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SF to LA tomorrow: supercharging and brownouts?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by mike-415, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. mike-415

    mike-415 Member

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    Location:
    San Rafael, Marin, CA
    Because we hate flying, we are planning to drive from the Bay Area to Santa Monica tomorrow. This requires a few Supercharges along the way. I have work meetings in Sausalito tomorrow and in Santa Monica Tuesday, so the dates aren't flexible. Any thoughts or insight on how planned brownouts will play out in relation to Supercharging? Nightmare scenario is showing up at Oxnard or Tejon Ranch and having dead Superchargers. For whose who have lived through brownouts, how long do they last? Would it be an hour or two and then back online, or could we be marooned overnight?
     
  2. Lump

    Lump Active Member

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    I would take 101 & avoid Harris Ranch, HR has been known to be flaky, driving back from the shareholders meeting on May 31 it was over a 100˚ & I along with another owner experienced inconsistent charging that we attributed to the heat & problems from the utility..
     
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  3. thecloud

    thecloud As rhythm raced inside, the ship came alive

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    The "planned" rolling blackouts that I recall from 2000-2001 were under an hour, because you don't want everyone's freezers to start thawing out if you can help it. Have also been through unplanned brownouts on extremely hot days; those typically last just a few minutes.

    101 is a nicer drive than I-5, but the tradeoff is that it takes longer. You won't really get away from the heat by taking 101; looks like it's going to be 103 degrees in Atascadero vs. 104 in Coalinga tomorrow. If you decide on I-5, I wouldn't be afraid of stopping at Harris Ranch. They now have 13 superchargers, and a nice air-conditioned restaurant/bar/gift shop to hang out in while you charge. There was one incident last year where the chargers had a power disruption, so Tesla brought in some temporary chargers and portable generators, and even got some flatbed trucks to drive folks to the next supercharger.

    Hard to predict the future here, but if you have all day Monday as a travel day, you should be fine.
     
  4. cpa

    cpa Member

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    You might try going onto PG&E's website this afternoon and early in the morning. They sometimes will list anticipated power reductions by area. I think Atascadero south will be SoCalEdison. Harris Ranch is still PG&E, but Buttonwillow and Ft. Tejon are likely SCE.

    I am not sure if Edison posts potential interruptions or reductions or not.

    We were notified a couple of weeks ago that we would be having reduced power from PG&E from 2-4PM the day before.

    And it is gonna get worse over the next two weeks--110 is forecast for the Valley towards the end of June. :eek:
     
  5. thecloud

    thecloud As rhythm raced inside, the ship came alive

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    Since Monday broke all kinds of heat records, I'm curious what your journey and supercharging experience was like. I assume there wasn't any downtime for SoCal superchargers, or we'd probably have heard about it already. There was a day last year when we were at Tejon during triple-digit heat, and we were quite happy to wait in the car with the A/C running.
     
  6. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

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    SoCal Edison has a decent iOS app for outages.

    The only SC outage I've experienced was at Silverthorne (CO) during a 4+ hour outage that affected the entire town.

    I had called from Cheyenne about half the SCs being down there a couple of hours prior. Had Tesla let me know about Silverthorne then, I could have charged at Denver and had enough to get to Glenwood Springs. However, they didn't, and I didn't, and I didn't have enough to get to even a Level 2 at a Costco in between, so Tesla sent a flatbed to get me to Glenwood Springs instead. With the car an inch from the flatbed, I tried the SC one last time and it worked. Not at full strength, but it was enough to get me the rest of the way, and saved having to get towed.

    I would imagine if any SC was similarly down, absent any nearby alternatives, Tesla would do the same thing.

    One thing you could do is to determine if charging more would get you to the next SC past your intended destination. It would take longer, but you'd have more options that way if any given SC was down. A Chademo adapter might be helpful as well, as would the Plugshare app, as outages so far have been quite localized.

    You could also call Tesla in advance as you got nearer the impact zone to see if all is well.

    Given the relatively low impact so far this season, unless you hear of outages on the news or via Plugshare or similar, I'd probably just not worry about it. Your level of risk tolerance may vary :).
     
  7. Chieftb

    Chieftb New Member

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    San francisco
    Making that trip right now. Traveled down last Saturday and back today. (San Diego to Marin) No problem at all with the I-5 SC. Charging now in 100+ heat at Harris Ranch. Tejon also easy. The car wanted us to make a stop at Buttonwillow. We didn't and needed to slow down to make it here with 6% left. Have done it easily before between HR and Tejon but the heat and speed might have played a role. I've never had a SC shut down. My only wait has been previously in Burbank. Apparently lots of locals clog that one up.

    Just leave yourself extra time for charge stops. It does take longer! Next time I'll try 101. Happy trails.
     
  8. David_Cary

    David_Cary Member

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    This maybe isn't helpful I guess but given the increased solar in CA (esp since 2001), I would expect brownouts to be less of an issue. If they were an issue, it should be in the 5p-9p window when the sun starts going down. But since we are close to the solstice, even 5-6p should be safe.

    Here in NC, our peak is typically 5-6P and when we have issues, it is then. But August is worse than June because of the sun's height in the sky. We don't have brownouts of course, but diesel generators at some hospitals are asked to switch on then. Gives them a chance to run for testing and shaves the peak a bit.

    I would suspect PG&E would have some info on their website that might be up to date when their true peak is. That would be helpful for people who are trying to be nice to the grid. Perhaps someone is on a peak shaving system could tell you when they get shaved.

    Unfortunately the peak doesn't time up well for a dinner time supercharger stop unless you eat late...
     

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