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Cold Weather Observations

cold weather winter

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204 replies to this topic

#41 OFFLINE   chris

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 12:49 PM

just wondering if preconditioning works with the 120v charger, go times are set everything works, fans are on but blows cold air, never seems to get warm,










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#42 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 01:36 PM

Preconditioning does not work very well for me with a 120 V charger when it is cold.  When it was 8 degrees last week, preconditioning started 1 hour before the GO Time.  The car consumed about 1.3 kWh of energy from the charger, but the cabin was cold as if no preconditioning occurred at all.  I don't think the 120 V charger can provide enough power to the car to heat the car in cold weather.  Even with a 240 V charger, the car does not warm up to the selected GO time temperature.  It is usually around 50 degrees after preconditioning, even though the GO time temperature is set to 72.  At least the HVB is fully charged with either the 120 V or 240 V charger at the GO time following preconditioning. But the car cannot seem to both fully precondition the vehicle in cold weather and keep the HVB fully charged.


Edited by larryh, 28 November 2013 - 02:01 PM.

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#43 OFFLINE   Fat Fusion

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 06:05 PM

Have you guys tried setting the temp to 65?  I tried 72 and as I recall I didn't get much activity.  Changed it to 65 and it seems to work better.


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#44 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 05:19 AM

This morning the temperature was 11 degrees.  I started the car and left it plugged into the 120 V charger.  I set the climate control temperature to 72 degrees.  The console showed that the heater was taking 5+ kW of power for about half an hour before power usage dropped to about 2.5 kW.  The console showed the car had consumed 2.6 kWh of energy from the battery and the HVB was now 55% charged.  The climate control was set to Auto and the fan reduced speed at this time.  So I assume that the car had decided it was about done warming the cabin to 72 degrees.  However, my thermometer showed the temperature to be in the mid 50's.  But of course, the temperature varies depending on location in the cabin.  It felt relatively warm inside. 

 

There is no way that the 120 V charger could provide enough power to warm up the cabin to 72 degrees for preconditioning via GO Times.  In one hour, it could provide 1.34 * 0.72 = 0.96 kWh of energy to the battery.  The 120 V charger supplies 1.34 kW of power, of which 72% is actually stored in and extracted from the battery (the rest is lost since charging/discharging a battery is not 100% efficient).  It will take about 2.6 kWh / 0.96 kWh = 2.7 hours to recharge the battery.  By that time, the car will be cold again.

 

For a 240 V charger, the charger supplies about 3.4 kW of power and is 82% efficient.  So in less than one hour, it could restore the battery to full charge.


Edited by larryh, 29 November 2013 - 05:22 AM.

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#45 OFFLINE   chris

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 05:27 AM

I did set the temp back to 65 and the air that was coming out was between 63 and 66, via a thermometer next to the vent, it is the warmest ive seen coming out so far, and if that is all the warmer it gets, its better than 5 degrees...



#46 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 07:50 AM

Well actually, the 120 V charger seems to be significantly less efficient in the winter making matters even worse.  It took 4.28 kWh to recharge the battery for 2.6 kWh of extracted energy.  The efficiency is then only 61%.  I assume similar reduced efficiency for the 240 V charger.  Hopefully, most of that 39% wasted energy is in the form of heat that warms the battery and eventually the trunk and passenger cabin. 


Edited by larryh, 29 November 2013 - 07:51 AM.

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#47 OFFLINE   danwat1234

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 12:46 PM

This morning I was able to drive to work entirely in EV mode by setting the mode to EV Now with the temperature set to 65 degrees.  It was 10 degrees this morning.  I didn't have enough charge left in the battery to make it back home entirely in EV mode.  Once you switch the mode out of EV now, the ICE will immediately start and will not turn off for a few minutes. 

10 degrees? That's better than a Volt (15F or colder engine will cycle on and off no matter what, for no real reason except cabin heating assistance). I also like the idea of the 'GO time' feature so the battery will both be charged and cabin heated as much as possible. With the Volt you are limited to two 10 minute cabin heating cycles I think, and if you're not carefully to leave some time after cabin heating, the battery isn't fully charged by the time you get in the car.


Edited by danwat1234, 01 December 2013 - 12:47 PM.


#48 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 01:58 PM

10 degrees? That's better than a Volt (15F or colder engine will cycle on and off no matter what, for no real reason except cabin heating assistance). I also like the idea of the 'GO time' feature so the battery will both be charged and cabin heated as much as possible. With the Volt you are limited to two 10 minute cabin heating cycles I think, and if you're not carefully to leave some time after cabin heating, the battery isn't fully charged by the time you get in the car.

Preconditioning the cabin when it is cold has worked OK for me as long as the car is plugged into a 240 V charger.  The coldest it has been when I used the 240 V charger is in the mid 20's in my garage. 

 

A 120 V charger is useless for preconditioning when it is this cold--the windshield will not even be defrosted (well maybe it warms up the HVB so you get better range).  The air coming from the vents is barely warm.  Preconditioning begins one hour in advance of the GO time when it is this cold.  So it takes a significant amount of electricity.  However, the HVB will be fully charged at the GO time with either the 120 or 240 V charger. 

 

If you have a 120 V charger, you will have to remote start the car to warm up the cabin.  If you leave the mode in EV Now, the ICE will not start and the HVB will be used to warm the cabin.  The ICE will do a better job of warming the cabin, so you might want to leave it in EV Auto.


Edited by larryh, 01 December 2013 - 02:19 PM.

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Tracking MPGe--not MPG.


#49 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 07:36 AM

This morning it was -6 degrees.  In the garage, it was 16 degrees.  Preconditioning started 50 minutes before the GO time.  The car consumed 2.9 kWh of electricity using the 240 V charger.  The temperature in the cabin only made it up to 43 degrees.  Its better than 16 degrees.  So even with a 240 V charger, the car has a hard time heating up the passenger compartment when it is very cold.  At least I have a garage that is about 22 degrees warmer than outside to help.  It probably wouldn't work well if the car was left outside in the cold in below zero weather. 

 

For my 57 mile weekend commute today, I got 39 MPGe.  In the summer, it is in the 60s and 70s.   The trip was only 31% EV.  In the summer, it is usually in the 50s and 60s.


Edited by larryh, 06 December 2013 - 07:45 AM.

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#50 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 03:51 AM

This morning it is -13.  The car has been sitting outside all night.  MyFord Mobile now shows an EV range of 13 miles.  Normally, in the summer it shows 25.  EV Range has been reduced by half by the cold weather.


Edited by larryh, 07 December 2013 - 04:20 AM.

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#51 OFFLINE   tseibel76

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:20 AM

My range is definitely lower in the cold weather too.  It was about -5 all day yesterday and the car sat out at work all day.  I went a total of 18 miles yesterday before the battery ran out.  But, that was with the ICE cycling on and off to keep the heat going that whole time.  Also, that included 3.9 miles in the morning that was all electric (which used about 12% of the battery).  I used 88% of the battery for the remaining 14.5 miles in the afternoon, when the ICE was cycling on and off (and used about 0.20 gallons of gas).  Earlier this fall, in warmer weather, I could go 22-24 miles and still have a 1/3rd of the battery left, all in electric mode, no gas.  

 

In the morning when I go to work, I leave from a heated garage and can go to work the whole way in all electric.  Yesterday morning on the way to work it was -16.  However, the ICE never came on.  I'm assuming this was because the HVB was warm from the garage and I didn't need to use any heat.  The ICE never came on, even for "Normal Operations".  

 

It is -23 here this morning at the house but the car is in the garage.  The high is -8 today and I have errands to run.  I will run all of them after leaving the heated garage and will not have the car sitting out all day long.  I'm curious to see what effect this has vs. when the car sits out in the cold for a long period of time.  We'll see.  However, I think the HVB sitting out in the cold really drains it and forces the ICE to come on, for either "Normal Operations" or "Heater Settings".  This makes sense, given all batteries hate cold.  



#52 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:58 AM

Yesterday, it was -6.  It was 16 degrees in the garage where I had preconditioned the car.  I left the house in EV mode.  Within a minute, the ICE came on, and EV now and EV later modes were disabled.  They remained disabled for about 15 miles until the HVB was depleted.  I'm not going to get the range that you do, since the speed limits on the streets for my commute to work are 55 mph. 

 

I drove the car 56 miles, so it was well warmed up.  I then recharged the battery for a couple of hours.  I was able to go entirely in EV mode after recharging the battery.  So if the car is warmed up (as it would be in a heated garage), the ICE will probably not turn on. 


Edited by larryh, 07 December 2013 - 07:01 AM.

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#53 OFFLINE   tseibel76

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 08:15 AM

You're right larryh.  I would definitely have lower range if my drive involved higher speeds.  I don't go over 35 MPH.  I'll let you know how today goes.  I'm leaving here in about an hour.



#54 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 09:16 AM

The car doesn't seem to be doing a good job of recognizing the Intelligent Access Key this morning.  I had to use the Keyless Entry Keypad to unlock the doors.  And then insert the Intelligent Access Key in the backup slot in the console.  It was only temporary.  It works properly now.


Edited by larryh, 07 December 2013 - 10:01 AM.

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#55 OFFLINE   danwat1234

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 01:05 PM

I'm assuming these temperatures are all in Fahrenheit? The cars are doing well if in Fahrenheit.

 

EDIT: Apparently the Chevy Volt can do the same, engine not running during cold temperatures,  IF you mod it so the car thinks the ambient air temperature is reading above 32F all the time :)

http://gm-volt.com/f...874#post1171874

http://www.sendspace.com/file/9sd3ds


Edited by danwat1234, 09 December 2013 - 12:50 AM.


#56 OFFLINE   tseibel76

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 01:26 PM

Yes danwat1234, all temps are in Fahrenheit.  I left the house with a full battery from a heated garage.  It has been between -13 and -15 here all day.  I drove around on my errands and after about 20 minutes from leaving the garage, the ICE fired up, indicating it was on due to "Normal Operation".  I did not use heat all day today because I wanted to see what the car would need to do on its own in this type of cold.  The ICE cycled every now and then, like normal.  However, it cycled much less than when I have the heat on.  I went 22 miles on the battery and had about 8% left.  It seems climate, even at these temps, still draws a lot from the battery.  I would assume in these conditions I would not have been able to go that far if I would have had the heat on. 

 

Either way, yes danwat1234, the car is pretty impressive at how much it can stay in all electric at -15.  I am always amazed.  The long and the short of this is that I will not be able to go back to all electric until sometime in March.



#57 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 02:00 PM

Today it has been 0 all day long.  It was about 20 degrees in the garage.  Preconditioning took 45 minutes and consumed 2.2 kWh of electricity (about $0.15).  That is better than taking 10 minutes to warm up the car using the ICE and consuming about 0.1 gallons of gas ($0.29).  The car was nice and warm at the GO Time and I was able to go to work entirely in EV mode when set to EV Now.  I had to turn on the climate and heater every once in a while to defog the windows. 

 

I was also able to drive entirely in EV mode, at least initially until the HVB was depleted (which didn't last very long), with the heater on after the car sat outside all day.  For the 8 mile trip, it consumed almost 0.2 gallons of gas and 2.5 kWh of electricity (27 MPGe vs 150 MPGe in the summer).  I'm not quite sure what the threshold is for disabling EV mode operation in the cold.

 

I noticed yesterday when I charged the car, that after it had completed charging the HVB, it continued to consume power for another 2 hours.  I'm not quite sure how much power it was taking, but it was probably around 100 Watts.  I wonder what it was doing?


Edited by larryh, 09 December 2013 - 03:12 PM.

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#58 OFFLINE   murphy

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 02:25 PM


I noticed yesterday when I charged the car, that after it had completed charging the HVB, it continued to consume power for another 2 hours.  I'm not quite sure how much power it was taking, but it was probably around 100 Watts.  I wonder what it was doing?

It was charging the 12 volt battery.


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#59 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 02:29 PM

It was charging the 12 volt battery.

But I wonder if that is all that it was doing.  It charges the 12 V battery anytime it requires power from the charger, e.g. while waiting to start value charging.  I can't be sure that it wasn't drawing power for some other reason, or it was just to recharge the 12 V battery. 


Edited by larryh, 09 December 2013 - 02:32 PM.

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#60 OFFLINE   larryh

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 03:16 PM

Note that the MPGe for the commute to work was 98 MPGe with preconditioning.  The MPGe for the trip home, without preconditioning, was 27 MPGe.  I consumed the same kWh from the high voltage battery for both trips.  The return trip required 0.2 gallons of gas was the difference.  If I include the kWh for preconditioning for the trip to work, the MPGe is reduced to about 54.   So preconditioning is cost effective, especially since electricity is much cheaper than gas by about a factor of 3.6.  In addition, I start out in a warm car. 

 

Actually, the cost to work was $0.39.  The cost home was $0.77.  Normally, the total roundtrip cost in the summer is $0.24.  It cost more than four times as much to drive at 0 degrees vs. 70 degrees. 


Edited by larryh, 10 December 2013 - 04:49 PM.

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