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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:30 pm 
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Location: Arrowbear Lake, CA
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DaveL wrote:
Do you remember what the ambiant temperature was when you started the trip and how cold it got the night before

The previous nighttime low was just a hair above freezing. It was probably in the low 50s when we started the drive, in the high 60s down in the Valley, and below 40 when we returned home.

DaveL wrote:
How much before you began the trip (with 4 bars on the temp guage) did you complete the charge? I'm just wondering if charging the battery right before taking off would warm them up enough to make a difference.

As I drove 30+ miles earlier in the day (to Crestline, CA and back), with the battery temperature at four bars, I did roughly 1.5 hours of additional L2 charging immediately prior to that drive down the mountain. I can't remember if the battery temperature went up to five bars before or after that L2 charging. However, in terms of raising the battery temperature, I expect that our regenerative braking down the mountain would have been much more significant than the L2.

DaveL wrote:
Thanks for continuing to post this type of information. Your efforts are much appreciated! :)

It is a pleasure. I feel blessed to be a part of this revolution in transportation!

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2011 LEAF (Blue, w/QC) - 51K mountainous miles - Fontana Nissan
Battery capacity: 11/12 bars, and 185 GIDS at 80% charge (-20% vs. new)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:33 am 
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Location: Arrowbear Lake, CA
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Thanks to DarkStar's irresistibly simple and helpful directions on creating elevation profiles using GPS Visualizer with Google Maps input, I finally got around to plotting the route from Redlands to Arrowbear, a route that a number of my posts in this thread have referenced.

Map:
Image

Profile:
Image

Also, I haven't given up on collecting data to help us calculate regen efficiency. However, I think my wife and I will have to start downhill with a lower SOC, perhaps no higher than 45-50%,and plan on L2 charging before coming back up. That may have to wait a bit. If I can log the data to my laptop, that will be even better!

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2011 LEAF (Blue, w/QC) - 51K mountainous miles - Fontana Nissan
Battery capacity: 11/12 bars, and 185 GIDS at 80% charge (-20% vs. new)


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:07 pm 
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Location: Arrowbear Lake, CA
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This month (November), we had a couple of significant snowfalls, several inches each. This was a little early. Notice the date stamps in the below photos.

Near Keller Peak Road, a wonderful drive in the LEAF during the warmer seasons when the road is open:
Image

Our LEAF "feeding":
Image


Needless to say, after that first storm, I was eager to try the LEAF in the snow. So far, with the stock tires, it has done fine on plowed surfaces with modest amounts of snow and ice. Driving it on the road shown in the background behind the charging LEAF was not a problem, though the "loss of traction" indicator flashed on and off.

Right after our pre-Thanksgiving storm, we tried driving up a 100' high hill in our neighborhood, on ~2 inches of fresh snow that the plows had not yet reached. I made it over halfway, a bit further than a Toyota Camry hybrid that had just attempted the same thing. So we pulled out the tire chains (actually "Z cables") and completed the climb. With better snow tires, I believe I could have done the whole climb without chains. I'm thinking of swapping out the two front tires for snow tires before the next storm comes through.

Thus far, the only real snow-related problem we've experienced is that the charge port cover (the one that you open from inside the car) was iced shut one cold morning. I hadn't charged overnight, but wanted to add a little charge that morning. Rather than attempt to pry open the cover, I simply waited for the day to warm a bit; I had that luxury. If I had charged overnight, that would not have been a concern.

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2011 LEAF (Blue, w/QC) - 51K mountainous miles - Fontana Nissan
Battery capacity: 11/12 bars, and 185 GIDS at 80% charge (-20% vs. new)


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:28 am 
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abasile wrote:
This month (November), we had a couple of significant snowfalls ... Our LEAF "feeding":
ImageNeedless to say, after that first storm, I was eager to try the LEAF in the snow. So far, with the stock tires, it has done fine on plowed surfaces with modest amounts of snow and ice. <snip>Thus far, the only real snow-related problem we've experienced is that the charge port cover (the one that you open from inside the car) was iced shut one cold morning. <snip> If I had charged overnight, that would not have been a concern.

All very coooooollllll... ;-)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:46 pm 
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Location: Arrowbear Lake, CA
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Just for fun, here's a quick, admittedly very amateurish video of me driving our LEAF a few days ago. While the snowplow had made a pass through the neighborhood, the street still had a fair amount of snow and ice, and the LEAF had no problem climbing/descending a 100' hill around the corner, between here and our little lake. I don't remember the traction control indicator even so much as flashing on that drive. Also, in contrast with the ICE vehicle that follows, the only sounds you hear from the LEAF are the reverse beep and the climate control fan (plus a scrape leaving the driveway).



I'm sure it helped that we just had the tires rotated for the first time. We will stick with the stock tires this winter. Given any accumulation of snow out on the state highways, even if it's only in spots, the Highway Patrol will require us to install tire chains anyway. :| The LEAF does okay with chains (actually Z-cables), but we keep an older AWD car for occasional use, more to avoid chain requirements on 2WD cars than because of any substantial need for AWD.

On another note, because of the near-continuous cold soak to which we are subjecting the battery (not actually bad for it), plus the reduction in regenerative braking due to the cold, we are no longer finding it feasible to drive down the mountain to shop in Redlands and come back up without some charging. Thankfully, the folks at Metro Nissan in Redlands have been very gracious in allowing us to charge almost weekly. (They do have at least a couple LEAFs on the lot for sale.) We're still hoping to use the BLINK units at the Walmart in Redlands when ECOtality finally gets the glitches worked out. We've also done (slow) L1 charging at Lowes and Trader Joes.

All in all, we remain thankful for the natural beauty that we are able to appreciate every day, while at the same time participating in a revolution in personal transportation. Merry Christmas to all!

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2011 LEAF (Blue, w/QC) - 51K mountainous miles - Fontana Nissan
Battery capacity: 11/12 bars, and 185 GIDS at 80% charge (-20% vs. new)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:02 am 
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The last several days have been unseasonably warm (high temperatures close to 60°F). When we went out to drive the car late yesterday afternoon, with the outside temperature at 55°F, I was just a little surprised to find the battery temperature at five bars! This is the first time in close to two months I've seen the battery temperature go up to five bars while merely sitting in our driveway. It wasn't charged the night before. Earlier in the day, it was driven a couple of miles and parked in a sunnier location; maybe that made a difference. In any case, this reaffirms my impression that the single biggest factor typically affecting the battery pack temperature is the ambient temperature.

If you are in SoCal and thinking of driving your LEAF up to the mountains, it looks like our weather is going to continue to be warm for at least the next few days. I can recommend some hiking trails close to here that are not excessively snow-covered.

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2011 LEAF (Blue, w/QC) - 51K mountainous miles - Fontana Nissan
Battery capacity: 11/12 bars, and 185 GIDS at 80% charge (-20% vs. new)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:39 am 
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Location: Plantation , FL
Delivery Date: 28 Nov 2011
JimSouCal wrote:
abasile wrote:
This month (November), we had a couple of significant snowfalls ... Our LEAF "feeding":
ImageNeedless to say, after that first storm, I was eager to try the LEAF in the snow. So far, with the stock tires, it has done fine on plowed surfaces with modest amounts of snow and ice. <snip>Thus far, the only real snow-related problem we've experienced is that the charge port cover (the one that you open from inside the car) was iced shut one cold morning. <snip> If I had charged overnight, that would not have been a concern.

All very coooooollllll... ;-)



Woke up this morning and it was freezing, I could hardly open the car door my hands were so cold.
I thought shall I break out the snow chains as we could have a blizzard at any moment and I did not want to have to try to install them when it was snowing.... but I held off.

When I started up the Leaf I immediately engaged the heated steering wheel and maxed out the heated seats.
I did not want to use the heater, as I had to drive to work and back and did not want to spend time in the freezing cold plugging and unplugging the charger, so I just drove enjoying my warm arse and warm hands.


I glanced at the temp and it was worse than I thought it had only reached 57 degrees I thought to myself “man abasile has it so good”


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:31 pm 
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Brightonuk wrote:
I glanced at the temp and it was worse than I thought it had only reached 57 degrees I thought to myself “man abasile has it so good”

Yes, I do have it good. Just the thought of South Florida's tropical heat is enough to make me start sweating! :o

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2011 LEAF (Blue, w/QC) - 51K mountainous miles - Fontana Nissan
Battery capacity: 11/12 bars, and 185 GIDS at 80% charge (-20% vs. new)


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:56 am 
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Here's a photo from over the weekend of our dash display while approaching the bottom of our mountain descent on CA-330:
Image

Notice that there were no regen double circles. Desiring to give ourselves as much range as possible without completely eliminating the possibility of regen, we left our house with 80% SOC (higher than usual). Near the top of the 5000' descent, we had one to two circles of regen (> 10 kW), which we gradually lost, requiring more friction braking. We never did reached 11 bars of charge from regen, though I believe we were close. Having a battery temperature of only four bars clearly was a factor that reduced the amount of available regen (and available range).

I would note that the LEAF sometimes also reduces the amount of available regen (though not the double circles) as speed increases. Going 55 mph from the middle of the descent on down, the car allowed absolutely zero regen. However, whenever I slowed to 35-40 mph, there'd be some regen.

At no time did we feel our extra use of the friction brakes was unsafe. I was careful not to lay on the brakes continuously, and it helps that the LEAF's are particularly beefy. It didn't seem that I was braking much more than the ICE cars around us. I might be one of the first LEAF drivers to need new pads, though.

On that drive, we did make it to the downtown Los Angeles area with 83 miles on the trip odometer, a bit less than two full bars of charge, and a battery temperature that had crept up to five bars.

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2011 LEAF (Blue, w/QC) - 51K mountainous miles - Fontana Nissan
Battery capacity: 11/12 bars, and 185 GIDS at 80% charge (-20% vs. new)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:54 am 
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Yesterday's trip down the mountain and back up was rather interesting, yet thankfully worked out better than expected. Given that our area ended up receiving 6-12 inches of snow, unseasonably low temperatures, and fierce winds, driving our all-wheel-drive car seemed like a good idea. However, that vehicle was already spoken for, so I took the LEAF.

Driving down the mountain, flakes were falling steadily but there wasn't yet more than a thin coating of snow on the road, so I didn't have to put on chains to keep the authorities happy. I observed that a chain control checkpoint had just been set up at about the 5500' level, at the lower end of Running Springs, so I apparently departed just in time. Even down to as low as 3500-4000', I encountered slush on the road and used regen to keep speed below 30 mph with hardly any use of the friction brakes.

As I had never previously driven more than a couple miles in the LEAF with chains, my biggest concern for the return trip up the mountain was that the range would be significantly reduced. So I added some charge at the Walmart in Redlands, bringing the "user" SOC up to 85%. After gentle driving, I reached the Highland Ave. on-ramp to CA-330 with about 77%, and continued climbing at 30-35 mph to conserve charge.

Upon reaching the 3800' level, I unexpectedly encountered a chain control checkpoint for up-bound traffic. The Caltrans guy asked if I had AWD, to which I had to respond in the negative. As the road was still devoid of snow, ice, and slush at this point, I asked for permission to install my chains higher up the mountain so as to avoid having to use them directly on pavement, but was nicely told that they had been ordered to require chains right there. After several minutes or so, I had them on the front wheels (partly by feel, in the dark), and drove off, ka-clunk ka-clunk ka-clunk ... at 18-20 mph.

Thankfully, at that point, my SOC meter reported that I still had 56%, so I figured I would be able to make it home. Before I reached the 5000' level, I encountered a completely white road, with gusts of wind blowing snow across it. This was much better. If I'm going to drive on chains, I'd rather have snow between the chains and the road. So I sped up to 25 mph.

Finally, I made it home, and still had 28% charge left! While it undoubtedly helped that I didn't use the climate control at all, and simply cracked open the windows whenever I needed to clear the windshield, the net result is that using the tire chains had only a minimal effect on range, probably due to me having to drive more slowly. This is very, very helpful to know. I will no longer have chain-requirement-induced range anxiety! :D

Here's a photo taken in our driveway this morning (keep in mind that my wife did some shoveling while I was gone):
Image

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2011 LEAF (Blue, w/QC) - 51K mountainous miles - Fontana Nissan
Battery capacity: 11/12 bars, and 185 GIDS at 80% charge (-20% vs. new)


Basile Enterprises - Custom Software Engineering


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