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No juice at the Supercharger

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Dithermaster, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. Dithermaster

    Dithermaster Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2015
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    Location:
    Madison, WI
    We drove back from Springfield IL to Madison WI a couple weeks ago (7/23), and as we approached the Rockford Supercharger we had to detour due to a tree down, and then there were two traffic lights out with police officers directing traffic. We pulled into the mall parking lot and backed up to the SC. Strangely, the button on the charger would not open the charge port door. I opened it with my keyfob and inserted the plug, but it did not light up. It took me that long to finally connect the dots -- big storm, power out, no juice for the Supercharger, and no juice for me.

    We went to the B&N, got some coffee and pondered our options. I was pretty sure we could get home with the remaining charge (car said 82 miles left, map said 78 miles to drive), but with the weather we didn't want to chance it. I found an L2 charger in Janesville (along our way back to Madison) and made it home... with exactly as many miles left as we put in at the L2 (in other words, I think we would have made it back home with 0 miles remaining. Maybe.)

    I think my L2 at home got zapped in the same storm because two days later it stopped working. It's an old 240V Voltec from when I had the Volt. So for the rest of the week I was charging on 120V at 3 mph. Kind of like the opposite of a Supercharger!

    I fixed the Voltec so everything is back to normal, but it was a fun week for charging weirdness, so I thought I'd share.

    P.S. I thought about calling Tesla to tell them about it, but I figured they have telemetry on those things. I was a bit surprised that the car didn't tell me that the SC it was routing me to was out, but maybe it takes a while for them to realize it is down.
     
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  2. odguy

    odguy Member

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    Jun 30, 2016
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    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Do any SC in the US have a battery reserve for power outages?
     
  3. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Dithermaster,

    Good call to leave the Supercharger and charge briefly at a level 2 charger for a bit on the way home. I would have done the same thing (therefore it was a good call :).

    RE a reserve battery for outages, I don't believe any have this yet. But the longer term plan is for all to have older packs installed at Superchargers for this reason (and for grid balancing and storing solar, if Tesla decides to put panels at Supercharger sites).

    Last I heard was that Tesla thought it made sense to localize all solar panels in one place. (Makes sense to me.)
     
  4. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    Delaware
    Several locations in Cali have battery packs intended for demand shaving. I'm not sure how they behave in case of a power outage, though.

    Tesla's stated long term plan was to put battery packs and solar at all (or almost all - some sites may not be suitable) Superchargers to offset the grid demands, but only a couple US sites have solar so far, and I don't know if there are any with both.
     
  5. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    florida.
    none that I know of. things happen. you cannot predict when nature will impact the world we live in.
    www.plugshare.com is handy in situations like this.
     
  6. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    I had the same thing happen to me last winter. I made it to the Supercharger but there was a wide power outage and I was stuck there. Snow covered roads made me not take any risks and I decided to wait it out. Eventually Tesla was able to get me a tow truck to the next Supercharger. All nearby L2 chargers were out of power as well so I had no options.

    Sad this is Tesla know about the power outage at the Supercharger but back then had no system in place to warm drivers. Shortly after my incident, they added the feature where they show you outages or closures of Superchargers in the navigation map.
     
  7. johnnyS

    johnnyS Member

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    The Tejon ranch supercharger has solar and battery backup. I am not sure if the superchargers can operate on the batteries alone. Elon said at the suprercharger announcement that all superchargers would have solar except for a few in the far north. He said they would be a net producer of power so that we are driving on sunshine. Somebody made a nice video about driving on sunshine. Unfortunately the current reality is a little different.
     
  8. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    The batteries at some of the Superchargers are just to help with peak demand cost. They take over some of the load when all stalls are full to prevent the power draw from the grid to peak. The utility companies charge high fees if you go over a certain power level, no matter how short. The batteries don't have enough capacity to take over completely when there is a power outage. 3-5 car might be able to charge just from those batteries if lucky, but that's it.
     

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