done a range charge, ever. The vehicle was a service loaner, and I saw super charger locations in the GPS' history, so I will assume it isn't a super charging virgin and had at least a couple high volt/amp charges... but who knows if they were to 100%... However, from 5200 to 8000+ miles Renegade's been all mine.. and during that time I've only had it as low as 30 rated miles and only charge it to 80% each day.. at first I started set to 40A on my 14-50 at home, but I've since dialed it down to 30 hoping that it will save wear and tear on the UMC 14-50 adapter (which got very hot in the summer at 40A) and also (possibly) go a little easier on the battery, charging at 30A vs 40A. Who knows if it really helps that much, but it gives me a little more piece of mind knowing my UMC isn't running full bore.
     
  11. GSP

    GSP Member

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    If your UMC plug, or any other plug or wiring is getting very warm or to hot to touch, then you are doing the right thing to cut back the Amps until it is no longer hot. I would also get it checked out, fixed, or replaced.

    GSP
     

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