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Discussion in 'News' started by TEG, Nov 14, 2007.
Tesla Roadster: an electric car with a diesel generator
Seems like kind of a strange "oops" on Tesla's part. I understand why they would take a generator with them. But it would seem like Alice's Restaurant is getting a bunch of free press out of the test drives. You'd think they'd spring for a 220 connection.
So, when I drove, they were parked across from Alice's. Also, not sure a 220V would be "reasonably" accessible - or worth the significant bother every time they have to hook up. Plus, that's not the only location they take the trailer for test drives. So, while using a generator isn't "ideal", it's understandable.
Charging with a generator has certain requirements. Has anyone spec'ed out what the Electric car wants?
Grounding? Noise? Clean output?
A Honda Put-Put VS a commercial tow plant each have many differentiating qualities even the ones for construction VS studio (movie) lighting.
What about sinewaves, sinusoidal and square, harmonic distortion, inverter types, etc. etc.
I've never been able to charge from a generator and haven't known any Roadster owners who were successful in their attempts. However, at an EV event last fall there was a guy who was selling an inverter system that connected to a Prius battery so you could use your Prius for backup power. He wanted to prove it would charge my Roadster and I was somewhat doubtful. But it worked! We left it connected for almost 2 hours at 115v, 16A before I had to leave. He said it produced a "perfect sine wave" and I noticed the voltage remained very stable which is usually not the case with most generators. So I can't answer your question exactly but I know it has to be a sine wave without too much harmonic distortion or voltage fluctuation.
I have a Xantrex Prosine inverter in my truck. It will allow charging up to 20 amps. They are a little more expensive, but it gives clean power and will change an EV.
Transport Canada reportedly tried six different generators and none worked. Sounds like it needs stable voltage, negligible harmonics, and stable frequency.
I never noted what kind of genny Tesla used back in the day (upthread) but I did find this page that goes into generator detail. It's talking about production lighting but it's still pretty thorough.
ScreenLight & Grip's E-Newsletter.
Tesla's predecessor, AC Propusion's T-zero, had a trailer genset built from a Kawasaki motorcycle engine. There are several web pages about it:
Genset trailer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This can provide 30kW power directly to the (LEAFs) vehicle power bus (cruise at highway speeds while still recharging the battery):
How one inventor wants to boost EVs with a towable turbine | Motoramic - Yahoo! Autos
He also has a CHAdeMO output so he can recharge other vehicles in need of a quick charge.
Yes there is a towable genny thread. I just wanted to focus on stationary generators and what characteristics they must have to charge an EV regardless of size.
Ingineer/Phil's doubles as a stationary generator. It is designed as a portable self fueled (by propane) CHAdeMO QC for events and such, but doubles as a range extender when he needs to get to some event further than the usual LEAF range.
How Does Nissan Recharge Some Leafs? With A Diesel Generator
Nice find! From the article:
Sooo - the neighbors wouldn't be amused with a Diesel genset, but a pickup truck is OK?
Most folks don't leave their diesel pickup truck running at full throttle in the driveway for half an hour to an hour, and if they do, the neighbors probably would be very annoyed. I hate the noise of lawn mowers, and I'll bet a diesel genset would be a lot worse.
Thanks to our friends at AAA:
First Electric Vehicle Charging Truck Put Into Service in LA
And Green Charge Networks:
And now that you have given the chief a ride, this should go countrywide
AAA Plans Electric Vehicle Charger Trucks
The use of the diesel generator is a smart choice on the part of Tesla Motors... It provides a good way to charge the test drive cars when electricity is not available, it has a lower noise output over a gasoline generator and ease of transport in the Ranger vans. An other option could have been a LPG (Liquid Propane Gas) generator.
I think TM could fully build out their Ranger vans with a solar system on top of the trailer which stores power in a battery backup and a generator system as a backup in the future if the generator is a problem for some.
TonyWilliams had a 56kW diesel generator at a LEAF meeting the other month to show off Andromeda Power's portable QC stations. The noise from the generator was much more pleasant than your typical lawn mower.
Pics starting at this post: My Nissan Leaf Forum View topic - San Diego Meet, June 14 ?????
PriUPS concept is the way to go - how much power can they handle? A good 240V inverter plugged into the batteries at 16A would be a LOT better than the 120V/16A mentioned.