Sunday, September 23, 2012

LEAF Instrumentation

Recently, Tony Williams organized a huge event to test various LEAFs that were suffering loss of capacity bars on their Nissan LEAFs.  Initially after a few of the LEAFs were taken to the Nissan testing facility in Casa Grande, AZ  the prelim report was that a few had instrumentation that was over reporting the loss and that some who were thinking that they had 20-25% loss were actually only in the 10-12% range (which is still a bit more than I would have expected especially for those LEAFs that were barely a year old)

So I decided to do my own unofficial range test (very unofficial actually) Unlike the testers in AZ, I had not the time or inclination to devote a major block of my day to the experiment but I did have transportation needs that would tax the LEAFs range and I figured "good enough for me!"

So my test has several caveats.

1) temp was much colder being in the upper 50's in the morning.
2) elevation changes galore (if you live here you know what I am talking about.
3) Speed. no real set speed or anything else.

As usual, I reset my Miles per Kw and odo A which I do every day.  Had a full charge of 277 GID.

I started the journey with 17 miles of driving around town at 30-40 mph. elevation flat varying from 150 to 180 feet.  temps 57┬║. Then hopped onto I-5 driving 57-62 mph (per speedometer so probably a few below that in GPS terms)  elevation ranges from 280 to -18 at the bottom of the Nisqually Delta.

Then turning East onto the 512 freeway where elevation rose to near 500 feet before making its drop into the Puyallup Valley  and an elevation that averages 30-70 feet located at the base of the valley where Mt. Rainier drains.

Now at the fair where average speed is single digits.  The Western WA State Fair is one of the largest (and longest) in the country and today was no exception. It was PACKED with people and traffic.  Was there to help with the EV booth.  Then left, climbing back out of the valley (GOM went from 63 to28 by the time I crested the rise in about 2 miles)

Made it back to Olympia, picked up Ryland from Grandma's house and went house. Hitting VLB on the way.  I declined going to turtle because it does nt really matter that I do since this is an unofficial test, but did get to 6.5% SOC so was close.

final results were 82.3 miles and 4.7 miles/kw.  So if thinking I could get about 4 more miles (at the speed I was going it would have been at least that much) that would have given me a range of about 87 miles or so.

at 4.7 miles/kw that is only 18.5 Kw available which would imply I have loss that is not trackable?

so if I do have my 21 Kw to use, then the 4.7 is actually 4.1 miles per Kw. which brings me to another point.  I discuss a LOT about my LEAF and compare notes with others in the Puget Sound region and have a lot of people asking me for advice as to how I do so well.

Thinking now that I am not doing a "cut above" and that my LEAF is stroking me.  I will say that most dont get 87 miles of range from their LEAF when a large part of that drive in freeway like I do but without instrumention like the SOC meter, I can easily see how others would be fooled into thinking they had much less range than they really had.

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