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What happens when Model S sits, unplugged, in cold, for long periods of time?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by ualdriver, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. ualdriver

    ualdriver Member

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    I tried searching for an answer using the search function, but either found really old threads before the software vampire fix or didn't find exactly what I was looking for.

    I travel a lot with my job, which sometimes requires my having to leave my car in a parking lot for up to 10 days or so. Living in the Midwest, the winters get very cold, sometimes well below zero for long periods of time. It will not be possible to plug my car into any sort of electrical power in the parking lot.

    So what's going to happen, if anything, if I cold soak my S for long periods of time during the winter? Can cold soaking the battery damage it?
     
  2. rlang59

    rlang59 Member

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    Something to thing to keep in mind is this line from the warranty:

    In addition, damage resulting from the following activities is not covered under this Battery Limited
    Warranty:
    • Exposing the vehicle to ambient temperatures above 140°F (60°C) or below -22°F (-30°C) for
    more than 24 hours at a time;
     
  3. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    With that caveat from the warranty in mind, your Model S's BMS will do everything in its power to keep the battery healthy. You'll inevitably lose a few Rated miles of range every day, but for 10 days there's absolutely no need for concern about coming back to a totally dead car. How far is your round trip commute back to the nearest convenient charger?
     
  4. ualdriver

    ualdriver Member

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    Yikes. Surprised only -22F. What happens if an owner lives in Minneapolis and leaves his car at the airport while vacationing in Cancun for a week in the depths of February?

    I have an S85 with only a 70 mile round trip commute to the airport, so theoretically I can arrive at the airport with a lot of remaining energy in the battery. I assumed the BMS would protect the battery if it gets too hot or too cold, but for that theoretical -25F day(s), how much energy will the battery need to consume to warm up this huge mass of batteries?
     
  5. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    An ICE car parked in such extreme conditions will have a hard time starting, so I'd imagine places that encounter those temperatures for extended periods of time will have abundant 120V outlets for block heaters.

    Won't be enough to keep from losing some range, but leaving a Model S connected to 120V will help keep its "block" heated and will offset much of the range loss and ensure the battery is protected.
     
  6. mkretman

    mkretman New Member

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    I saw this video on youtube. This guy left his car in a parking area for 27 days. Not sure if he said what the temp was there. http://youtu.be/JEPBkjmS2uE
     
  7. Evbwcaer

    Evbwcaer Member

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    I live in Minneapolis, we see -22 just about every winter and there are essentially no 120v outlets for public use.

    I am assuming it is an omission, but it does not say that being plugged in makes a difference, just that being in -22f for more than a day is the problem. Insights?
     
  8. Banahogg

    Banahogg Member

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    From Threaded Extremes, the lowest daily maximum temperature ever recorded in MSP is -20F on 1/15/1888, which pretty much guarantees there isn't a 24 hour period on record where it was below -22F the entire time (depends on exactly how they define the daily maximum).

    International Falls is a different story, but even there, there are only a dozen or so times in the record where the lowest maximum temperature is under -22F.
     
  9. ualdriver

    ualdriver Member

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    Yeah, now that I think about it 22F is pretty low. I'm thinking wind chills sometimes take temperatures below that, but I don't think inanimate objects (like battery packs) are affected by "wind chill factor." They only are affected by ambient temperature. And if the BMS is going to kick in and keep the battery warm if temperatures got ugly, I think most would be OK.

    Still wondering how much energy the BMS would use in such a situation, however.
     
  10. Evbwcaer

    Evbwcaer Member

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    So what do you guys think regarding being plugged in? Does that negate the -22f concerns? I wonder what Tesla would say about -30f for 12 hours, something like that. I have been on a few camping and dog sledding trips, with my ICE parked no-where near a plug, with lows dropping to -30's and highs about 0f, for around 60 hours total.

    I know this is not a common situation, I don't expect Tesla to build/design with this in mind....just kind of wondering.
     
  11. ualdriver

    ualdriver Member

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    Interesting. Pretty reassuring.
     
  12. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    Have you paid for a week of parking at MSP?
    I'd sooner use a service such as AutoVault out of Eagan (no affiliation).
    You drop your car off there, they drive you to the airport in a Model S, and charge, wash and store your car while you are gone.
    When you return they pick you up. Less than the cost of parking.

    However, if you want to park at the airport, use one of the dozen or so chargers.

    As for the -22f temps for 24 hours, that is more likely in Jan than Feb, and even then it is extremely rare.
     
  13. art

    art Member

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    banahogg here are the record lows for the month of jan. from the 2014 minnesota weatherguide environment calender. mpls international airport. jan. 1st -30, 2nd -36, 3rd -26, 4th -32, 5th -28, 6th -27, 7th -34, 8th -30, 9th -32, 10th -30 11th -31 12th -31 13th -30 14th -26, 15th -37, 16th -29, 17th -26, 18th -36, 19th -34, 20th -32, 21st -41, 22nd -34, 23rd -34, 24th -33, 25th -31, 26th -26, 27th -23, 28th -29, 29th -29, 30th -30, 31st -27.all below -22 below zero. half of dec. and feb. the same.
     
  14. Banahogg

    Banahogg Member

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    The warranty text in question is "• Exposing the vehicle to ambient temperatures above 140°F (60°C) or below -22°F (-30°C) for more than 24 hours at a time;"

    Based purely on that text, we don't care how cold it gets for a brief period of time, but the lowest temperature that will be sustained over an entire 24 hour period, which is why I was getting the numbers for the coldest daily high temperature.

    Either way, ever since they made the battery warranty unconditional, it's probably a moot point anyway unless you're maliciously leaving it out in very cold temperatures (Creating the World’s Best Service and Warranty Program | Blog | Tesla Motors)
     
  15. art

    art Member

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    when i buy a tesla in a few years it will never sit outside over night. i have a heated garage, and every thing works alot better starting out at about 40 degrees engines motors and batteries. you wont see me leave a car at the airport in the winter, call a limo.
     
  16. tezco

    tezco Sig P85

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    The warranty text doesn't give you a free pass if the car is plugged in, so I'd be cautious.
     
  17. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Isn't the battery covered no matter what? They said outside of you taking a blow torch to it the battery is covered. Wouldn't having it plugged in would keep the battery above that temperature anyway?
     
  18. rlang59

    rlang59 Member

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    No it isn't, that line I posted was from the latest version of the warranty. Here is the full excerpt:

    Despite the breadth of this warranty, damage resulting from intentional actions (including
    intentionally abusing or destroying your vehicle, or ignoring active vehicle warnings), a collision or
    accident (excluding from Battery fires as specified above), or the servicing or opening of the Battery
    by non-Tesla personnel, is not covered under this Battery Limited Warranty.
    In addition, damage resulting from the following activities is not covered under this Battery Limited
    Warranty:
    Exposing the vehicle to ambient temperatures above 140°F (60°C) or below -22°F (-30°C) for
    more than 24 hours at a time;

    • Physically damaging the Battery, or intentionally attempting, either by physical means,
    programming, or other methods, to extend (other than as specified in your owner
    documentation) or reduce the life of the Battery;
    • Exposing the Battery to direct flame (excluding from Battery fires as specified above); or,
    • Flooding of the Battery.
    The Battery, like all lithium-ion batteries, will experience gradual energy or power loss with time and
    use. Loss of Battery energy or power over time or due to or resulting from Battery usage, is NOT
    covered under this Battery Limited Warranty. See your owner documentation for important
    information on how to maximize the life and capacity of the Battery.


    Found here (Page 34):
    http://www.teslamotors.com/sites/default/files/blog_attachments/model_s_quick_guide_-_na_rev_d_for_web.pdf


    Not a moot point and the warranty is far from unconditional, the above is from the updated warranty that was released after that blog post.
     
  19. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    From a previous thread, if you cold soak the battery at -30C, the electrolyte will freeze (since that is the freezing point of most lithium-ion battery electrolyte) and the battery can be damaged because of this.
     

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