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Tesla is Steaming Hot

Discussion in 'News' started by vfx, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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  2. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    #2 stopcrazypp, Aug 26, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2008
    Tesla Roadsters reportedly experience glitches during Euro test drives

    Tesla Roadsters reportedly experience glitches during Euro test drives - AutoblogGreen

    Autobloggreen reports one of the drivers in the media test drives in Europe reported smoke from the battery, however the battery smoke alarm didn't detect smoke, the battery was examined throughly to have no problems, and the battery was used in the next remaining 2 weeks of consecutive media drives with no problems. Darryl explains it's most likely a wet leaf (it was raining) hitting the hot motor and giving off steam, given the car was driven at Vmax with repetitive high acceleration.

    The next was a faulty parking pawl sensor which prevent one car from moving.

    They had three cars in total, 2 with 1.5 drivetrains and 1 with 1.0. One was reported to have smoke and another couldn't drive because of the sensor. I wonder how the media will report this, even given the "battery smoke" issue wasn't really an issue; the sensor issue might concern some drivers though given it locks the car and you can't drive it.

    Edit: turns out this is a repost given vfx posted earlier than me:
    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/news-articles-events/1564-tesla-steaming-hot.html
     
  3. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    So that's where Finkenbusch went :smile:
     
  4. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    I see a reporting problem, not a battery problem. :rolleyes:
     
  5. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Yeah, it's not much of a story.
    The only interesting thing is it gives an idea of the thermal limits of the motor.
     
  6. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    A while ago at one of the events, I was discussing the limitations of the car for track use and I pointed out that this was not much different to autobahn driving. The answer was "yes that is a concern".

    Tesla really needs to ensure its customers know that flat out on the autobahn is not a good idea. Even if the thermal issue can be resolved, I think it was vfx that showed you would empty the battery in no time as well (and some of the gaps between interchanges on there are quite long).

    It is true that even old grannies drive at 120mph over there - I've been once and you really have to be on your game. If Germany is looking like a promising market, at least it could be an incentive to engineer in better thermal protection and - I hope - eventually look at a 2nd or taller gear again. The rumoured race program would be useful in this regard.
     
  7. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Yeah, I was just re-watching an old JB lecture at PARC. When asked about why the top speed was less than the Elise he more or less said that speeds over 100MPH are really only used for brief instants out in the empty desert to be able to say you did it. That was probably when the plan was to sell in the USA only. EVs with limited energy storage (compared to a gas tank) just don't seem appropriate for the Autobahn. Besides, Autobahn speeds are really inefficient. EVs are trying to show that they can have a viable range, and if people try to drive them "flat out" they will probably find the range unacceptable.
     
  8. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    This really says it. The Germans are Solar and Wind but the old wasteful (but fun) roads are still there. They should be working on the long range high speed EV issues.
     
  9. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    The reality is that no one needs to do 100mph+ for extended periods, as much fun as it may be, and there are few places where it's even possible. It's not a real world problem that needs addressing.
     
  10. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    I... don't know. The fatality rate PPM is a bunch lower on the Autobahn because you really have to pay attention. What is the right speed given that? Or given that the PPM fatalities went down when the US federal 55mph cap was removed way back when? What's the value of human life vs. the extra energy expended? Or lost productivity due to the lost time for going slower? What if the cars could "train" up to minimize the extra lossage? Would that change the balance?
     
  11. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Hmmm... I'm not sure. As always, correlation does not necessarily mean causation. In general, German drivers are better trained than American drivers. Perhaps the repeal of the 55mph cap reduced the average speed disparity on US roads.
     
  12. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    I think it was a combo of factors - reduction in speed disparity, and a reduction in painful, tear-inducing, mind-numbing, excruciating boredom. Yeah, I'm missing a few adjectives there. But then, we agree, correlation is not causation. I don't think we'll ever know...

    I do know you'll never catch me doing 55mph on a freeway. Life is too short for such stupid things.
     
  13. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    Bottom line, if you feel the need to do 90mph+ for hours on end the Tesla, or any EV for that matter, is not the car for you unless there is some insane energy storage breakthrough.
     
  14. chimpanzee

    chimpanzee Member

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    #14 chimpanzee, Aug 28, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2008
    History Channel aired an episode of Modern Marvels entitled "Autobahn". I sent Martin a copy on DVD.

    Again, progressive German thinking produced the Autobahn concept. After WWII, Eisenhower started a US highway program to emulate the Autobahn. I remember, that there are strict rules on passing on the Autobahn. I think this tight Rules/Enforcement makes ANY driving on the Autobahn (120mph or whatever) safe. Slow cars stay on the right, something like that.

    In WWII, the German Me-109 fighter had fuel injection (Daimler engine) while the British Spitfire ran a carbureted engine. This is not generally known, that in certain climbing manuevers, a Me-109 could gain a tactical advantage over the Spitfire (cough/sputtering engine, due to G-out of carburetor). It is widely written, that the Spitfire (overall) was the better fighter, however there was that ONE exception.

    My point, is that Germans are known for their progressive thinking & use of Technology. In R/C aircraft (A. Cocconi flys at the Rose Bowl, where I fly), it's generally known that the German A/C designers are more receptive to New Technology, than American counterparts. I met a German A/C designer at the MWE 2003 (Mid Winter Electrics R/C fly in at San Diego, international gathering), where his wings had "dams" (like on real-life Russian fighters like Mig 17) to control turbulent air flow (which creates premature stall). You just don't see this kind of sophistication in American R/C planes.

    It would behoove TM to have some sort of German partnership, Technology Transfer. I've personally been in touch with a German CS prof (associated with Fraunhofer Inst), & when I pitched my idea about an Interdisciplinary Collaborative/Cooperative R&D Inst for Alternative Energy (TM would be a client), he IMMEDIATELY caught on to it. Immediately, named Daimler-Benz, BMW, Volkswagen as potential clients. I could sense the German expertise kick in, these are the guys one wants to deal with. Fraunhofer Inst was created after WWII (eager for postwar recovery) as a pro-active applied research organization. Go out & search for challenging engineering problems, solve them, before they are encountered in Manufacturing in German Industry. This is exactly what TM could have used, which could have solved their tranny issue (Xtrac & Magna), an R&D partner. TM was just "throwing money at the problem", thinking contracting vendors for off-the-shelf products (& minimal development) would work. That's why a comprehensive R&D program:

    1) Empirical ("Real World Knoweldge")
    Auto Racing

    2) Analytical ("Book Knowledge")
    Academic Research, Computer Simulation (FEM/Finite Element Method, Genetic Algorithms, CA/Cellular Automata, Monte Carlo methods, etc)

    needs to be setup. I'm about to write a proposal, & the Proof of Concept has been done. Xtrac has successfully developed a tranny for Offroad Racing, which solved their shockload problem (similar to that experienced by Roadster), leading to a recent 1st place & 3rd place by their development partner (San Diego based team, who I'm friends with). It's almost sure to get approved, by an NSF, DoE/Dept of Energy, DARPA..they like concrete things with concrete results. They don't fund "blue sky" ideas, generally.

    Hopefully, Fraunhofer will be on board as an Industrial Partner & we can take Alternative Energy companies (like TM) to the next level.

    Any feedback by knowledgable TMC readers (especially Roadster owners) would be appreciated. I'm still developing the Concept, which will dictate the Execution (& imminent proposal). I got this crazy idea, that Martin will start a RbE (Roadster by Eberhard) 3rd party Roadster aftermarket company. He could license all the crazy Technology my R&D Inst would develop, & take it to the Marketplace for affluent/fanatic Roadster owners (like himself). A 1st product, would be a working 2-speed Xtrac tranny. (VS the Powertrain 1.5, which is an over-revved single speed running HOT..water cooled motor. This may create durability/reliability issues, since Heat is the Enemy)
     
  15. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    "History Channel aired an episode of Modern Marvels entitled "Autobahn"."

    Saw that.

    It was real good.

    Who knew?
     
  16. ChargeIt!

    ChargeIt! Member

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    I must respectfully disagree with a few statements in above posts.

    But first some more background ... I had complained about the excessive noise of the cooling fans after aggressively driving VP10 on Skyline Blvd in Sep2007. TM addressed and pretty much fixed this (noise) issue. The noise was naturally due to the increased need for battery and motor cooling (a misty 65F day). And because it was a VP, the error message ( I don't recall the exact diagnostic error ) was excusable, and "for engineering diagnostics" and therefore quickly dismissed ... that was then -- water under the bridge (for marketing) ... and engineering took it to heart ( I am sure ).

    Now back to the current issue:

    100mph on German Autobahn is "normal". I have driven many times from Hamburg to Berlin, and even in a VW Golf, given the smooth surface, and the strict rules (no passing except on the left and clear that lane "right-quick"), was very comfortable at 100mph. Yes, you may call it inefficient, and I might even agree from a technical point of view; but the reality is -- it is reality over there. From a US-centric POV -- given the strict speed limits here (of course I have also driven through Nevada and Utah and Wyoming along with traffic at 80mph for hours) -- we can criticize all we want. But dpeilow said it well "even old grannies ...".

    So ... TM needs to address the thermal issues for the Autobahn-centric customer.

    Of course, if you want to drive it "flat out" you won't get very far. And that is the flip-side of the coin. I can easily refuel (more than once) at the rest stops between HH and B (especially when driving an A6 at 120mph), but I can't do that in the roadster. So, the German customer must decide how practical the Tesla is for his/her needs or customary use ... and the reality will be (more likely in D than in USA) that the roadster is purchased as an extra (expensive) vehicle. This will not be problematic for the roadster, but if the thermal issues are not addressed for Model S, it will fail in Germany.
     
  17. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    Until there is a significant improvement in electrical energy storage I'm not sure it's worth Tesla's while increasing the weight of the vehicle for motor cooling. Prolonged high speed driving will remain the province of traditional ICEs and hybrids for some time to come. I'm not sure that the Volt could cope with Autobahns.
     
  18. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Here's a quote from Car and Driver:
    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/news-articles-events/1566-car-driver-review.html
    "Stay on the accelerator, and the Tesla will reach a top speed of 125 mph. But it won't sustain it. After four minutes, due to rising powertrain temperatures, the car gradually slows down to a sustained cruising speed of about 105 mph. That's likely not an issue in most markets, which suffer from lower speed limits. But it is a topic in Germany, where 105 mph can be—and, in fact, frequently is—exceeded by many economy cars. And no, there's no speed limit around the corner here. "
    Seems the speed it can maintain is 105mph, and from what they say, sounds like many economy cars are faster. But that is fast enough to at least drive safely on the Autobahn correct?
    Darryl says that he wants a liquid cooled racing Roadster, which he mentioned before, but it's unlikely to happen until the regular Roadster production is stable. I imagine such a version would be the one Autobahn drivers would want. For most of the other drivers, I think the normal air cooled version is enough.

    Since you bring up weight, perhaps one of the reasons why Darryl wanted a half-size battery pack in the racing version of the Tesla is to offset some of the added weight of the liquid cooling.
    The GM-Volt site says: "Top speed (mph) 120 (limited duration)", so I assume like the Tesla it can't sustain the 120mph top speed. The sustainable speed probably will be around 100mph like the Tesla.
     
  19. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #19 TEG, Aug 28, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2008
    Think back to the old days of the Tesla blogs:
    Tesla Motors - think

     
  20. graham

    graham Active Member

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    The Orlando Sentinel picked up on the "smoke" story:

    Tesla roadster: Lightning fast and in short supply -- OrlandoSentinel.com

     

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