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To Charge or Not to Charge?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by FloridaGary, May 6, 2016.

  1. FloridaGary

    FloridaGary Member

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    What is everyone doing when out of town for a week or two? Do you keep your car plugged in or do you fully charge your battery and leave unplugged?

    I live in the lightning capitol of the U.S. Lightning storms are common in central Florida and it's always recommended to unplug electronics when you are away for days or weeks. Do I apply that same warning to my Model S?
     
  2. DaveVa

    DaveVa Sig Perf #236 VIN #484

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    I leave it plugged in, but lower the battery slider to minimum. Less charge cycles. Won't really start charging until vampire load reduces battery to that point.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. Patrick W

    Patrick W Member

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    Tesla says "A happy Tesla is a plugged in Tesla" so I've always kept mine plugged in when it's home in the garage.

    But I've never considered lightning. I'll be interested to see what others think about charging when lightning is expected.
     
  4. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    Instead of saying RTFM, I'll say the manual says to leave it plugged in. In bold print. Twice.
     
  5. EV-lutioin

    EV-lutioin Member

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    Just wondering why it is beneficial to set the battery capacity to 80% for daily use? Is charging to 100% detrimental to battery life?
     
  6. jerry33

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

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    Yes. If you repeatedly charge to 100% you will actually get a warning on the screen telling you that after two or three times. What's actually bad is charging to 100% and leaving it sit. If you need the range, charge to 100% and drive as soon as possible after the charge completes.

    Anywhere within the daily range (up to 90%) is fine.
     
  7. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    We get some intense storms here in north Texas. I unplug during lightning storms but I've never been faced with the threat of storms while away for a prolonged period.
     
  8. EV-lutioin

    EV-lutioin Member

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    But is ok to leave it plugged in if you set the daily range below 90%.... is that correct?
     
  9. DMC-Orangeville

    DMC-Orangeville 85D and John Deere 5100E

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    I have a panel mounted surge suppressor on the panel feeding my HPWC. Worst case scenario is lightning destroying the surge suppressor. They are not expensive; well under $100.
     
    • Like x 1
  10. jerry33

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

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    Yes, it's best to have the car plugged in whenever possible at 90% or lower. Note that always having it lower than 90% will cause the battery to go out of balance, so unless you are leaving it parked for a few weeks (when you just set the slider to the lowest position) or it's very hot (over 35C) when 80% is what I use, just leave it at 90% and don't worry. The difference in potential battery life is large between 100% and 90%, but not much between 90% and 80% and even less at lower charge levels.

    Note that the battery balancing circuit triggers at 93% charge, so it's a good idea to charge that high once a month or so and then drive right away. Once the battery balancing circuit is triggered, the charge level doesn't matter as it will continue to balance for several days. (Information from WK57, who has done a lot of research on this.)
     
    • Informative x 3
  11. SPXMike

    SPXMike Member

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    ^^^This. I haven't charged over 90% in five months. Looks like I need to educate myself on battery balancing.
     
  12. Btrflyl8e

    Btrflyl8e Active Member

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    This makes sense. I noticed I had lost about 17 miles of range at one point. I had been charging to only 70% daily since that was more than enough to fit my needs on my 60. I thought back to the pre-slider days...when you only had two charging options: Standard and Max. Standard I recalled was about 93%, so I figured there must have been a reason Tesla choose such an odd %. I started charging to about that daily, and within a couple of weeks I'd gained back nearly all those "lost" miles. Nothing like real world experience!
     
  13. DFibRL8R

    DFibRL8R Member

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    There is some speculation that leaving the car plugged in decreases wear and tear on the 12v battery (frequent charge discharge cycles are required when unplugged to run the systems when the car is in standby mode). My first 12V was replaced at about 1 year of age under warranty (there were some initial quality problems with the 12volts), I paid to replace the second (out of warranty) after about 2 years of use.
     
  14. UberEV1

    UberEV1 Member

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    I am frequently traveling overseas and my routine has been to set the car to 75% when not in use (kept plugged in), then return to 90% when I am back and using the car. Have done this for almost 3 years and still achieve a max rated range of 258~259 miles (at last check). General rules of thumb: avoid the extremes (do not let sit at 0% or 100%), occasionally charge above 93% to let pack balancing kick-in and keep plugged in whenever practical.

    Lightning may provide boost to 110% or time travel, not sure. (jk - After 3 years on the forums, haven't seen much on lightning as a major concern).
     
  15. TSLA Pilot

    TSLA Pilot Member

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    Given the threat from a lightning strike, why not just set it to NOT "Always On" and the other battery saving setting, then just charge it to 60% or 80% and then unplug it until you return?

    Seems far less risky as there is huge damage that can be done with a nearby lightning strike, no?
     
  16. jerry33

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

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    In most areas the chances of a nearby lightning strike are very low. I'd suggest that leaving it plugged in is going to be better than unplugging it for an extended period in the vast majority of cases (WAG is at least three nines). It's a good idea to have a whole house surge protector, but that's mainly to help if some SUV or pickup runs into a nearby power pole. I'm not convinced that whole house surge protectors will do much for a nearby lightning strike.
     
  17. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    Not only is it OK, it's what Tesla strongly recommends to do.
    "Remember, a connected Model S is a happy Model S." I wonder why Tesla stopped placing those cards in the cars at delivery.
     
  18. DFibRL8R

    DFibRL8R Member

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  19. SDRick

    SDRick Member

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    Rumor has it that Tesla will be soon offer a $1000 option upgrade enabling lightning strike protection. Not only will the battery be protected in the event of a lightning strike, it will also reach full capacity instantly. The feature will be known as super (ludicrous) charging!
     
  20. murphyS85

    murphyS85 Member

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    I had lightning hit a tree that is 10 feet from the corner of my garage. The bolt followed a tree root to the corner of the garage and hit the downspout. The car was in the garage but ,as always, it was not plugged in. No damage to either car. Bark from the tree was found in the driveway about 50 feet from the tree.
     

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