Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spring Break and My Battery Is More Excited Than I Am!

 Its no secret that batteries are very much like people. Get them too cold and they don't want to work hard.  Too much heat saps their strength.  Just like us, they prefer a relatively moderate middle ground and the pack on my LEAF has made it no secret that temps in the upper 60's to low 70's is just about perfect.

Now, my 2013 LEAF will be much different than my first one in that I have monitored just about every parameter since mile one... I mean mile 44 from the minute it came into my possession.

So naturally it was less than 30 seconds after I got into the car for the first time that LEAF Spy was up and running and I was very pleased to see that I had more than 100% capacity (as if that was possible) including an Hx of 102.54%.  But after a week, the number started to drop. Not fast, just a fraction of one percent daily.  It was down to 100.42% when I did the first fast charge on the LEAF. The next day (this is when I was only checking LEAF Spy readings first thing in the morning) I noticed I had bumped back up and higher than before at 103.04%! This came as a big relief as I was concerned just how far and fast my Hx would continue to drop.

Then came a logistical challenge from work coupled with VERY cold weather where more range for peace of mind and comfort made multiple fast charges desirable. After one day where 3 stints of fast charging in one day (none longer than 17 minutes) I noticed that I was at 105.12% Hx! This was an all time high and it was then that I realized that the bumps in Hx happened when my batt temps were getting into the upper 50's and more. Keep in mind with a December delivery they were running in the mid to upper 40's º F.

Now this trend continued and eventually the Hx balanced out to a range running from 101.5 to 102.5.

Now, it only took a few trips for me to enjoy and take advantage of my LEAF's renewed range. I was back up to driving mostly in the 60-65 mph range (if not 70...) without a worry as most of my trips were well within the range my LEAF had to give. It was then that I decided to go cold turkey on public charging for the month of March (which I was able to do with one day to spare)

So today, April 1, was my first fast charge in over 6 weeks  and after getting 12 Kwh in 22 mins 12 seconds, I was off and glancing at LEAF Spy and saw this

ok so it was one of the if not the warmest day of the year at 60º and  batt temps did get up to 78, 75 and 72 º  but like WOW!

now has this translated to more range? probably not. I did drive 96 miles on Monday on a single charge (remember it was still no charge March!) but did drive VERY conservatively along with getting stuck in a few traffic jams to make it although I ended up with 17 GIDs making 100 miles probably an easy goal.  But range records are no longer that interesting to me. Its more like how to do it 2 years from now when I have 48,000 miles on the ticker instead of 4800. Now my previous LEAF I would not dare approach driving that far out of town. my 100 mile trips I did back then was predominately in town driving averaging 25-40 mph.  Monday's drive had probably 50% of the miles over 60 mph so don't know if its more range, more monitoring or simply more public chargers to fall back on if I "bite off more than I can drive"

either way, its still fun to me!

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