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84FSP
84FSP UltraDork
12/4/21 3:50 p.m.

I was doing a bit of reading on using the solar panels for emergency power without batteries and seems doable.  Apparently it involves an additional switch to cut if off from the grid and and an inverter to back feed the house.  In an area with as much sunshine as yours it would seem to be a viable emergency power situation.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/16/21 7:33 p.m.

I believe it is traditional for businesses to put the "first dollar of clear profit" on the wall. Well, here's the first mile of Tesla energy captured by the sun :)

Also, the solar guy who flipped the switch showed up in this. This is what electric cars used to be. Runs something like a 145/65-15 tire. He says it's hilarious in the snow with the traction control off.  When it pulled up, I told Janel "hey look, the dorkiest car in the world is here!"

63 hp , 62 mile range and $30k in 2012. We have come a long way very quickly.

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/16/21 9:19 p.m.

Very cool. 

 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/16/21 9:29 p.m.
Also, the solar guy who flipped the switch showed up in this. This is what electric cars used to be. Runs something like a 145/65-15 tire. He says it's hilarious in the snow with the traction control off.  When it pulled up, I told Janel "hey look, the dorkiest car in the world is here!"

63 hp , 62 mile range and $30k in 2012. We have come a long way very quickly.

I saw one of those pulling a trailer at the dump yesterday!

StripesSA1
StripesSA1 Reader
12/17/21 2:16 p.m.
Woody (Forum Supportum) said:
Also, the solar guy who flipped the switch showed up in this. This is what electric cars used to be. Runs something like a 145/65-15 tire. He says it's hilarious in the snow with the traction control off.  When it pulled up, I told Janel "hey look, the dorkiest car in the world is here!"

63 hp , 62 mile range and $30k in 2012. We have come a long way very quickly.

I saw one of those pulling a trailer at the dump yesterday!

Don't you mean a trailer pushing one of those? cheeky

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
12/17/21 2:48 p.m.

Warm weather means I got to really push it on a twisty mountain road today in the Model 3 Performance.  It corners surprisingly hard, but the experience is still all about the throttle. The point-and-squirt nature of this car that's impressive in normal driving becomes mind warping when topping blind crests and diving into corners.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/17/21 5:54 p.m.

I've never had the chance to let ours off the leash for an extended period. Progress would be seriously rapid. Brakes would suffer :)

StripesSA1
StripesSA1 Reader
12/17/21 11:05 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I've never had the chance to let ours off the leash for an extended period. Progress would be seriously rapid. Brakes would suffer :)

Not even in a controlled area for "science"? 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/18/21 9:20 a.m.

I am told that I have other cars for that and no I cannot take Janel's car to the track to beat on it!

Placemotorsports
Placemotorsports GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/18/21 4:18 p.m.

In reply to nderwater :

My son forgot his saxophone neck strap the other night and I had to fly home and get it before his performance.  This was the first time I've had to really stretch the cars legs other than the typical launches for fun.  I agree on the handling, the point and shoot ability of mine (M3P) is ridiculous.  Feels heavy in the corners but man coming out of them is incredible.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/19/21 7:51 p.m.

Even during the shortest days of the year with the worst sun angle, we're covering 70% of our electrical consumption with the solar array. That includes 50 miles of driving around yesterday in the EV. This is so cool. The array isn't quite managing 50% power production due to the angle of the sun so close to the solstice (I'd never paid attention before!) and it's only got about 7 hours of sunlight right now so it's underperforming quite a bit.
 

I learned today that the newer Model 3s have dual pane laminated side windows for better sound control - they come from the Y which is louder inside, probably due to the rear wheels not being isolated by a separate cargo area. I've never felt the car was particularly noisy on the highway, but now I have window envy. Not enough to make me trade in, though :) I think we got really lucky with ours, it was screwed together well and doesn't suffer from the wind noise that seems to be often reported. When we hit a section of fresh asphalt on the highway, it's amazingly hushed. 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/20/21 4:04 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I would imagine that when you have a vehicle that's extraordinarily quiet to begin with, little noises have a way of becoming big noises. 

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/20/21 8:24 a.m.

Keith, how many watts of solar did you end up installing. My father is looking into it as well. The array they are trying to sell him is 6000 watts which seems a little small to me. I would think 15-20 kw would work much better. Doubly so if you wanted to use it as an emergency power source. 

stylngle2003
stylngle2003 GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/20/21 9:34 a.m.

In reply to Toyman! :

A few pages back he indicated it would be roughly 16.5kw.  You're probably pretty close with your gut feeling: 6kw too small, mo betta.

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/20/21 10:34 a.m.

In reply to stylngle2003 :

Thanks, I should have gone back a few more pages. 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/20/21 11:21 a.m.

Yes, 16.5 KW which is apparently quite large for a residential array. It's also physically large with a greater number of modules than average - I have the roof space available so I didn't need to use more expensive high efficiency panels. The size of the array is designed to be 110% of our annual power consumption and takes into account the fact that the cliffs above us cut the day a little short. Our biggest power draw is the air conditioning on the shop that houses the panels, and I'm hoping that the panels themselves will decrease the solar gain somewhat as a bonus.

No plans at the moment to add power outage capability but it may happen. If it does, it'll be because of the interesting experiment of how it's accomplished and it will likely use old EV batteries. Googling "leaf power wall" brings up some interesting reading.  

Rons
Rons GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/20/21 12:03 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I may have missed this but are you on net metering? For back up power could you have a UPS for the fridge and deep freeze? Additionally for backup power you wouldn’t need efficiency in kWh/weight so lead acid might work I did work at the BC Museum of Mining and we had a train engine that used a single battery  that was 2’x2’x3’ and weighed 1000+ lbs.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/20/21 12:23 p.m.

Backup power was not the purpose of the solar array. It's an interesting potential side benefit, but the primary purpose was to cut down on energy costs in the long run. If it performs as specified, it will actually save us considerable money every month right from the start. Fingers crossed.

I know good ol' lead acid is a well understood technology if I have room to stash a roomful of them. The idea of repurposing old EV batteries is interesting to me because of course one of the common objections to EVs is the end of life aspect of the batteries. I might start educating myself about how it works just because it's something new to learn. 

We will be on net metering once the utility installs new meters. For the moment, we are literally spinning our old-school meter backwards and with solar production at the annual minimum, it's unlikely we'll actually produce more than we use for a few months.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/20/21 12:51 p.m.
Woody (Forum Supportum) said:

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I would imagine that when you have a vehicle that's extraordinarily quiet to begin with, little noises have a way of becoming big noises. 

Agreed, but based on all the little gasket kits and sound control toys for sale there has to be a fair amount of variance. Wind noise is very low on our car for example. Is that because there were running changes to the window gaskets like there were on the Miata RF? Or is it because of production variation? Or is it because of advertising creating a perceived need? I don't have experience with enough different Teslas to know. In fact, the only two I've been in are the one we test drove and the one we own.

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/20/21 2:30 p.m.

There is some pretty decent info on Leaf batteries on this blog. https://broccolibus.com/index.php/tag/lithium/

He also has a pretty decent control setup to keep things operating smoothly. 

 

Erich
Erich UberDork
12/22/21 11:59 a.m.

Keith and other EV owners, I recently found a battery monitoring service that's somewhat rudimentary but interesting nonetheless. 

Recurrent is basically taking data from thousands of EV users to monitor battery life across and within model ranges. Seems like Fuelly except a bit more automated as you can connect it directly to your vehicle's onboard data. 

It takes the odometer reading, state of charge, temperature, and range from the guess-o-meter to provide a picture of battery health as compared to the data gathered from other similar models. You can get a one-time report, or sign up to share your car's onboard data and get a monthly report (and add to their database)

Seems like it would be very useful for someone shopping used EVs. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/29/21 8:43 p.m.

I think you can determine the battery life in the Tesla by seeing what the maximum range is when you set the charge level to 100%. The predicted range of a given charge is too consistent to be based on recent consumption.

Anyhow, a couple of updates. One kinda fun, one that is not so fun.

First, fun. We got a new key.

It's a ring with an RFID chip inside that speaks Tesla. Basically, when Janel's playing outdoors, she doesn't always want to carry a phone. She can carry one of the car's card keys but you still have to fit something the size of a credit card in your pocket - not always convenient when you're running or playing in the water in a suit that doesn't have pockets. This ring acts exactly like a key card so she can unlock and "start" the car and of course it's easy to carry around. The color scheme was chosen by her. Neat.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/29/21 9:25 p.m.

The unfun update: Tesla software version 11 has rolled out. We got ours on Christmas Eve. It has a bunch of minor tweaks like how the battery is managed when you're pre-warming the interior and if the cruise control optionally makes a  noise when activated.

There's one very visible and useful change. When you turn on the turn indicator, a portion of the center screen shows the feed from the blind spot camera on that side. It's pretty handy, as that camera has really good coverage of the area behind the mirror. Given that the car doesn't have stellar outward visibility due to a high rear beltline, it's a good addition.

But the rest, I am not happy. I've written before that I am not a fan of interfaces that change. The Tesla interface has been evolving slightly, but not radically. This v11 is more radical. 

Some of it is cleaner. The gear indicator and the speedo have moved slightly. Some of the controls like the map zoom/up/traffic/satellite choices (not visible right now) and the primary temperature setting are closer to the driver which is a good idea. The HomeLink pop-up is a nice touch that only happens when you're at home and get in the car (you can also tap the Homelink icon at the top anytime, but that's a smaller target). There's a little more font consistency. There's been some definite consolidation of secondary controls like mirror adjustment, one tap to summon all of the on the same screen in big tiles, that looks like someone doing a reset on an interface that's been evolving.

But the row of static icons along the bottom of the screen - the Tesla equivalent of the buttons that live on your center console - are mostly gone.  Here's a reminder of what it used to look like - ignore the difference between day (grey) and night (black), that remains.

Those five colored icons at the bottom? Up to four of them are customizable so you can set your car up the way you like it. Not a great idea, but at least they stay the same. The remaining ones on the left are dynamic and show you most recently accessed functions. That's a TERRIBLE idea. Controls should do one thing and always one thing. You shouldn't have to look and see and interpret and decide. GM has made this same mistake with the Hummer, it has physical switches that change function depending on context and you can tell what they're going to do by looking at a label. 

The customizable ones are set just like moving apps around on an iPhone - tap and hold, then drag. You have a choice of about a dozen and a half functions. The icons themselves are poorly designed - who thought an orange square with vertical lines was more clear than a pair of music notes for the sound system? Someone needs to fire the TikTok addled kids who did this interface design and let the adults back in the room. 

BTW, the heated seats are now part of the HVAC controls, tap the temperature and you get the HVAC interface. The seats now have an "auto" setting so in theory you shouldn't have to access them, but Janel is the sort of person who sets a thermostat to 80* so the room will warm up faster, so she wants her seats on when she decides and not the car.

Here are the choices for those icons. You can summon this screen at any time by tapping the ... button beside the permanent icons, and close it by pressing the X. Note that the orange music icon will give you the music player with all sources including Tidal and TuneIn and Spotify and radio and whatever so those choices are just shortcuts. And yes, between this picture and the previous one I did change the selected permanent icons. Music, rear/side cameras, phone and dashcam player BTW. The dynamic one on the right is "browser".

I was afraid this would happen at some point. I'm not pleased about it. 

therealpinto
therealpinto Reader
12/30/21 6:25 a.m.

That's not a "nice" update. It would be nice to be able to choose different layouts depending on your preferences.

As an example, in the Mach-E I would like to have a shortcut for the front heated screen - it's something I use more than heat on the rear window.

Or, I would like the voice control to sort of work. In my brothers Tesla M3 it was very easy "sätt på rattvärme" - "turn on the heated steering wheel" and bam, heat. The Mach-E does not listen to that note...

Wonder if someone will design a separate physical set of buttons, that could work over OBDII? That would be pretty neat. I think you could easily design a row that could be fitted just under the screen(s).

Gustaf

Erich
Erich UberDork
12/30/21 9:40 a.m.

I'm old-school but dedicated physical buttons are still way preferable to me than a touch screen interface. My BMW, you have physical buttons for all the most frequently used functions like seat heater, radio, volume, HVAC etc. My wife's Pacifica many of these functions are on the touchscreen, and sometimes buried in submenus, which leads to extended time where your eyes are off the road. 

It's worse yet to think you could figure out how to operate these menus and screens and wake up one morning to find it's all been changed by some OTA update. Maddening. 

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