1 ... 31 32 33 34
Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/28/22 2:24 p.m.

I always enjoyed the thought that the solar panel on the roof of the Westfalia was making our fridge work, so we were making ice cubes with THE POWER OF THE SUN!!1! But somehow I hadn't extrapolated that to the EV.  I've found myself starting to take the cost of a trip into account for the liquid fueled vehicles (do I want to pay more than $10 to drive the M5 to work?), but with the solar powered EV it's not ever a consideration.

My only complaint about solar is that I don't get to fiddle with it. I like to play with things, and there's nothing to do. I want to fine-tune it :)

Rons
Rons GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/28/22 3:53 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Have you found that the solar array keeps the shop cooler. Array tuning, design a mounting system that tracks the sun and maximizes production.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/28/22 4:16 p.m.

Hard to tell, really. I'd have to be logging the duty cycle of the air conditioners to know for sure. But it does seem they're cycling less. 

I came up with a tracking system that used differential voltages across some small panels to self-optimize, it was pretty cool. But I'm not sure I'd want to build it for our wind levels. I also built a monitoring system that logged output at the individual panel level and that actually identified a problem with the array that is being rectified as we speak. So I've fiddled a little bit...

Rons
Rons GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/28/22 6:03 p.m.

I tried finding a picture of a system I know of, The Tseil Wa-Tuth Nation uses solar to power the day care centre and their set-up looks like a road side billboard that turns on the east west axis and pivots on the north south.

java230
java230 PowerDork
6/30/22 12:25 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Always appreciate the updates. I love the wheel stickers. I can see them on my black wheels, and I didn't apply them the best, but yes way cool at low light times! 

Erich
Erich UberDork
7/16/22 6:32 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Hey, I don't know if you've seen this yet but SunPower has their own panel-level monitoring built into the app now. If you call your installer they can hook you up. It would be interesting to see if you see any difference from your own panel-level monitoring you've rigged up. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/16/22 7:11 p.m.

Interesting, thanks. It's been a journey with multiple false starts, a quarter of the array is being moved from my shop roof to the garage roof for wiring reasons. Not completely happy about it all but it is what it is. 

I haven't looked at the panel level logs for a while because I knew there was a problem, but this presentation looks much friendlier than raw data in an SQL database :)

https://us.sunpower.com/products/software/mysunpower/panel-level-data

Erich
Erich UberDork
7/16/22 7:25 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

in my experience so far it works quite well, and I'm glad they implemented it.

Sorry to hear about your install. Hopefully the new arrangement works well for you. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/16/22 7:38 p.m.

The only downside of the new arrangement is aesthetics, really. I liked the low key shop roof installation, it was stealthy. The relocated panels will be visible on the flat garage roof but I'm hoping the architecture of the house will take them gracefully. 

 The installer needed to bore a new main line from the shop to the house, and encountered difficulties. I should have made him keep trying. The good news is that if I want to expand my array, it'll just be a matter of plugging them into the existing shop circuit and accepting that a few will go offline at peak summer production times. 

The good news is that even slightly handicapped, the array seems to be offsetting all our electricity use (year round) at a cost that will probably save us $200 this month. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/27/22 12:43 p.m.

 The Olive Garden Experiment.

A few months back, I learned I could send a destination to the Tesla from Google Maps on my phone. It's pretty slick, I just choose to share, like I would send it via text or in an email or whatever and it pops up on the car's navigation screen. Since the car's nav is fully integrated with the rest of the vehicle including things like charging and range, this is more useful than something like CarPlay would be.

Since then, I have been randomly telling the car it wants to go to Olive Garden to see if Janel would say anything. She is not a fan of the Olive Garden and we never go there, although at the start of this she'd just had to go for a work thing so she'd been ranting about it. I've probably directed the car to Olive Garden several dozen times.

No reaction. Nothing. I wasn't sure it was working, but it worked when I tried to do it for real for my own purposes.

I was using my phone to send a legit destination to the car while talking to her and showed her what I was doing. I then asked her if the car had been trying to go to Olive Garden. Turns out yes, it has. But she just accepted it as some sort of weird software bug and carried on. For MONTHS.

We live in a world where we accept that our cars just want to go to Olive Garden occasionally.

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
7/27/22 5:19 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Depressingly, I read that as indicating that we live in a world where we just expect the neat stuff we have to be substantially broken and buggy all the time.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/27/22 6:24 p.m.

In reply to Jesse Ransom :

You're not wrong. Could be worse, we could be expecting to have to adjust our points by the side of the road with a matchbook ;)

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
7/27/22 9:00 p.m.

I can see a future where you have to pay a fee to not have your car tell you to go to Olive Garden. 

It will be paid for along with your heated seats. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/27/22 9:05 p.m.

In reply to Toyman! :

Ever looked at the Kindle? That's exactly how they're sold. 

And, uhh, this forum...

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
8/3/22 10:45 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Hey Kieth; 

    I was cleaning the battery posts on my wife's car and wondered.  Is that going to be a maintenance item on EV's?  I'm not thinking of the main connection but from cell to cell?  

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/3/22 10:50 a.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

Not unless they're using acid-filled wet cells, I suspect. That corrosion is usually a byproduct of the chemistry.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/2/22 4:41 p.m.

I am continuing to send Janel to Olive Garden, only now she knows it's me messing with her instead of the car being weird. It amuses me. Let's not ask her, but she did marry me willingly so she is at least partially to blame.

When we renew the registration, we now have the option of a special plate at no extra charge.

This is not to brag on being green or anything, it's a legit identifier so we can use EV-only parking spaces like chargers. When we first registered the car, we were given a green sticker for the windshield to accomplish the same thing. The plate is an alternative to running the sticker. We can choose.

A while back, a coworker asked me if a couple of his friends could swing by and check out the 3, because there was the opportunity for them to buy/inherit one from a family member. Turns out his friends were my long-time family doctor and his wife :) We answered their questions and took 'em for a ride. I went for an annual checkup a couple of days ago and my doc couldn't stop thanking me. They're very happy with it. We compared restaurant finds at road trip chargers. He's in a similar situation to me, he only gets to drive it when his wife lets him and it's immediately become their go-to for everything.

The solar array faced its toughest test last month - in August, the AC units in my shop suck down a lot of electricity fighting the heat. And it was a hot August. We overproduced by 65 kWh, so that's basically breaking even. The cost of the array financing is less than half of what we paid for power last August AND it's covered our "gas" for the month. I'm really digging this solar+EV thing from a conceptual viewpoint. I'm not a green goofy (as my father in law calls environmentalists) but there's no point in doing any more damage than we have to, and combining that with performance, costs savings and ease of use makes it all a no-brainer.

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
9/2/22 8:35 p.m.

Nice to see someone looking at solar using a calcator and hard numbers. 

Thanks. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/2/22 9:48 p.m.

We'll be able to do a full comparison in January, but we currently have a solstice-solstice data set to work with already and it's very promising. I had expected to be in the hole in August.  I do live in an excellent location for solar. 

Now I'm playing around with what it would take to turn the array into a "microgrid" but with only enough storage to bring the array online. It would let us run refrigerators, etc while the sun shines but without the cost of a big battery. The car would be very convenient for this but the Tesla isn't set up to backfeed the house. It may not make any sense but it's interesting to learn about. 

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/2/22 10:47 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

In reply to Jesse Ransom :

You're not wrong. Could be worse, we could be expecting to have to adjust our points by the side of the road with a matchbook ;)

I might need my eyes checked - I read this as "adjust our points by the side of the road with a MacBook" and it somehow made sense. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/4/22 9:19 p.m.

One thing I forgot to mention - the little camera preview that pops up with your turn indicator has moved to the top corner of the screen instead of the bottom, which is far more useful. It also looks to be higher resolution. To illustrate, I present what was in my blind spot whilst waiting for a left turn light (two turning lanes, we're all cool).


 

That's a nice portrait of the Rivian :) The driver was not the young adventure type that Rivian views as their target market but an older gentleman who had enough money to buy one.  I followed him for a while and we entered a roundabout along with an Ioniq 5. Cool. 

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
9/7/22 9:44 a.m.

I see Illinois has joined the states offering free solar panel installs.   Do you have any idea how far that idea has progressed  in Colorado?  
or other states?   

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/7/22 9:51 a.m.

About the only state level program for solar in CO is there is no change in property tax for having an array. No rebates, no free panels. I think a few cities might have some programs, and there's a federal tax credit available. 

No idea about other states as I've never had need to look. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/20/22 2:03 p.m.

Time for tires! They've been noisy all summer as they're getting fairly worn. I want fresh boots for winter.

The OE tires are a Michelin Pilot Sport 4 that are supposedly special quiet ones. Well, quiet until they wear down :) Interestingly, they're listed as "Max Performance Summer" on Tire Rack and have a 320TW rating. Given the use of this vehicle, I think I'm going to go with an all-season. We rarely get snow here, but cannot always plan trips around storms in the mountains.

My priorities are: quiet, acceptable snow traction, long life, efficient. Very different from my usual Miata tire spec! Unfortunately, there's no spec for rolling resistance like there is for treadwear. There are lots of options in my 235/45R18 size. Based on some recommendations and the reviews, I think I'll be going with the (deep breath) Continental Extremecontact DWS 06 Plus. Weirdly, they come with a treadwear warranty which is a first for me :) Higher treadwear, good reviews on noise, better snow behavior and not Michelin priced.

I wonder how much rolling resistance equates to noise? A lot of noise is basically airflow through the tread, and the tire is working to pump it. So is a quieter tire one that more easily evacuates air and therefore is doing less work? I need to make friends with a tire engineer.

The OE tires wore quickly because of a few factors.

- a typical high-tolerance factory alignment. Not radically off, but I'm seeing signs that the front toe is not ideal. I know that every new vehicle should get a proper alignment, but I skipped that. My bad. I can check that easily enough at home.

- did not follow the tire rotation recommendations. This is partly because I'm used to Miatas that wear tires very evenly, and partly because we accumulated mileage faster than I expected. This is basically a high power RWD car most of the time so the rears get a lot more abuse.

- it's zippy and Janel likes that it's zippy.

I can save a chunk of change by picking them up at the Denver depot, so I'll come up with an excuse to take the truck to Denver as I need some new rubber for the MG as well.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
9/20/22 2:11 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

The Continentals I chose had an efficiency hit only for the first hundreds of miles, then came down to normal, pretty much exactly the same as OEM for a way better tire. Highly recommend.

1 ... 31 32 33 34
Our Preferred Partners
L8qDL2uHzwCb5Vyv8vy4MIWsOVWSCRI3F3KhJ2ByNdn6oU2jyfO3p85oRgHqeg1s