Saturday, November 10, 2012

Heated Jacket Test; Battling Winter Range Degradation Part 3


Got up yesterday and first thing I realized; Test Day!! It was cold like 30º cold! I had been waiting for a good day to test my heated jacket for two weeks now.

I also got report from SO that charging stations were installed at her work. Had to go see for myself, so charged up the LEAF, charged up the coat and away I went.

Now, remember the coat stated "up to 6 hours" on a charge. With 3 power settings, I took that to mean 6 hours on low,  4 hours on medium and 2 hours on high heat.  So at 10:08 AM, i turned on coat and after its preheat cycle, set it to high heat.  GID count was 280, Trip A reset to zero and away I went!

The LEAF sitting in the garage overnight had a dash temperature of 47º.  phone said temps were 32º. There was nearly fun Sun so solar radiation help would be evident but still a bit of scattered fog in the process of being burned off.  The plan was to only toggle defrost on long enough to keep the windows clear which would not generate any heat from the car so had only the jacket to keep me warm.

Trip A; 3.8 miles entering I-5 South exit 109, Dash temp is now 41º.  I set cruise control to 60 mph and settled in for the drive. I picked a slightly later drive time as I knew the temperatures would not warm up significantly until 2-3 in the afternoon and to miss traffic as much as possible.  I was able to maintain my speed for the entire trip having to bump out of CC for less than a minute to get around one slow moving car.

Hit the streets at Exit 81, trip A; 30.7  GID 175, dash temp; 36º. So far everything is fine. the jacket has heated wires running thru the back all the way to the front. So, its like a warm blanket wrapped around me. On the high heat setting, it never felt overwhelmingly hot. I even left it on for 10 minutes when I went to grab lunch and it was still comfortable.

Totally off topic but Kudos to Ecotality for NOT placing the Blinks in prime parking areas. Yes, the stations are ICE'd here but there is no signage up yet. The Blinks are located in the parking lot to the right of the Emergency Room Entrance behind the public parking area and as you can see; not next to any building so hopefully that will encourage people to not take the spot unless they want some juice!

I took my pictures and walked around outside for about 10 minutes (more than long enough to catch a chill and was very cozy.  Then I swung by the Centrailia quick charge station, parked ACROSS the street and grabbed lunch at Burgerville; "home of the Tesla charger!"   Coat off 11:08 AM.

Turned coat back on 11:45 AM and back in car for return to Olympia exiting at exit 109  Trip A; 60.6 miles GID 73. Dash Temp 41º, Sunglasses on.

Unlike the trip down, now my feet were getting cold.  That started on my walk around the Providence lot while taking pix of the Blink Stations. My stint at Burgerville failed to warm my feet up enough to make a difference.

I had the vent closed because it really pours cold air in if its open and that helps but also causes the windows to fog quicker. I did have to toggle defrost on a half dozen times but only had it on less than a minute each time and it was not used at all on the trip home.

Arrived home; Trip A 64.0 miles, GID 64 (that was easy to remember!)

Jacket battery dies 12:55  total run time,  2 hours 10 minutes.

I have to say the Jacket test was a success. It definitely helps to keep you warm. Having driven in similar weather, I can assure you there is no way I would have been able to do it without running a lot of heat in the car. I would have been too cold.

Normally in the morning, I am fresh out of the hot shower with hot coffee in hand. None of that was present on this test and done to more accurately evaluate the effectiveness of the coat.  I expect to see temps within 10º of what I saw today so I think the jacket will allow me to use much less climate controls and maintain a bearable level of comfort.

3 comments:

  1. Nice article about heated jacket test ^^ I want one!

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    1. Mine actually came in handy for other purposes including one time sitting outside for an hour waiting for a parade to start plus other options. Only complaint I really have is that it did not have an attached hood but then again, hats allow a much more "customized" look

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