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Storage recommendations and battery charging while away

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by SnakeEyes, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. SnakeEyes

    SnakeEyes New Member

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    Are there any best practices for non-use of your Model S, particularly around the battery?

    For example, if I'm away on business and will not be using my Model S for a long period of time, what would you recommend if I'm:

    1) Away for 7-10 days? (Leave the car plugged in the whole time in my garage?)
    2) Away for 11-20 days?
    3) Away for 1 month? (Have a friend take it for a drive while I'm away?)
    4) Away for 2 months?

    Thanks for any tips.
     
  2. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Tesla recommends always leaving it plugged in. I usually will set my charge percentage to 50 or 60% and leave my charge timer to come on after the lowest TOU price tier. The car will wake up and top off every couple of days or so. The longest I've left my car is about 2 weeks.
     
  3. jerry33

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

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    Leave it plugged in. Set the slider at 50%. Don't worry.
     
  4. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    What he said.
     
  5. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

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    Repeat this adage: A plugged in Tesla is a happy Tesla.
     
  6. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    And do yourself a favor if you're on Time-of-Use rates and set the charge timer in an off-peak period. When the car wakes up to top off, it will respect the timer settings and only charge on or after the scheduled time.
     
  7. kWh

    kWh Member

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    Tesla recommends not leaving the Model S unplugged for more than two weeks. Long periods of unplugged storage can, reportedly, destroy the battery and it will not be covered by the Tesla warranty. I would never plan to do this, but it is not so farfetched to imagine situations where the car "becomes unplugged". The most likely example that I can imagine is that a house sitter, maid, home handyman, etc. unplugs the car while moving materials, carrying out the trash, etc. and forgets to plug the cord back into the receptacle. Is there any on-board system that could, at least, warn the owner, like an SOS email?
     
  8. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    You could check on it with your iPhone app periodically.
     
  9. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Welcome! Check out this blog from 2012
    Plug It In | Blog | Tesla Motors

    The software has greatly changed since then but I'm sure they mean with sleep mode enabled and a standard charge you're looking at a year according to Tesla. You're at least looking at well over the 2 weeks you quoted even if you ran to empty.
     
  10. djp

    djp Roadster 2.0 VIN939

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    Yes, the battery can be destroyed (bricked) by dropping down to zero charge, but it takes months (not weeks) to get there, and bricking is covered by warranty.

    Tesla reserves a buffer below zero miles to reduce the risk of harming the battery, and the car will protect itself by shutting down all systems if the charge gets too low. It can stay like that for months (although the 12V battery will die).

    Definitely keep the car plugged in when possible, but a couple of weeks at an airport isn't going to hurt it.
     
  11. djp

    djp Roadster 2.0 VIN939

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    Also see:

    Creating the World’s Best Service and Warranty Program | Blog | Tesla Motors

     
  12. Bill D

    Bill D Member

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    While being away for extended periods with your MS plugged into an HPWC and the slider set to 50%, I wonder if there's any advantage or disadvantage to leaving the max current set at 80A?

    Might setting the max current lower be better? Perhaps 10A or less.
     
  13. djp

    djp Roadster 2.0 VIN939

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    It won't make much of a difference. If the SOC is above 50% it'll slowly bleed down without charging. Once the vampire drain brings it to 50% the BMS will do short charge cycles every 1-2 days to top up. The charge cycle will be too short for current to matter.
     
  14. Chris Naps

    Chris Naps Member

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    #14 Chris Naps, Mar 20, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Hello! I would definitely recommend looking at this video:

    This gentleman left his Model S 85 KW battery for 27 days in winter time - in Norway. That means... less than 32 degree weather for 27 days.

    He left it at 90% before he left.

     
  15. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    This video was made way before the current updates of software improving the vampire drain.

    I was recently gone for two weeks. I left with 168 miles, set the slider on 50% plugged in. It did not charge while I was away. When I returned it had 152 miles. My garage likely averaged 55 degrees F.
     
  16. taraquin

    taraquin Member

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    I really can`t see at problem if you leave your car unplugged in 10-25C for 2 weeks unplugged at 50-60% charge (I have to do this every summer). Except from topping of the battery every now and then and the temperatures isn`t rising to high, what damage can it do to the car? The battery will always be in the shadows so the temperature would have to be above 30C before it`s starting to feel uncomfortable. I can see that this is a problem i Arizona and Texas, and also in the winter in Canada and Norway where temperatures could go as low as -30 C.
     
  17. djp

    djp Roadster 2.0 VIN939

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    Actually the temperature needs to be above 60C before the BMS starts to actively cool the pack. Not likely to happen in storage.
     
  18. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    How so? He says he didn't use the mobile app so the car should have been "sleeping" the whole time, and you can see the dash start to boot up when he opens the door. There were updates when he arrived back, but he would have been on a release that does have sleep mode.
     
  19. jerry33

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

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    Wouldn't it wake up occasionally to charge the 12V battery (at a minimum).
     
  20. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Date on the video was January and he was gone for a month. Guessing that he was running 5.0 to 5.2 firmware vintage 11/13. That was when everyone was complaining about vampire drain the loudest. We have come a long way since then.
     

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