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Winter charge failure: don't use scheduled charge when very cold.

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Ollie Jones, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. Ollie Jones

    Ollie Jones Member

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    #1 Ollie Jones, Jan 10, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
    Last night was the coldest yet for my Model S. 5F/-16C. It failed to charge overnight from my home 240V charge station, leaving me unable to get to work this morning. Grumble.

    I scheduled my charge for after midnight as usual. When I plugged in to the charger yesterday evening, I got the usual blinking green acknowledgement from the charge connector. But, the schedule time came, and nothing happened.

    The lesson I've learned: if it's going to be below 10F / -10C don't schedule your charge. Start the charge as soon as you park the car, so its battery, warmed up by use, will accept the energy.

    Tesla service suggested using the app to warm up the car's cabin shortly before the charge is supposed to start. That isn't going to work for me.

    The car did let me charge it during the day today.

    I do have the cold weather package, etc. I wonder if they need to add the EV equivalent of an engine block heater?

    Or maybe I should just move to the Bay Area in California?
     
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  2. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I've seen others report this as well, but so far, it hasn't affected me. This is my 5th winter with my Model S and mine has charged okay on schedule even at temps below that. Not sure why...
     
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  3. jsmay311

    jsmay311 Member

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    They already have one better: an integrated battery pack heater.

    What they are (apparently) missing is a line of code that will turn on the battery heater while plugged in to maintain the battery temp high enough to allow charging. That's assuming this isn't just a one-off bug.
     
  4. Boourns

    Boourns Active Member

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    Wait I thought that was the point of leaving the car plugged in -- so that it will have energy to maintain the battery temp?
     
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  5. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    Something is wrong here. The 6kW battery heater should easily be able to overcome a temperature down to 0F or below. It is a known behavior if you are trying to charge in those temperatures from a 120V outlet that is only about 1.4kW. There just isn't enough power there to run the heater hard enough to warm the battery up, so it never will get up to a level where it can charge.

    But you said this was a 240V outlet. You didn't say how many amps, but if it is 40A, that should be 9.6kW. That should easily be more than enough to warm up the battery and then charge it, and I have never heard of scheduled charging having any effect on whether it runs the battery heater. Most people do have their cars set on scheduled charging, and they charge fine in temperatures that cold in the middle of the night if they have enough kilowatts to run the battery heater plus some left over for charging. So if you've got at least a 6kW source, it should have charged, and if it didn't, Tesla needs to find out what went wrong.
     
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  6. mrElbe

    mrElbe Active Member

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    Make sure that Range Mode is turned off or the battery won't be heated. No problems here with scheduled charge even at -21C three nights ago on 80A HPWC charge.
     
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  7. jsmay311

    jsmay311 Member

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    Even when plugged in?
     
  8. Boatguy

    Boatguy Member

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    This issue has been touched upon several times in other threads. There is a Catch-22 situation where the battery is cold soaked and can neither accept or deliver power. One of the threads I read said that Tesla Service hotline told him to use an L2 charger, before trying to Supercharge a cold battery. But you've got an L2 charger so perhaps it's an issue of still trying to jam in too much power. What is your charge current level?

    Here is a suggested work around. Start your charging when you plug it in at night, but lower the charge current to something that will keep it charging most of the night so that the battery is warm enough to preheat the car when you wake up in the morning. Maybe 15a-20a, whatever is appropriate for the power you need to restore. This is just a guess at a workaround, not a proven technique.
     
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  9. Ollie Jones

    Ollie Jones Member

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    It was probably some kind of one-time bug. The car was clicking in the morning.
     
  10. Electric700

    Electric700 Active Member

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    There has been at least one other post about this issue, which I think is software related. Try contacting [email protected] about it.
     
  11. Matias

    Matias Active Member

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    I have done scheduled charge several times in minus 20C with deeply cold soaked battery without problems.
     
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  12. raf996

    raf996 Member

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    I have this same problem. Two weekends in a row. Not sure what I am going to do in the morning. Last weekend I just drove it and when the battery was warm it changed just fine. Tonight it’s been plugged in for three hours but still not charging.

    I have a Snow symbol beside the battery on my dash.
     
  13. NickFie

    NickFie Member

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    Apparently, Range Mode disables battery heater even when plugged in.

    FWIW, cabin pre-heat also powers up the battery heater.
     
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  14. raf996

    raf996 Member

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    Yes it’s plugged in. Had the heat on for about an hour now.
     
  15. raf996

    raf996 Member

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    And yes Range mode was not on. I went out for a 20 min drive. Parked in an underground garage for another 20min. When I came back I was able to finally charge it.

    It seems the car was not keeping the battery heated even though it was plugged in.

    One other note, in both instances I had the charger to approximately 70% overnight and was hoping to top it up in the morning so it would be warm.
     

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  16. brkaus

    brkaus Active Member

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    It’s a waste of energy to keep the battery warm at all times, even if plugged in. It would have to be an option.
     
  17. jerry33

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

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    If the power coming from the wall is too low, it may never charge as all the energy would be used to keep the battery above freezing. At a 33 amp charge screen setting (S85, 14-50 connection) with -8 to -10 C low of the day, it takes an extra 15 minutes to charge using scheduled charging. Scheduled start at 02:15 rather than 02:30.
     
  18. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    For situations like this, put information in your post about
    - SOC when parked
    - charger setup, and power source available
    - range mode setting
    - temps
    .. etc

    i started a thread on using new keep-op HVAC feature at very low setting, as a means of constant battery warmer.. but for this to work you need to be above 20% ..

    I haven't combined this feature and experiment yet with a high power source, and scheduled charging... but you could try
     
  19. raf996

    raf996 Member

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    Here is my info. Car was parked outside at about -18c for 12 hours. When I Plugged it in. I had the following.

    300km rated charge
    My charger is 40amp NEMA 14-50.
    I have the 40amp older plug.
    Range mode was off.
    Temp about -15c

    After I plugged it in I noticed it’s not charging. After about 2hours nothing changed. Then I turned on the cabin heat. Kept it on for 2hours but nothing changed.

    Then I went for a drive to warm it up. When I returned in 45minutes and plugged in, it started changing. Although very slow at first.
     

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  20. raf996

    raf996 Member

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    FYI my “keep climate on” was on.
     

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