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My Own Supercharger??

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Alpha, Dec 23, 2012.

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  1. Alpha

    Alpha Member

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    One thing that has me scratching my head about charging is this: If the supercharger option costs $2000 on the 60kWh and is included on all 85 kWh batteries-- what's the point of spending another $2700 on the HPWC and twin chargers, which essentially amount to an inferior charging option compared to the onboard supercharger?? The answer is of course is that you can't install a supercharger in your own home, and the technology will likely be extremely tightly controlled by Tesla. That seems like a bit of a waste and a shame to me. I'd like to be able to use the supercharger technology on my own-- and why not open up the technology to 3rd parties too? Seems like it would only increase the value of the car by opening up more and faster charging opportunities everywhere...
     
  2. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    The supercharger isn't on board. The Supercharger hardware in the car simply opens up a direct path to the battery so that direct DC current can flow to the battery when the supercharger is connected.

    But, more importantly, Superchargers are 90 kW charging stations. That's 375A continuous load at household 240V current, which would require you to have 600A service to your home at a minimum with a transformer that's likely 3x what currently serves your home today. That, and the expertise to work on such large continuous loads is limited -- your average electrician won't have experience.

    Right now, the infrastructure isn't there. Even if you *wanted* to establish a single-bay Supercharger, you're likely looking at significant infrastructure upgrades from the PoCo.
     
  3. Alpha

    Alpha Member

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    Yeah that makes sense. I was just reading this article about it: Tesla Supercharger: An In-Depth Look - Motor Trend
    (nice article by the way.)
    The cable is extremely thick (which makes sense given the voltage and current involved...)
    So, even if I could access their technology, installing my own supercharger would probably cost as much as or more than the car itself, even if I could get that kind of current to my home...
     
  4. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Most people would also almost never need a Supercharger at their house. The HPC with 80A and a 4.5 hour charge time on the 85 kWh pack is plenty fast for most people. Superchargers will come in handy when you are traveling between cities which is exactly where Tesla is putting them.
     
  5. Alpha

    Alpha Member

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    Wouldn't it be cool if some large gas station, like QT or BP saw the light and made a deal with Tesla to put solar panels on the roof and a super charger at one of the pumps (similar to how their is usually just one diesel pump off to the side...) nationwide!? I wonder if Tesla is exploring that opportunity. Once a lot more teslas are on the road, it might make sense for some big player to consider something like that...
     
  6. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    You wish to install your own supercharger?

    You should first ask the price. I'm under the impression that converting a couple hundred amps of AC into DC current is not your basic garage project. First you'd need the AC current, which is basically an entire residential unit's allotment, then you'd need the converters -- all those extra chargers. And then code inspections... I'm guessing you are looking at roughly $50,000 for a supercharger.

    The supercharger locations now are near food and shopping. Outlet stores or those roadside gas station and food clusters. But mostly need the superchargers to be *the* standard for widespread adoption, and that just ain't here right now.
     
  7. DrComputer

    DrComputer Member

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    Where do you think the SuperCharger at Harris Ranch on the 5 Freeway is?

    2012-10-021.jpg
     
  8. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Note, the Supercharger is not "onboard".
    The single (10kW) or dual (20kW) chargers are on-board, but the supercharger unit is "off-board", in other words a large external box.
    The external supercharger provides DC current "direct" to the battery/pack, so there really isn't a whole lot of supercharger related hardware in the car. I think part of the "cost" to supercharger enable a 60kWh is basically a "service fee" to gain access to the network.
     
  9. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    Interesting--thanks for the pic. I thought the superchargers were mostly on Tesla's own properties, although the Connecticut one is in a service/rest area. I'm not sure why I thought this, actually; I just got the impression.
     
  10. Alpha

    Alpha Member

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    Tesla told me on the phone that the supercharger option requires extensive extra internal wiring, and that if the supercharger option is not ordered at the factory there will be no chance to add it on later. I am not an electrician or an electrical engineer, but I would think that without some special tricks, doing a straightline super high powered DC charge of the battery would cause serious overheating. I have a theory that what's really going on is the individual cells are being dynamically rewired internally at charge time into more of a parallel wiring pattern, so that individual cells don't overheat.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Awesome!
     
  11. xhawk101

    xhawk101 Active Member

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    Just wondering has there been any updates as to the cost for 60 kW owners for using the superchargers?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  12. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    I believe the Superchargers actually comprise a stack of the same chargers used inside the Model S. A dozen or so of them are housed together in a utility box nearby. Those chargers must be handling the AC to DC conversion and current flow.
     
  13. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    The chargers are the easy part, really...
     
  14. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    I believe SCs are ten 10KW chargers in parallel. If a second 10KW charger on board is a $15,00 retail option then it would be logical to think SCs are about $15K retail per bay.
     
  15. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    It would still almost be impossible or prohibitively expensive to get the power delivered to your house, even if this were possible I would think.
     
  16. jerry33

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

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    Unless you have a lot of solar panels and batteries. If you're thinking grid, expensive isn't nearly a strong enough word.
     
  17. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Good point. I was thinking grid so I'm guessing the cost of your house or more for an upgrade that isn't really needed. 240V 80A HPWC seems like a much better use of money or even a backup Model S P85 would still be cheaper.
     
  18. jerry33

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

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    No kidding.
     
  19. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    It's $2000 according to the Model S options page--I believe that's just one flat fee to enable it for all time, then it's free to use for the life of the car.
     
  20. TXjak

    TXjak Owner/Investor/Advocate

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    #20 TXjak, Dec 24, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012
    Well, there is another way ... if you can afford it. Instead of using the AC to DC to Supercharger approach, you could go AC to DC to external battery bank and use the battery bank DC to Supercharger. That way you can take longer to charge the battery bank at a lower current flow. Maybe some old Prius batteries would work. It's like you have a spare battery, but instead of swapping batteries, you use it to charge the one in the car. You might also add an inverter and use it in case of power outages to power your house.
     

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