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Practical use of the bioweapon defense mode feature

satheesh.net

President | Tesla Owners Club Norway
Aug 10, 2013
159
46
Norway
So I'm curious to know a little about the practical use of the bioweapon defense mode feature. How often do you need to service it? Can I enable it all the time? Like, why would I not use it for everyday driving? Is it costly to swap and how often do you actually need to replace it? There are a lot of unknown factors related to this feature, so hopefully someone here may fill in the gaps.

Video of Elon explaining the HEPA filter and bioweapon defense mode:
Elon Musk launches Tesla Model X (9.29.15) - YouTube
 

Vitold

Active Member
Aug 10, 2015
1,688
1,785
NM
Cars are big source of pollution and you are sitting right in the middle of it. These days I turn on recirculate in bumper to bumper traffic, therefore, if I had bio-defense mode I'd use it everyday.

Life of a filter depends on quality of air it filters plus life of HEPA will depend on quality of prefilter as well. I would expect prefilter needed changing every 3-6 months and 1-2 years for HEPA.
 

satheesh.net

President | Tesla Owners Club Norway
Aug 10, 2013
159
46
Norway
We don't know the answer to your questions yet, but I am sure many people would like to know the answers as well.

I know we don't yet have all the answers. But that's why we can speculate. :smile:

I'm pretty sure I'll be using the bio-mode quite often or maybe all the time. (Depending on the cost for service/replace that is...)
 

satheesh.net

President | Tesla Owners Club Norway
Aug 10, 2013
159
46
Norway
When the doors of the TMX closes you can almost feel like you get sealed in somehow. A little difficult to explain, but it feels very secure, robust and almost airtight. Since they have tested if they could detect any spores/bacteria and failed, I'm assuming the car is quite airtight. But we'll see, a sales gimmick and practical use are two different things. :wink:
 

Saghost

Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2013
8,217
7,008
Delaware
There's a lot we don't know, so far. I may be mistaken, but the way I understood the presentation, bioweapon defense mode is basically a slight cabin pressurization.

I'm pretty sure the car uses the HEPA filter for HVAC air at all times, which should be enough to prevent most issues.

To pressurize the cabin, they need to run the fan faster/harder and restrict the exhaust. Presumably this means somewhat more energy use, but unless the fan motor overheats that should be the only impact (possibly a marginally shorter filter replacement interval if the air is pretty dirty.)
Walter
 

Chickenlittle

Banned
Sep 10, 2013
2,781
4,943
Virginia
There's a lot we don't know, so far. I may be mistaken, but the way I understood the presentation, bioweapon defense mode is basically a slight cabin pressurization.

I'm pretty sure the car uses the HEPA filter for HVAC air at all times, which should be enough to prevent most issues.

To pressurize the cabin, they need to run the fan faster/harder and restrict the exhaust. Presumably this means somewhat more energy use, but unless the fan motor overheats that should be the only impact (possibly a marginally shorter filter replacement interval if the air is pretty dirty.)
Walter
How about China where they need to close schools on days with severe pollution or close factories when international athletic games are to be played
 

AudubonB

One can NOT induce accuracy with precision!
Mar 24, 2013
8,130
27,352
Other HEPA filters I use, like the asbestos removal-certified one in my Festool shop vac, have easily-accessible and user-serviceable filters for cleaning. Same goes for the half-score of room vacuums we have for our lodge. Any answer to this thread's main question is also going to hinge on whether Tesla has made owner-servicing of this filter easy, hard, or fuggeddaboutit.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,752
7,563
Visalia, CA
1) How often do you need to service it?

I assume yearly at least.

2) Can I enable it all the time?

I assume yes. That's what it is designed for.

3) Why would I
not use it for everyday driving?

a) You might not want to use it if you enjoy nature's air more than artificial filtered air.

b)
I don't know how quiet and stealthy the Bioweapon Defense mode is but even in a conventional A/C, pushing MAX mode can be annoying because of its noise and the impression that the system is overworked/overloaded.

4) Is it costly to swap?

Pricing is unknown but there's no doubt that the components with larger area and with activated charcoal are more expensive than plain conventional ones.

5) How often do you actually need to replace it?

I assume at least yearly.



 

cantdecide

Member
Dec 21, 2012
384
237
Boulder, CO
My expectation from what Elon said in Fremont was that there are 2 concepts here:
1) the air filter that is used is a HEPA filter and is always used when the fan is running. Generally cleaner air all the time.
2) bio defence mode is a mode where everything is optimized... Fan at maximum, positive pressure, etcetera. Basically similar to how front window defrost takes over the HVAC to optimize for clear windows.

As such I suspect that you don't normally need to use bio defense mode... Just use the HEPA filter and have the fan on auto and the air will be clean.
If you have the windows down and get skunked... Then maybe turn on bioweapons defense mode for a minute.
 

vankie

Member
Aug 20, 2015
16
0
Menlo Park, CA
if you drive one in Beijing/Shanghai, my guess is you'd want to have the bio defense mode on at least 1/3 of the time you drive. That's about how often the air quality is forecast to be "hazardous". so, clearly, a powerful marketing message for that market.
 

3s-a-charm

Active Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,916
821
Calgary, Canada
One of the most disgusting things is when I am accelerating up a large hill in my Model S and all the ICE vehicles are spewing more than the usual amount of stink from their mufflers - the smell is horrendous. This is when I often think of the Model X filtration system and think about it coming in very handy in this situation.

Also, I'm sure there are a number of parents out there with kids who have severe allergies who will buy a Model X simply for this reason. I see parents buy homes based on the materials used in the home (allergen free homes) and spending 10-20% more on a home because of this. People spend big bucks to avoid allergens.
 

Saghost

Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2013
8,217
7,008
Delaware
if you drive one in Beijing/Shanghai, my guess is you'd want to have the bio defense mode on at least 1/3 of the time you drive. That's about how often the air quality is forecast to be "hazardous". so, clearly, a powerful marketing message for that market.


As mentioned above by a couple of us, I think you're mis-understanding bioweapon defense mode. I'm pretty sure the car will always be drawing its fresh cabin air through the HEPA filters, whether in normal or bioweapon mode.

The difference is that bioweapon mode pressurizes the cabin slightly, so that any leakage around the door and window seals will be outwards. Useful if you have a high risk from a 1 ppm concentration of something that's currently outside which the filter will capture (like say a bioweapon - though to be truly effective there you need to already be in the car when the risk starts, and have a plan to decontaminate the outside of the car before you get out.)

The slight overpressure will be irrelevant in normal operation, especially in places where the air that you exchanged when you opened the doors is the same as the air you're protecting against - Tesla gave you good tight seals on the windows and doors already, it's not like there will be big drafts of bad air coming in.
Walter
 

ptsagcy

Member
Nov 4, 2013
528
176
NJ
If anyone has ever driven through any of the NY/NJ tunnels you will totally understand the need for Biodefense Mode.:redface:
 

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